Update 31 December 2017 – I haven’t updated my blog in a long time. I’ve had other priorities taking up my time, and frankly, haven’t had much to write about (or that I think anyone would be interested in reading). I haven’t decided what I will do with this blog, but in the mean time I do post occasionally on my social media accounts, so feel free to follow if you like: TFP on Instagram | TFP on Facebook. If you like cats: TFP Cats on Instagram | TFP Cats on Facebook

I’m Cynthia Chew, Cyn to my friends, also known as TFP, a 42-year-old woman living in Perth, Western Australia. I’m Australian, of Chinese-Malaysian descent.

I started The Food Pornographer blog in 2005. It combines the things I love to do the most: eat, travel, take photographs and write. Although it is named ‘The Food Pornographer’ I never set out to create a food blog and these days am happier blogging on my own terms, rather than according to conventions of ‘food blogging’. I no longer accept invitations/freebies (events, experiences, famils, travel, anything) – here’s my explanation. There is no ‘Work with Me’ page on this site and I do not have a media kit (by choice).

My family migrated to Perth when I was ten years old. I live with Jac, my partner of 20+ years, and our cats, Truffle, Elvis and Ava. We said goodbye to Billy Lee in January 2012, and to Pixel in March 2017.

I like my bacon streaky, my egg yolks gooey and my SPAM fried to crispy. I am obsessed with durian. I have to eat rice or noodles every few days or suffer withdrawal symptoms. I prefer eating to cooking. I like my coffee with soy milk but I love ice cream and cheese. I prefer dark meat chicken to breast. I’m proudly not a food snob and will give most things a go – but I developed a crustacean allergy in my late thirties.

I have worked in the hospitality industry and in a call centre, been a web designer/developer and a university tutor. I have an Honours degree in Creative Writing and a PhD in Literature. Blogging is not my job – I work full-time in a job unrelated to blogging.

My web host is Lightning Base. They are based in the US and specialise in managed WordPress hosting. I’ve found their support to be excellent, especially when setting up my account and during the migration of my blog from its old hosting – they don’t just provide web servers; they understand WordPress. Disclosure: if you click on the link above and consequently sign up, I will receive an affiliate commission. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have – just drop me a line.

My camera

Over the years I’ve had this blog, I’ve used different cameras as my photography has evolved (and I hope improved!). Timeframes below are approximate.

  • Current camera (since December 2013) – Fujifilm X-T1
  • October 2012 to November 2013 – Nikon D600
  • August 2010 to October 2012 – Panasonic Lumix G2
  • August 2007 to August 2010 – Panasonic Lumix TZ3
  • August 2005 to August 2007 – Canon Ixus V (my very first digital camera)

I briefly used a DSLR (Nikon D600 – I wrote about this in Reflections on my photography) and while I loved the image quality, I found it too heavy for carrying around day-to-day as well as for travel (see my travel gear page). After much research and consideration, I chose the Fujifilm X mirrorless system. I now use two Fujifilm X-T1 bodies. I have sold all of my Nikon gear.

My current lenses are:

  • Fujinon 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) – primarily used for photographing food at the table e.g. in restaurants.
  • Fujinon 18-55mm (27-84mm full frame equivalent) – main lens used when travelling, walking around and photographing markets and events.
  • Fujinon 55-200mm (80-300mm full frame equivalent) – used when a longer lens is required.
  • Fujinon 35mm (50mm equivalent) – I like to use this one in low-light situations where my subject is not too far away and I can walk around (it was especially effective at this Fervor event in 2015). If I’ll be stuck sitting at a dinner table with no opportunity to get up and move around, I’ll stick to the 23mm. 2017 update: the 35mm is currently my everyday lens.

When I started The Food Pornographer blog, the photos I took were mostly of food. These days, food still features prominently, but I enjoy taking photographs of many more subjects.

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