Posted by - February 26, 2018 - Uncategorized

Every time I tell someone that I’m a “full-time food blogger,” they look at me like I just spoke to them in Chinese. Slightly fascinated- yet they have no idea what I just said.

They’re like….

So you write about things?  Yeah. 

Sooo you take pictures of food?  Yeah. 

I’ve been following your Instagram…. you get to travel the world? I  wouldn’t say THE WORLD, but yah. I get to travel for work.

“Who do you work for?”  Myself. 


Followed by moments of silence for them to comprehend what I just said. (BTW. These are real conversations )

Becoming a food blogger has opened up so many doors for me. I never thought I’d be featured on the morning news (FOX 2), work with Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina, create video AD content for brands like Postmates, fly around the world with Virgin Atlantic, and so much more.

When I was 22 years old, I graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Journalism and Public Relations. After I graduated, I spent a year working with my friend Jed, who started a marketing agency specializing in social media for restaurants. During this time, I was managing Facebook and Instagram accounts for places in LA and San Diego. I was reaching out to traditional media, inviting them to come in for a free meal (I thought: “How cool! I’d love to be on the other end of this”).

Fast forward a year later, I moved back up to San Francisco to be closer to my family. Now at 23 years old, I felt motivated more than ever. I thought I wanted to work for a cool company with catered lunches, paid vacations and awesome benefits. I sent out my resume and went on a TON of job interviews in the city. But nothing stuck out to me. I wasn’t “into” any of the companies I interviewed for and I couldn’t see myself there for more than a year.

I didn’t want to build someone else’s dream for the rest of my life. I wanted to build my own. 

I wanted to find something I was passionate about. For me, that was food. I LOVE food. In any shape, way or form…. I could eat at any hour of the day.  I thoroughly enjoy going out and experiencing new restaurants. I’d prefer going on adventures in new cities Vs spending money on the latest handbag or shoes. That’s my idea of FUN. I believe food brings people together from all walks of life. Food is a way to learn and experience new cultures through your tastebuds. I’m so into it.

So here I was… with a passion for food and trying out new restaurants. Could I make a job out of it?? I know it sounds… uhh… SILLY? 

Most people said “NO”. My family didn’t understand. And people laughed behind my back. 

CynEats was created in March of 2014. I wanted a place where I could give honest recommendations to all my friends- that were actually relatable. I wanted to provide down-to-earth reviews that made sense to people who don’t cook. Basically, CynEats is my place on the internet for me to be unapologetically myself and write about stuff I care about (food, photography, travel).

My main goal was to build a brand and a business where I could be creative as hell without someone telling me what I could or couldn’t do. A job where I get to make my own rules.

After a few months of blogging from my iPhone, I knew I needed to step up my photography game (confession: I was a terrible food photographer). I reached out to other creatives on Instagram. I bugged people to grab coffee with me so that I could pick their brains. I read everything I could on photography and eventually purchased my first Fuji camera.

It was my goal to become one of the best food photographers in San Francisco. Turns out, I had a knack for photography and flat lays. I never knew I’d enjoy it so much. In fact, I find it extremely therapeutic.

After spending a whole year building my website and social media presence… brands started to notice me. I’ve had some pretty awesome opportunities come my way, which forced me completely out of my comfort zone. I never said “NO” to anything that came across my inbox for the first 2 years- even if I knew it’d be challenging as hell.

So one day, a HUGE brand came to me and said “We love your photos! We’d like you to shoot some photography content for us. Can you send us your RAW files?”

I said, “Of course, I”ll get it done in a week!”. While in my head, I was like: “WTF is a RAW file?!”

So I did more research. I downloaded editing software, and asked friends of friends- even strangers for help. I didn’t sleep. I had a week to figure it out.

And thats how it all began. I kept saying “YES” to anything that came my way. I figured it out. As months went on, I started working with bigger and bigger brands. I kept improving my skills as a content creator.

I’m a firm believer that there is no growth in comfort zones, which is why I’ll never stay there for too long. Routine gets a little boring for me.

Fast forward to today:

While I started off as a food blogger, I now consider myself much more than that.

I started my own agency. I’m a content creator + I’m a full-time photographer + I’m a food stylist+ I’m a videographer + I’m a social media consultant for companies and PR agencies (okay THAT was a mouthful).

Ultimately, I’m able to use CynEats to connect with bigger brands and work on creative campaigns. Some brands include: Hyatt, MTV, Refinery 29, Postmates, UberEats, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Virgin Atlantic, Manchester Tourism Bureau, My/Mo mochi ice cream, W Hotel, Hong Kong Airlines and more.

Besides all of the above, I also have monthly restaurant clients that I manage 24/7. I go on 7- hour photoshoots, eat cold food, and stay up all night editing photos and videos. In between running these clients, the time I have left for myself is focused on “food blogging” and building out my YouTube channel.

Most people only see the curated and filtered content on Instagram. What they don’t see is the missed happy hours, missed birthdays, gym time, me time. My brain literally doesn’t stop going. There’s no “clocking-out” at 5pm every Monday- Friday.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s all been worth it. Every second, every minute of it.

If you come into anything with a passion, then it’ll never really feel like “work, ” and that’s a pretty awesome feeling. You beat to your own drum. Make your own rules, be YOUR own boss. You create whatever it is YOU want to create. And that’s what makes it all worth it!




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  • Rosemarie Santos February 28, 2019 - 8:29 am Reply

    Hi Cynthia, I’m Rose. I have a couple questions for you and I would love to hear back.

    I’m pretty much in your same situation of when you started, and you probably hear this a lot, but it would mean so much to me if you could give me some advice on how to make myself become bigger and more successful, such as yourself. I just started this food journey or this blogging journey and it’s something that I truly want to expand and my boyfriend keeps pushing me to do so, but I feel like I’m too stuck in my comfort zone to actually do anything and I just need that little leap of faith.

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    My last question is, how can I reach out to brands or have brands reach out to me?

    Thank you so much in advance. I truly appreciate it.

  • Menza July 24, 2018 - 7:20 am Reply

    Hi! I love your blog, it is an inspiration and definitely one of my favorites. My friends and I have had a food instagram for almost two years now and we want to know the best way to continue building our brand, partnering with restaurants, increasing following, and capturing content we know people will love. Any tips would be so helpful, thank you!

  • Chinwe EATS July 13, 2018 - 1:20 am Reply

    Do you think its worth having a physical blog when you can post many photos on Instagram and build a youtube channel for engaging video content? a few years ago i would say having a blog for seo reasons is good, but for something life food where imagery and video is king, what is the value now? i ask because i have a young family ,a full time job and would like to grow but i dont feel i need to utilise every platform.

  • Diane July 6, 2018 - 10:29 am Reply

    Fantastic post.. Superb blog thanks for sharing this nice one … lovingly

    • CynEats July 8, 2018 - 7:33 pm Reply

      Thanks babe! :)

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  • […] Hope y’all got a good laugh out of this and possibly some useful tips too! This journey with you guys has been a fun one. Read my full story HERE. […]

  • Allison February 27, 2018 - 11:21 am Reply

    I currently have a full-time job but can’t see myself in this industry for more than a few years (if even that!). I LOVE food and going to restaurants as well, and I’ve always enjoyed photography. I’m thinking of starting a food blog/instagram, but what advice do you have starting out to get noticed? I feel like Instagram, YouTube, and blogs have become so saturated that it’s really hard to stand out and stay motivated.

    • CynEats July 8, 2018 - 7:59 pm Reply

      Hi Allison!

      I think you should 100% pursue your passion for food and photography while you still have your full time job! WHY NOT?

      Find your own voice, find your own niche, and find your own brand- you’re not going to figure it out all at once. It’s going to take time. The best advice I can give you is to stop THINKING about it, and start DOING something about it. At the end of the day, what have you got to lose? =P

  • Helen February 26, 2018 - 11:36 pm Reply

    Hi, I’ve recently started a food blog and I’m not the absolute best photographer. I worked in a restaurant for 7 years and once I graduated uni and got a job in an office I realised how much I miss working with food.
    I’ve done research on editing photos but my biggest issue is shadows – how do you avoid them when taking a photo from birds eye view? When you’re taking photos on a camera, how do you transfer them to your phone for Instagram? Would you suggest going to a class or are there tips you can just pick up along the way?
    I have loads more questions but I’ll not bombard you with them. Thank you!

    • CynEats July 8, 2018 - 7:53 pm Reply

      Hi Helen! Congrats on starting a food blog!! :)

      Regarding shadows- try to not shoot in direct sunlight. I always like to shoot by a big window for natural light.

      On my camera (Fuji xt2)- I have a wifi setting where I can transfer them directly to my phone

      Regarding classes- I’d recommend starting off on Youtube! It’s FREE and there’s so many tutorials! My favorite YouTuber is Peter McKinnon :) He taught me a lot about videography.

      Hope this helps :)

  • Kristina Adrineda February 26, 2018 - 11:11 pm Reply

    Hey. I just started my food and travel blog just think g I wanna keep memories from all my fun adventure to just simply share it with everyone. And luckily I came across your profile and you really inspire me in so many ways. I’d love to hear more of your story and get some tips on how to do it. And also inspire people. Thanks

    • CynEats July 8, 2018 - 7:47 pm Reply

      My biggest advice is to use your phone camera and start taking really amazing photos of your adventures. Then learn how to edit your photos in a way that reflects your own personal brand and style. Eventually you can pick up a nicer camera! Become a really amazing content creator and document your adventures on Instagram, IG stories, IG highlights IG TV and Facebook!

      Good luck and I hope this helps!


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