How Steven Fingar Juggles Between Grad School and Curating his Café Inspired Instagram of 30k Followers

Creatives_intro Steven Fingar is a graduate student in accounting at Northeastern University in Boston. Although he was born and raised in Boston, he loves to get out of the city and explore. In the past year he has lived in NYC and LA, but presently he is residing in Fenway before he returns to his masters classes. You can always find him at a local coffee shop where he spends most of his day.


What sparked your interests in cafes?

I capture moments that are a part of my every day life. Coffee is definitely a huge focal point for the content that you see on my Instagram – everything from latte art, coffee shops, and the things in between. I can definitely see myself opening a coffee shop when I’m older since coffee has become a big passion of mine. The other aspect of coffee that I find interesting is the fact that so many conversations and life moments are had over a cup of coffee – something I write in my captions frequently. Meeting up with friends, doing emails, life milestones, business meetings etc….almost everything involves coffee.

How long have you been documenting the cafes around the cities you visit? And particular ones that standout?

Let me think about this real quick…Looking back through my pictures, I can definitely see a delineation of content from when I lived in LA last summer. Prior to the move, I would mainly capture building facades and streets throughout NYC and Boston. However, in my opinion, LA doesn’t have the same architectural beauty of other cities. I think this is when I really started to focus on interiors – more specifically, coffee shop interiors. I can specifically remember a moment of scrolling through the #coffeeshopcorners tag on the explore feature of Instagram, and I was mesmerized by beautiful coffee shops around the world. I guess you could say the rest of history…It’s now one of my favorite subjects to photograph.

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These shops are great places to catch up and meet new people, because although the coffee shop can be filled with customers, each table has their own sense of intimacy and privacy that makes it more special 


 

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People do different things at a cafe, some read, some relax, and some set up shop to get work done. What do you do?

The angle in which I approach a coffee shop can vary from time to time. I would say that the majority of time I spend at a coffee shop is when I hang out with friends or meet new creatives through Instagram. These shops are great places to catch up and meet new people, because although the coffee shop can be filled with customers, each table has their own sense of intimacy and privacy that makes it that more special. There are a few occasions in which I bring my laptop to get some emails done if I get bored working from my desk at home, but I try to be courteous with my space and only occupy a small area of the shop to allow for other customers to enjoy a table as well.  

You know we have to ask—What’s your current go-to cafes in NYC? Why?

Whenever I return to NYC there seems to be a new trend or coffee shop popping up. I recently returned from a trip to NYC, and I have my favorite shops that I always try to visit while I’m in town. Happy Bones in SoHo/NoLIta will always be at the top of my list. The baristas specialize in flat whites (my regular coffee order), and the decor inside is full of sheer white walls, white marble tables, and light grey concrete floors – the perfect combination of textures and tones. Another regular spot I can found is one of Bluestone Lane’s many locations throughout the city. They serve amazing espresso drinks, and I absolutely love the light blue/green cups that they use.

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How do you juggle school and staying on top of posting on IG? 
This can sometimes be a little tricky, especially know that I’m in Masters classes in the middle of the summer. School comes first, always. Education, in my opinion, is more important than going out to capture ‘that moment’ because when all said and done, your education and career will probably trump what happens on Instagram. However, if you have a few hours between classes or something, that’s the best opportunity to go out, clear your head, and capture a few moments.
Additionally, do you do any sponsorships through your Instagram?
Sponsorships, when done correctly, are a great asset to building a brand through Instagram. I joke with friends and say that collaborations with companies help me afford that $7 ice cream at Morgensterns or that $5 pretty latte from SoHo. However, the issue with sponsorships comes when users start to ‘sell out’ their account to companies, meaning their content is almost always sponsored. But I do understand that some people do this full time and have families to raise, so my perception on that topic is much different. I would say personally, for @stevenfingar, I try to keep it to 1-2 sponsored posts a month MAX. These collaborations enable me to create better content for my brand and help keep the account up and running. When working with companies, I am very selective and picky with who I work with. Just remember that your work should be valued, and companies should compensate accordingly with the value that you’re providing them. Sometimes companies forget that your Instagram is a brand as well, and they should conduct sponsorships in an equitable manner.

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We also noticed that you were partnering with Amazon videos. Curious, how did that come about?
Did Amazon reach out to you?

I can’t really talk about my partnerships specifically, both due to contract agreements and out of respect for the brand. However, I would say that having your email address in your profile goes a long way!


Creatives_favespotTips for growing your following?
Consistency
Authenticity
Being consistent with the content you are posting, as well as being authentic with the voice and moments captured are both equally important to maintain or grow an audience. It’s hard to grow a following – it takes time and patience. However, I always tell people that engagement goes a long way on Instagram, which relates to commenting on others’ photos and reply to comments on your own content. The more specific comment to the photo, the more likely the user will notice and appreciate it. For example, rather than commenting ‘omg love’ or ‘amazing <3’ on photos, maybe mention something about the color tones or a motion happening in the background to grab the user’s attention.

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Creatives_connect Best way to connect:

You can find Steven and his Cafe adventures on Instagram 


 

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