Meet the First Family of Instagram

Mallory Scudder @MalloryScudder These days, most people post photos of their food on social media, but one family has taken this modern day ritual to a new extreme. They are known as the First Family of Instagram.

The Eswein-Phillips family of Manhattan has two rules: 1. Don’t touch your food before it is photographed and 2. Don’t post more than 2 photos a day.

Together, the family has more than 1.5 million followers eager to see their daily goings-on. Ms. Phillips, the head of the First Family of Instagram, posts to her two pages, @food (348K followers) and @baking (29K followers), on a daily basis.


As an owner of an online baking company that she founded in 1995, Ms. Phillips knew the importance of having the right domain name and quickly snatched up the handles in 2011, just months after Instagram launched. She credits the success of her accounts to “classic, well-lit images of perfectly styled food” and the importance of “sticking to your brand.” Her son, Tom Eswein, serves as his mother’s salesperson. He goes to restaurants around New York City and proposes collaboration with the @food account and shows how it could benefit the restaurant to be featured on the account. He also runs his own Instagram account, @realestate, with 7.1K followers.

Her daughter, Liz Eswein, posts to her account, @newyorkcity, which boasts more than 1.1 million followers. Her photos include iconic locations in New York City, as well as skyscrapers, cafés and parks. They tell a story of a day in the life of a New Yorker, while also capturing the Hollywood romanticism that lies in the Big Apple. Her success with Instagram led to her current job as an executive director of Cycle, a division of a social media agency that helps Instagrammers make a profit from their feeds.

With an expert in making Instagram profitable in the family, there is no doubt that the First Family of Instagram generates quite a bit of cash from posting images of their daily meals, sights and activities, but they keep the exact amount quiet.

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