While many use social networking service Instagram to post selfies or update friends on their lives, two TCU students created a page for a slightly more mouthwatering reason: to show what they’re eating.
Juniors Tori Bertschy and Sarah Newton started @collegegirleats, an Instagram page featuring more than 300 pictures of their food selections.
“I’ve always been into healthy eating, but also really good treats,” Bertschy said. “I really enjoy cooking…my parents love to cook. [They’re] super into going out and trying new things.”
The best friends started the page as a joke during the spring semester of their first year on campus, and have reached nearly 1,400 followers in about a year and a half.
“When we first started the page, our friends would sort of tease us about it,” Newton said. “Once we started to gain followers and get a lot of likes, all of our friends and family started to get really into it.”
The photos originally began more focused on fun than quality, Bertschy said, but people eventually started sending in pictures of their own food items for use on the page.
Newton, a communications major, said the pair now accepts submissions via Instagram’s direct message function to try and feature different people and places.
“It’s just kind of evolved into us going out and, either if we make it at home or we’re at a restaurant, just snapping high quality pictures through different angles so [the food] looks really good,” Bertschy said.
At one point, the pair tried to change the page’s name to appeal to a broader audience, but received a lot of backlash, Newton said.
“People really seem to like it,” she said. “It’s been really cool to see all the positive feedback we’ve been getting.”
Bertschy also emphasized the pair focuses on the visual side of food more than reviewing it. She credited the page @immaeatthat as a source of her inspiration.
“It’s just her using her bird-eye angles, really appealing,” Bertschy said. “That’s where I get inspiration for how I set up [food] in order to take the picture. Using a lot of natural light.”
Also a finance major and last year’s Dining Services Committee chair for TCU Student Government Association, Bertschy said she’s very interested in the marketing aspect of food.
“We’re always researching new hashtags to try, new restaurants, new angles,” she said.
Bertschy added she posts her pictures based on times with frequent traffic.
“Monday at 5 p.m., as a specific time, is the best time to post,” she said.
With the ultimate goal being 10,000 followers, Newton said she has high hopes for the page in the long run.
“Our plan for the future is to turn the page into sort of a collective, where people from different colleges across the country can submit what they’re eating,” Newton said.
Newton and Bertschy also run a smaller Twitter page, which links to their original pictures, and they hope helps provide the Instagram more traction.
“I just want to show how college girls can eat well and cook well, and do that throughout college,” Bertschy said.