How I Work

As my photography grows and grows, I find myself getting more questions about how I balance it all. How do I work full-time as a teacher and do all the fun food blogging that I do? I thought this would be a fun opportunity to document a day in which I take a lot of photos! While I do go to food blogger happy hours and various media event tastings twice a month or so, I mostly just take my own time and money to run around town and create content. I keep a Yelp bookmarks list of all the places I want to visit, so when the time comes, I just pull up the map and see what’s around me!

My brother was visiting over the holidays, so I went out with him one day and took as many photos as possible. When all was said and done, I managed to get 29 photos I felt were Instagram quality. That’s a whole month’s worth of posts right there, created in one day!

Here’s how we did it:

We started at 9am at Republic Donuts. This small truck is cranking out some incredible donuts! They are small batch, made to order. That means they come out fresh and HOT. They’re crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside. Their small menu rotates, but when we visited, we had orange ginger, chocolate, and their regular 5-spice.

Republic Donuts is located at Fleet Coffee, so we made a stop in there for a super fancy Captain Crunch cortado. I always make sure to get multiple angles of the same item. This helps me not only get more usable photos, but it helps me mix up my Instagram stream. If I notice I’ve taken 5 “over the top” photos in the last month, I’ll probably go for the side shot and vice versa. Another thing I do is I always ask for my coffee in a “for here” cup. The glassware usually looks nicer than paper cups. I mean, LOOK at the ceramics at Fleet! The interior of Fleet Coffee is also very interesting. It’s small, but the industrial feel makes for some wonderful photos.

From Fleet, we went to get some real breakfast food at Bird Bird Biscuit. Here, we got a collection of things so that I could make a “spread” on the table. We ordered two breakfast sandwiches, the sweet “dough doughs” and some orange juice. I mainly ordered the orange juice because of the wonderful color! Bird Bird Biscuit is absolutely delicious, by the way, if you haven’t been yet.

I like to take photos of my reflection, and then use those photos for Instagram stories. Then I can cover the photo with text, tags, and mentions because the photo isn’t that interesting. It’s like an Instagram story cover page, kind of. As someone that doesn’t really like selfies, it’s also a fun way to photograph myself to show where I am. I did it at Fleet at Bird Bird Biscuit:

In a bit of a food coma after Bird Bird Biscuit, we decided to walk for a bit. We drove downtown and walked a loop that included stops at The Carpenter Hotel to check out Hot L Coffee and Alfred. The Carpenter Hotel was such a surprise! I definitely need to revisit it. I could easily do a whole shoot there, exploring Hot L a bit more, their restaurant, and their wonderful interior space.

Heading north from The Carpenter Hotel, we crossed the fabulous pedestrian bridge downtown. If I were more of a selfie person, this would have been a great place for some photos. But, I’m not, so here are some photos of the skyline. It’s a missed opportunity, not photographing myself, I know. I’m working on it.

Continuing our walk, we took some time to relax at Alfred. On days when I’m taking a lot of photos, I like to process them as I go. My workflow looks like this: First, I transfer whatever photos are on my DSLR to my iPhone. My Canon 80D has a wireless connection, making this a breeze. I don’t know how I worked without it! Once all the photos are on my iPhone, I quickly swipe and favorite the best ones. Next, I import the favorites into VSCO. That’s the app I use to edit the majority of my photos. I used to use photoshop, but it just took too long! VSCO offers film-based filters, which keeps the photos looking natural. I usually tone down the filter 30%, increase sharpness and clarity, and boost exposure if needed. That’s it! Time is money, people.

Also, if you notice, most of my photos are taken vertically. This is because the vertical orientation allows for the most screen space on Instagram. To make things easy on myself, I usually just crop 4:5 in VSCO and that works well. While walking to our next location, we crossed the South Congress bridge. I was carrying my Richard’s Rainwater bottle and another photo opportunity presented itself.

In an effort to actually do something good for our bodies (so much breakfast food and coffee…) we stopped at Juiceland. Always a popular place with plenty of color smoothies and juices. Also, in full transparency, I had my nails done JUST for this day. It’s a business expense, I tell myself.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

From Juiceland, we walked back to the car and drove out to The Yard. We stopped at St. Elmo for some beers and some much-needed rest time. Again, I took the time to get caught up on photo editing. I also went through all my photos and posted about 15-20 stories (2ish from each location). Another benefit to going out and doing a bunch of stuff in one day is that I can also document my day on Instagram stories. I’m not one that just quickly posts stories – I curate them as must as my regular Instagram posts. I find that a lot of my Instagram views are coming from my stories, so I’ve been trying to keep them up to date.

There you have it, a photo-filled, 9-5 day. We made 8 food stops plus 2 pauses for photo ops on bridges. In the end, I had a full set of stories and 29 photos for Instagram. Let me know what you think of this post! Do you like learning more about my workflow? Do you have any more questions I can answer?

If you’re having trouble finding the time / resources / ideas to populate your Instagram stories and photo feed, let me know! I can be reached through DM @DiscoveringATX or through email at I can help you run your social media in the same efficient, high-quality way I run my own.

Author: Kelly

Kelly Phillips is the writer and photographer behind You can view more of her photos on Instagram @DiscoveringATX and her photography portfolio at

One thought

  1. Kelly, thank you for sharing! As a full-time teacher myself, I understand the desire to make time for ‘you’ and what you love! I am still working on it myself. Your pictures are beautiful and I look forward to following your journey!

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