Instagrammer Jenny Zhang is trying to get more fruit into your daily internet diet.
Two years ago, Zhang, a 21-year-old university student, started taking pictures of her afternoon snacks from her dorm room in London and posting them on her Instagram account.
Today, the account — @myfruitplatter — boasts almost 12,000 followers and has caught the attention of celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Lo Bosworth, and Naomi Campbell.
“It’s all really exciting, when I started doing this I never thought I’d get nearly this many followers,” Zhang told Business Insider.
Originally the account was called @healthyfoodporno, but Zhang changed the name when she started gaining more traction on Instagram. Most of Zhang’s early photos were taken on top of her bed, using the one plate she kept in her room. You can even see her bedsheets in some of them.
Currently studying business management at the London School of Economics, Zhang is not a photographer by trade. She shoots and edits her pictures using only an iPhone and says that the process of creating a fruit platter happens, well, organically.
“I’ll go to the farmers market and buy a bunch of different fruit. I’ll try to colour coordinate since some [fruits] go better together than others. I don’t really have a picture in my mind, it’s all very spontaneous,” Zhang said.
Zhang talks about her subjects almost as if they were people.
She notes that apples are “a bit boring to work with,” while her favourite, dragon fruit, “works really nicely with other fruit.”
As for her success, Zhang attributes it to an odd sense of satisfaction they feel when looking at colourful, neatly arranged fruit.
“I think traditionally art is mean to provoke a feeling of some sort and with this new trend of food photography, people get such a satisfying feeling from the photos,” she explained.
Many of her pictures use a technique called “knolling,” where items are carefully positioned for symmetry. The organised style of Zhang’s photography is very popular right now. For example, photographer Brittany Wright uses food arranged by colour to create a similarly pleasing effect.
The fruit project has grown significantly since its days in Zhang’s dorm room. She recently ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to buy more exotic varieties of fruit. Zhang’s fans contributed ₤480, more than double her initial goal of ₤200.
Zhang is also launching a designer fruit platter catering business for the London area.
Zhang offered Business Insider a little trick for taking our own fruit pictures. She says that freezing the berries before styling them lightens their colour.
When asked if she has plans to expand her produce photography, Zhang told BI she’ll be sticking with fruit for now.
“Vegetables just aren’t that photogenic,” she said.
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