photographing everything

A recent article in the New York Times, First Camera, Then Fork pretty much sums up the flow of many of my meals as I’m sure it does to many of you too. Food photography as a means of an online diary or journal has been quickly rising for years and we certainly know that the number of food blogs increases exponentially every day.

I never quite realized what a large phenomenon this was until the taster and I were having dinner at La Belle Vie, which is a restaurant that I would consider very fancy and Andrew Zimmern considers it the place in Minneapolis to take your wife for Valentine’s Day. I had my camera in my purse (of course) but assumed it wouldn’t really be appropriate to be snapping pictures –  imagine my surprise when I saw three other people, all female I might add, doing the same thing! I immediately wondered if they are food bloggers and if so, why haven’t I come across their blog yet? (Fabulous dinner by the way, I never blogged about it but did take the pictures)

I have  been pondering the “rules” regarding taking pictures in restaurants, holding up dinner companions to get the perfect shot, etc. after reading 3 Rules for Camera-Happy Diners (aka Food Bloggers) in Bon Appétit’s The BA Foodist column.  Because I don’t blog everything I eat I don’t really run into these issues of using a flash in a fancy restaurant or explaining to business companions why I’m taking pictures instead of eating but for those of you who do, how do you handle these situations? Do you ever refrain from taking pictures for the sake of dining companions or depending on location? Or, do you think nothing of taking pictures at restaurants? What are your “rules”?

If you aren’t a food blogger, what are your thoughts when others do this?



Filed under article, in the news, restaurants, Uncategorized

16 responses to “photographing everything

  1. i am so glad you did a post on this! i saw it yesterday and thought of you. i don’t really take a lot of food pictures and it does not bother me one bit that people shoot food while out. i mean there is a point where one should put the camera down and enjoy the ambiance and their dinner companions. how do you find the balance?

  2. I follow those rules, I am very discrete and NEVER use a flash. I take pictures quickly and then put the camera away and enjoy my food 🙂

  3. savoringsarah

    I love taking pics of GOOD restaurant meals…but I always do it sans flash- if it is too dark to take a pic, then don’t take a pic- and I usually only do it with friends/family; since they all know about my blog, they know why I’m taking pics, and usually they ask me to take pictures of their food too! I definitely don’t waste time “posing” or “styling” my plate.

  4. I don’t blog about everything I eat… but if I did, I would be super discreet!

  5. I don’t typically take my camera to restaurants, and since I don’t blog about everything I eat, (I’ve tried doing that before . . . it’s exhausting and sometimes a little redundant!), I don’t feel compelled to. I look at eating out as a special event, and I don’t want to be tied to my camera!

    I’ve never noticed anyone ever taking a picture of their food in a restaurant, so I guess people must be pretty discreet already. Hm . . . I wonder whether there’s a difference between taking a picture of your food and taking a picture with the people you’re eating with? Isn’t that kind of the same? Maybe not.

  6. I don’t usually take pictures of my food when I’m out to eat, unless there aren’t a lot of people around. I just am not comfortable doing it…yet. I will take pics if I’m at a family member’s house or at a friends, but just not there yet at a restaurant!

  7. I usually am pretty care free when it comes to taking photos in restaurants and stuff – but I do feel like an ultra tourist. When Im with someone I kinda know sometimes I take a pic adn then explain it, but I have avoided taking photos just because Im too lazy to explain!

  8. Kate

    i have such a hard time with this! i have one friend that i will take pics with when eating out. we never go any place super fancy so i dont feel too bad. i get really embarassed to do it with anyone but him.

  9. Thankfully I don’t take pictures of everything I eat, but if I did I imagine I would get used to taking pictures at restaurants. But for now, I don’t feel comfortable taking pictures unless I know my dinner companions really well! I don’t really like holding up meals, and dim restaurants don’t tend to produce good pictures. Very interesting – thanks for the great post!

  10. I saw this NYTimes article too. I love thinking about food, writing about food and taking pictures of food, but I have never actually taken a snapshot of a meal in a restaurant. I can’t seem to bring myself to do it. Somehow it feels kind of the same as travelling someplace interesting and taking pictures of the locals without asking their permission. Or maybe I’m just afraid that if I started bringing my camera to restaurants my husband would stop eating out with me!

  11. First, thanks for drawing additional attention to the NY Times article regarding food photography. As a foodie, photographer, and entrepreneur in the foodie social network space, I really appreciate your support.

    In building twiddish, the dish-by-dish restaurant review iPhone app and social network, I have spoken to a lot of restaurateurs and chefs and for the most part they have supported diners photographing their food for several reasons. First, user-generated dish reviews are very different than restaurant reviews as they force the diner to focus on the dish and only the dish. Restaurateurs and chefs appreciate this because the specificity lets them know exactly what they are doing right and what can be corrected. Further, the recognize that most diners are not as adventurous as foodies and photo-based dish reviews enable the average diner to feel more comfortable in trying a new dish, restaurant, or cuisines, which in turn helps to fill seats and create buzz at restaurants.

    Thanks again for helping to draw attention to this space,


  12. actorsdiet

    i have no shame about taking pix. i love talking about my food blog – i met another blogger once from it too b/c i saw her taking pix.

  13. ahhh i just read that article!

    honestly, people taking pictures does not bother me. i am of the belief that if you are paying enough attention to other people to notice that and not your date or eating companion in front of you, there are deeper issues there 🙂

    and for me, if i want to take a picture, i do. if not, then not. depends on the people, atmosphere, motivation!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s