Italian restaurant Zizzi has hired the nation’s first resident ‘Instagrammer’ to create their first online photography portfolio


This week, Italian restaurant Zizzi has hired the nation’s first resident ‘Instagrammer’ to create their first online photography portfolio in a bid to help diners discover the real stories behind the restaurants – as well as giving Brits a chance to see new Spring dishes they might not expect to find in Zizzi restaurants.

The new role, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, will see James Thompson – better known to his 150,000 followers as Food Feels – pitch up in Zizzi restaurants across the country throughout May to tell the stories behind the Instagram filters of diners, food and staff.

The stories will be told through an online photography portfolio on Zizzi’s website and Instagram – – inspired by the US viral hit ‘Humans of New York’ – and will document moments around the table as well as the ‘behind the scenes’ tales of the dishes and the staff who serve it.

The online gallery will form part of Zizzi’s ‘Discover More Zizzi’ campaign and will feature images from Zizzi restaurants all across the country – from Yorkshire and Manchester to Scotland, Brighton and Wales – with the photographs highlighting each restaurants’ unique local touches. The portfolio will also capture Zizzi’s new spring dishes including, the Spaghetti Chorizo Carbonara, Gamberone and Chorizo Pizza and Lemon Butter Seabass.

Australian-born James Thompson has been hired by the restaurant for the project after Zizzi were impressed by his photography on his Instagram page, Food Feels. James, who is now based in London, first started Food Feels in 2014 as a hobby, sharing his passion for food photography, restaurants and travel. He now has 150,000 followers and is one of the UK’s most prolific food photographers.

Food Feels, James Thompson says:

“I’m really excited to be working with Zizzi on this project. I’m a big fan of Humans of New York so I love the idea of getting behind the scenes to find out about people, the food they’re eating and then to tell these stories through my photography. There’s no better place to get to know a whole cross-section of society than a busy restaurant and it’s going to be so interesting travelling across the country to discover what people are really talking about round the dinner table in 2019.”

James’ Top Tips for Taking the Perfect Instagram Food Shot

  1. Lighting – natural light is key when taking pictures of food. Avoid when you can as it takes away the detail and colour. If you’re eating out – ask for a window seat!
  2. Background – think about where you are and what you want your backdrop to be. Keep it fun and keep it exciting.
  3. Editing – it’s easy to lose the quality of food if you use too many filters, try and focus on the brightness, contrast and sharpen options on Instagram.
  4. Experiment – I don’t like to stick to one particular angle. Move around and take a range of shots from different angles and see what works for you. Some plates look great at a birds eye, such as pizza while others you might want to get up close