Hungry Hipsters is a playfully-refined, curated photo brand created by & based off of the engaged couple, Breann Chiero & Christian Medice. We hold fast to the idea of being uniquely ourselves & creating lifestyle content in hopes to inspire others (and make them smile!). Known for our culinary-fashion twists, Hungry Hipsters has partnered with brands like Forever 21, Nickelodeon & Whole Foods to develop creative ideas & imagery. We are honored to have been featured in publications like Coveteur, MyDomaine & Refinery29.
Founded in mid-2015, Hungry Hipsters was originally just a hobby-based outlet for us to taste & document our way through NYC. But in reality, it was unintentionally filling a creative void for me while I was working in the corporate world. As we began to grow, it became harder to juggle my passion & career as a Fashion Director, so I took a leap of faith & became my own boss! Currently I run & curate Hungry Hipsters in addition to being a freelance content creator for various brands & retailers’ social media channels & digital properties. I don’t go a day without creating, styling, photographing or cooking, & I wouldn’t have it any other way!
With our accelerated growth, we were able to bring on a 3rd member, AmiLin McClure, who I pretty much gush over throughout our entire Instagram feed. Ami is the hardest working individual I’ve ever met & she’s like the little sister I’ve always wanted! We’re so lucky to have her leading the charge on our branded partnerships, team photo shoots & video collaborations. We also have a squad of all-star interns who keep us on-point. Jennifer leads our on-figure photography (after she single-handedly redesigned our entire website), Kacton (our international intern!) in content ideation, Dikla in restaurant/culinary collaborations, Sasha in website assistance & Kristen in photo shoot prep.
Frequently Asked Questions
+ How did you make a career out of blogging?
Honestly I’m still trying to figure it out! I think what has helped me get this far is really keeping true to always putting out creative content verses just capturing photos to receive higher engagement. Hungry Hipsters is not my full-time gig though, I am also a freelance Content Creator for brands/retailers’ social channels & digital properties.
+ What do you think of sponsored posts?
I think you have to find the right balance with sponsored content. We only partner with brands & companies we love, stand behind & are excited to create content for. If you say yes to everything just to be paid, I think it will feel so unauthentic to both you & your following.
+ What apps do you use for editing your photos?
Snapseed & Facetune
+ What’s your favorite place you ever blogged about?
Mexico City! Last fall we took a trip with the World’s 50 Best Restaurants team & Mexico Tourism and had the absolute best time eating the most amazing food ever. The highlight of our trip was our cooking class at Casa Jacaranda, this couple opens their beautiful home to guests & treats everyone like family.
+ What camera do you use to shoot?
I shoot the majority of my IG content with my iPhone 7. But sometimes we’ll need the magic of a tripod or a better quality camera/lens for our bigger team shoots, so Jennifer Tang from my team will bring along her Nikon D3400.
+ What’s your favorite area in NYC?
+ How do you find such cool food places to go to?
I have someone on my team entirely devoted to scouting new spots & she’s amazing at it (credit: Dikla Bar)
+ What do you look out for when taking restaurant/food photos?
Natural lighting - Rarely does food look good under fluorescent lighting so I’ll try to be as close as I can to a window. I also always shoot before sunset since night shots are rough! Evenly spaced plates- This is a big one for me, I’m crazy. Color balance- Making sure similar colors (in plates/cups/food) aren’t directly next to each other, always space them out so everything appears a little more even.
+ What exactly was your job before this?
I was the Fashion Director for Young Contemporary brands at Macy’s Inc for about 7 years. I trend forecasted for our buying teams, led editorial shoots for online & print, did product development for our private label brands & worked with our social media team on trend-related posts.
+ What made you pursue content creation when you already had a corporate job?
Though my corporate job was really creative, it wasn’t encompassing of all the interests I had. I really admired the Art Directors at Macy’s & was so inspired by their eye for photography, composition & styling. When I decided to create Hungry Hipsters, it was my way to practice my own kind of photography, compose stories for social media & have a very public way to share my content (& learn about IG quite honestly). And eventually it led to a job in content creation!
+ When did you know you could take the risk & leave your corporate job?
When I was literally at capacity. I was getting consistent opportunities & had no daylight hours left in the week to take them on. I worked my corporate job from about 8-5PM, ran home to shoot IG content before the sun went down from 5-7PM & then was answering emails, organizing shoots & sourcing props until about midnight. Weekends were entirely devoted to freelance projects & shoots. I also saved up a TON of money as a safety net before I took the leap.
+ What inspired you to begin Hungry Hipsters?
My really cool blogger friend Kenneth McKoy actually encouraged me to start a creative account! I think a lot of my friends were annoyed of me since I was always posting food photos to my personal IG account haha. And my fiancé Christian came up with the name!
+ How long were you running Hungry Hipsters while you had a job?
For a little over a year!
+ What were the steps you took to make this into a business?
Still working on making it more official every single day! But starting off with a good financial savings from my previous job really helped. I immediately invested in more legit backdrops & vinyls for my flatlays, bought the domains for a potential website, made a Hungry Hipsters email address, put together a portfolio & got myself a team. Being able to teach, organize & grow other people only makes you a stronger person- I truly believe that!
+ Do companies hire you to do shoots?
Yes! Whether it’s for their end-use (developing assets for their channels), cross promotion (like IG takeovers or giveaways), or to promote on Hungry Hipsters (via a sponsored post)
+ In terms of brand collabs/partnerships, do they find you or do you reach out to them?
Both! I think if you let everything come to you, you are letting others shape your direction. If there’s a brand that I love or aspire to partner with, I’m never afraid to reach out. Some of my favorite partnerships have been the ones I’ve initiated myself.
+ Do you think quantity (follower count) is more important than quality (of content) based on the feedback you’ve received from brands or just what you’ve noticed yourself?
I really feel like it depends on what your goal is. Mine is by far quality- I would rather post less frequently but have my images be really curated & visually tell a story. But that’s what I like! I’m not all about the “check out my OOTD” or “here’s the quick breakfast I made this morning,” I’d save that kind of quick sharing for Stories, because not every moment in life is photo-worthy for the ‘gram, let’s be honest. The brands that I work with equally want their products represented in a strong & creative way.
+ What are your top 3 tips for shooting flatlays?
Similar to food photography question, natural lighting, even spacing & color balance are so key. Invest in materials- Unless you have your own photo studio, go out & buy some colored matboards to lay items flat on & white foam boards to bounce/reflect light. And another major one- watch your size proportions. If I’m going to do a flatlay with makeup products, I would keep the other items I add to the frame relatively small (ie. Hair brush, hand mirror, little rings). Ami is wrapping up a flatlay tutorial video for us, stay tuned!
+ What is your planning process for flatlays & your ideas behind them?
Story boards. I create a digital inspiration deck for almost everything. Not only to get on the same page with brands & my team, but for myself. It keeps me extremely organized! I can visually see what I already have, what I need to purchase & how I want to shoot something. That way, when we are on-location, we can be as efficient as possible.
+ What filters do you use on your photos?
I actually don’t use filters! I think it makes photos look too unrealistic. But I do saturate, brighten & play with the shadows to make photos pop a bit more.