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Celebrating Café Culture, Creating Content & Capturing Captivating Images

Melissa Male

Content Creator




Surround yourself with people who will continue to inspire you and never let yourself become complacent.

How did you start capturing gorgeous design in NYC?

When I first started on Instagram, I would travel to the city every weekend for brunch/coffee with friends. I was always so inspired by beautiful coffee shop and restaurant interiors. I grew an appreciation for spaces that looked interesting and had a lot of character, so I began to seek them out and photograph them.

Where do you find magic in NYC?

Magic is everywhere in NYC, but generally it’s the hidden alleyways or small coffee shops that are out of the way.

What do you think is the most beautiful bar in Brooklyn?

Sisters in Brooklyn is probably the most beautiful bar/restaurant I’ve ever seen. The space is open, airy and visually stunning.

Your favorite cafés/places/ restaurants for inspiration?

+ Stonefruit Espresso + Kitchen

+ BakeShop by Woops!

+ Saltwater Coffee

+ 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Any favorite coffee shops or places you write?

Ludlow Coffee Supply on the Lower East Side is one of my favorite places to get some work done.

How has social media transformed your life in terms of relationships?

I’ve forged so many strong friendships through Instagram alone, and I think that’s a really beautiful part of the platform.

Fav Quote?

“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.” —Robert Tew

Any secrets for capturing great images?

One of my secrets is to incorporate some kind of action or movement into my photos, so I often use my friends as hand models (spooning sugar or pouring almond milk into coffee, ripping apart a croissant/cookie). This makes images feel less static and more interesting. Having some great props is also key. I always have a notebook, pen, cute spoons and glasses on hand for flat lays.

What apps/filters do you use? Because your feed is stunning.

I use VSCO (A6) and Snapseed to edit all of my photos. Using the same filter helps to keep my feed looking cohesive, which is important to me because I like my Instagram to present like a gallery.

What makes a great space?

Lots of character and attention to detail! I’m a huge fan of fun wall art, decorative pillows, tapestries, string lights, plants, etc. Natural light is also very important, especially when photographing an interior. There are certain spaces you walk into and can just tell how much thought and effort went into creating the atmosphere, and I love that.

Tips for designing a photo-worthy space?

When designing an Insta-worthy space, it’s important to make sure that there is plenty of natural light, because that’s what people look for first and foremost. I personally love when different textures and surfaces have been incorporated into a space (marble being my favorite). I also think that fun/interesting decor can add a ton of character to any interior, which makes it so much more photogenic.

Any favorite secret spots around NYC?

There is a small café in South Brooklyn called Parlay. The interior is adorable and the coffee/food is great as well. Unless you’re local to the area, you most likely wouldn’t know it existed.

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