Around a year ago, I embarked on a tasteful journey with my Instagram account: MyOneBedroomKitchenette.
After moving to Dubai, I found myself living in a one-bedroom studio (hence the name of my Instagram account) ... and spending an enormous amount of money on food orders.
That's when it hit me: this isn't a lifestyle I want. I suddenly felt an urge to start leading an actual adult life, and that meant cooking my own meals.
At first, I had no idea what I was doing. It was a super shaky start, with lots of failed attempts. However, I persisted, and with time, cooking became my escape when I needed to blow off some steam.
I created an atmosphere for my cooking sessions: music kept my ears company, knives and spatulas kept my hands moving ... and, well, sweet and savory aromas filled the air.
Soon enough, cooking became a hobby of mine ... and that's when my friends advised me to take this "hobby" to another level.
"There's no such thing as doing something alone anymore, you gotta share it with everyone you don't know out there!" they told me.
They advised me to start taking photos of the dishes I was cooking and post them on Instagram. So, I did ... and it was one hashtag that brought my food documentation to life: #myonebedroomkitchenette.
It was a representation of my life: the tiny chef (I'm 1.5 meters tall) in the tiny kitchen of her tiny house. The feedback I received was quite overwhelming.
"It's so you!" they told me at the time.
After a while, I decided it's time to up my game ... with a Samsung Galaxy S9
A month ago, a friend of mine lent me a Samsung Galaxy S9 for the sake of upping #myonebedroomkitchenette's feed on Instagram. The quality of the photos was astonishing, the video features were unmatched.
I could smell the aromas through the photos, I could taste the colors. They used to say photos don't do the real thing justice ... but boy, were they wrong.
Following a number of posts and stories using the Samsung Galaxy S9, a flood of comments and private messages invaded my Instagram account.
Over the course of five days, I gained nearly 200 followers on the social media platform. Throughout the month, I used the Samsung smartphone to post seven photos to my feed, and eleven stories to my account.
"535 new followers"
By the end of July, I had gained 535 new followers. The attention I received was unexpected, to say the least.
"You're 'myonebedroomkitchenette' aren't you?" one person asked me on a random day out.
"Hi Chef, really drooling over your stories, they're amazing!" another person told me.
With higher quality photos, I felt as though my followers were at home with me every step of the way. The Samsung Galaxy S9 gave my photos an exquisite taste. It's interesting how something as simple as "quality photos" could maximize exposure on the photo-sharing platform.
After gaining more than half a thousand new followers, I decided to change my Instagram account name from Dina Kawa to "myonebedroomkitchenette."
I don't cook every day. I don't cook when it's dinner time. I don't cook when I'm hungry. I cook whenever I feel like it, and I feel like it almost every two days.
It's not over for me.
I'll keep it up because it's a passion I'm sharing with the world in hopes of turning it into a living down the line.
And I know I will.
Dina Kawa, aka @myonebedroomkitchenette, contributed to this experiment and post.