Meet dream girl, Li-Chi Pan! She was recently named Elle magazine’s “Insta-Crush” in South Africa and with just one quick swipe through her Instagram, it’s easy to see why. Milk chocolate popsicles covered in cookie crumbles, chocolate drizzle, & periwinkle violets along with dreamy bedroom setups grace Li’s covetous feed. To learn more about Li and how she gained 290K followers and collaborated with brands like Audi, read below!
Go ahead, brag a little. Tell us about yourself!
Hi! My name is Li-Chi and I’m Taiwanese born South African currently based in Australia. I recently hit a new milestone of a quarter of a million followers which I’m so proud of. I’ve been fortunate enough to work and collaborate with some iconic brands including Audi, Country Road, Ladureé, Nespresso and Flight Centre for Tourism of New Zealand. I feel really blessed and incredibly humbled that Instagram has given me so many opportunities to work with such great clients.
How does your Masters of Architecture help you when it comes to styling and shooting photos?
Having studied five years of Architecture really helped me develop an eye for composition, colour and design. Frank Ghery and Tado Ando are some prime inspirations for my work and I try to keep my grid harmonious by using minimal colours and having a general white theme overall.
What job title would you call yourself? Can you describe a typical day?
In a typical day, I’ll get up at 6:30am and go for a morning run followed by a green smoothie en route to work at MAXMEDIALAB. Every day is a different one at work, but I will normally style and create monthly content for the following clients: Simple Skincare Australia, Kerastase, Seafolly Australia or Milea Resort for three hours followed by a quick lunch. I’ll check my emails throughout the day and will attend events in the evenings. You’ll always find me on Pinterest looking for new ideas to recreate on my personal Instagram.
Is Instagram your full-time job or is this more of a hobby?
Instagram is currently a part-time job for me as I work four days a week in Media. I started my Instagram account initially as a hobby when studying architecture. I used it as a means to stay in touch with family and friends overseas and when I graduated, I had built up a following of 27,000 followers on Instagram. This was when my current CEO, Lynette Phillips, approached me via Instagram and offered me a full-time job at her media company. A month later she offered me a contract to join her influencer agency & well, the rest is history!
You’ve worked with prestigious companies like Audi and Nespresso. How did this come about?
Audi reached out to me and invited me as a guest editor for their social media channels during Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in Australia. I was asked to document the race week through my eyes as a lifestyle content creator to my audience. I am also currently still working with Nespresso to date. I reach out to brands whom I genuinely love and always try to accept work from clients who I think my audience will resonate with.
You’ve been named Elle South Africa’s Insta-crush. How has this impacted your career going forward?
It’s been a huge honour working with Elle and I recently collaborated with them on my trip to Dubai. I hope to continually push out new and inspiring content for my followers. It’s always so rewarding seeing such great engagement on creative posts and it motivates me to keep going. It’s truly been a humbling journey. It feels as if it were only yesterday when I hit my first 100 followers and I am so thankful every day for all the opportunities and clients I get to work with.
What are your top 3 tips for shooting photos?
Shoot in natural lighting, avoiding harsh and direct sunlight. I normally shoot with diffused light for my Instagram.
Keep your images tonal (not too many jarring colours)
Be consistent when editing your images
We see a whole lot of food on your Instagram. What is the most fun and most difficult thing when it comes to working with food products?
Styling food creatively in a new light can always be challenging as people enjoying seeing content which is new and refreshing – it can be challenging when trying to photograph that ice cream that has been photographed over 1000 times but in a new perspective. The best part is of course eating the food afterwards ;)!
Do you use anything to generate inspiration for your photos?
Pinterest is my biggest source of inspiration!
What do you think made people start gravitating towards your content?
Being consistent. I also try to post on trend topics which I believe my followers will enjoy.
What has been your proudest accomplishment thus far?
Working with the tourism of Dubai and being flown there for work as well as producing my first YouTube advert for Lancôme. I’m not typically a beauty blogger and filming doesn’t come to me naturally – so I was really honoured when they approached me as a lifestyle blogger to represent their brand.
What is your #1 piece of advice when it comes to career and life in general?
Work hard – nothing worth having comes easily. Patience and authenticity is key. Stay true and do you.