Creators of Toronto | ThisWildHeart

By John Yoo November 16, 2015

I had an opportunity to sit with my friend Esther to talk about her successes on Instagram and how she has grown a following of over 115,000.  We talk about her beginnings, tips for Instagrammers, and favourite eats.  Make sure you check out her blog for all of her future updates as she has many exciting plans in the pipe for the coming months!

What is your background?

I currently work in banking, but I have worked in retail while in university as well as in accounting for a few years after attending the University of Toronto. In terms of photography and styling, I am self-taught and learned by simply playing around with the camera! I have a long way to go and still learn every time I shoot but it’s rewarding when you capture the perfect shot!

Esther Taking a Photo of a beach

How did you get started with building This Wild Heart?

I started by taking photos of mundane things, like breakfast, flowers etc, and started posting one photo a day on Instagram. I found it to be a great creative outlet and it inspired me to start creating a lifestyle and aesthetic that echoed my personal beliefs on a life well-lived. Instagram has featured me as a suggested user twice and that has definitely helped in getting my photography noticed. Creating content and blogging came naturally after that!

Esther's DIY bouquet

What is This Wild Heart?

This Wild Heart is a personal reflection of my lifestyle and everything in between. Whether it be my Instagram or website, it’s a place where my followers and blog readers can visit and see what’s been going on in my life and find inspiration from food, to fashion and travel. Above all, This Wild Heart is meant to help my followers and readers in developing and promoting a life well lived as ones sees fit.

Coffee, Kinfolk, Towel, Glasses

Clearly you’re successful, what did you find worked best for you in terms of growth?

The best thing that has helped me was by building a following based on my aesthetic and lifestyle. Further, I have built relationships with businesses and amazing relationships with Instagrammers, many of whom have become friends!

Coffee and Donuts

What has been the ‘proudest’ or ‘coolest’ thing that’s happened for This Wild Heart?

It’s been fun being able to go to openings, and events around the city but I think the best thing that has come from my Instagram is the opportunity to connect to different people, and businesses both locally and abroad. There is so much out there to explore and discover and Instagram has given me the opportunity to meet so many talented people and inspiring entrepreneurs. I’ve been able to capture beautiful hotels like the Line Hotel in Los Angeles, and discover amazing brands + companies who embrace social media.

Cliffs and Water

Where do you see this going?

I see myself embracing blogging more and becoming more comfortable with that world. I thoroughly enjoy brainstorming for creative posts and putting it all together.

Top 3 tips for inspiring Instagrammers

1. Always make sure you have great lighting. This is key!

2. Post often! (I usually post once or more a day)

3. Meet other grammers! Instagram was built for community.

Shadows, light

How do you balance This Wild Heart with your regular career?

It does become pretty hectic handling the two at the same time, however, I truly believe that if you truly enjoy something, it isn’t really work. I feel like that with This Wild Heart and I am thankful to be able to have it. I spend most of my evenings and some weekends coming up with ideas, taking photos and putting posts together for the week. The key is to stay organized and separating the two when necessary.

Top 3 places for (brunch) food in Toronto?

My top three for that oh-so loved weekend brunch are Maha’s, Saving Grace and Kadbanu. I love savoury and flavour-filled meals. Any of these three places hit the spot, but expect a line because there is never a time I have not waited for my meal!

Chicken and Waffles

Top 3 places for coffee in Toronto?

My top three places coffee are Early Bird Espresso, Boxcar Social, and Sam James Coffee Bar. All three spots have great lighting/interiors for great photos (obviously necessary for the obligatory latte art shot) and the coffees are always on point.

Coffee and flowers

What’s next for This Wild Heart?

Going forward, there will be a lot more blogging, more styling and perhaps even some workshops hosted by yours truly!

Top hat and beaches

How can people reach you for collaboration?

E-mail: [email protected]!