Yelp Tucson Hosts Writing + Food Photography 101 with Tucson Foodie

Yelp Tucson’s first ever Food For Thought writing and social media panel brought local yelpers together to get tips straight from the experts at Tucson Foodie on writing memorable reviews and best practices for smartphone food photography. Our panelists shared a wealth of wisdom and storytelling that gave our guests an inside look to the world of food media, writing and storytelling whether in written or photo form.

Our Panel:
Adam Lehrman, Head Foodie and Founder, Tucson Foodie
Jackie Tran, Food Writer and Food Photographer, Tucson Foodie
Melissa Stihl, Social Media Manager, Tucson Foodie
Isabella Joffroy, Yelp Tucson Community Manager, moderator and organizer

“The Tucson Foodie crew gave Yelpers writing inspiration and guidance for writing useful, fair, and honest reviews… Their constructive criticism of food reviewing and photography gave yelpers goals to strive towards for stronger writing and photography. The panel was interactive with plenty of space for questions, relaxed with a lot of laughter and included perspectives from local business owners present in the audience” – Attendee and Elite Yelper Paige A

A few other big takeaways from our panelists:

Focus on the entire experience: Well rounded reviews provide insights beyond the food you ordered. Consider offering details on the atmosphere, service and general set-up of a business as well.

Drop the generalized statements: “It was just ok” or “it was delicious” are vague ways to describe what you’re eating, and tells the reader nothing, other than you really liked it or didn’t like it. Instead, offer specifics and add just the right amount of descriptive words to bring your writing to life!

Take pause and sleep on it before penning a negative review: Business owners look to reviews to identify areas that can be improved. ”Worst place ever” doesn’t tell readers much. Constructive criticism means checking the anger at the door and sticking to the facts to inform readers on the details of the experience.

A picture really worth a thousand words: Take your time to set the stage for the perfect photo by paying attention to lighting, angles and placement of the dish. It’s totally ok to enhance your photos with editing apps before posting them. Sometimes a little tweak to the lighting or cropping an image can make a huge difference.

Photo captions matter: While photos can and do speak for themselves, people eat with their eyes. Help your fellow foodies out by captioning your photos with the name of the menu item. This essential detail let’s your followers know exactly what they’re looking. Top Tip: mention if it is a seasonal item or evening special.

To read more learnings from our panel head over to the event review page here.

A special thanks to our venue, AC Hotel by Marriott Tucson Downtown. They welcomed us with open arms, delicious tapas and made Yelpers feel at home from the moment they arrived. In true Yelpy fashion we wrapped up the evening with an activity fit for the foodies that we all are – drinking cava from a porrón! A porrón is a special Spanish wine pitcher that looks like a cross between a decanter and a watering can, and is meant to be passed around the table for people to take turns trying to drink from it. To porrón like a pro, bring the spout close to your mouth without touching it and begin pouring, then pull the porrón away from your face as high as possible. Turns out we had several pros in the audience!

Photo Credit: Phil V

See all the action in our event photos, here.

Yelp’s Food For Thought was a blast thanks to our friends at Tucson Foodie, our hosts at AC Hotel and our amazing community of Yelpers.

Keep an eye out Yelp’s Food For Thought 2.0 in the near future!