Do you take photos of your food? Read this.
Picture the scene: You’ve just arrived at The Potluck Club
for a long awaited romantic dinner. Your date is looking dashing and
when the waiter comes to tell you about the menu, your inner hedonist
starts jumping with glee. You know it’s going to be a night of epicurean
ecstasy (if nothing else!).
You both order starters and when they arrive, you whip out your
iPhone and start snapping away, taking photos of the food like it’s a
kind of foreign species you’ve just discovered. You turn the plate to
get a better angle - that piece of Chervil isn’t quite in the
centre. When the photo review pops up it definitely seems like the
lighting is a bit “off” so you put the flash on and try again.
though, you need a prop! So you grab your fork, positioning it just
so, and place the menu underneath the plate, of course, making sure
that the restaurant’s logo is visible. You take the shot and then
realise that it would look, like, SO much better in Valencia! So you
open Instagram and start selecting the theme.
Your date clears his throat and for a moment you’re distracted. You
look up and see that’s he’s finished his food and smiling at the girl
sitting at a nearby table…
Let me just put it out there and say that it happens to the best of
us; that moment when you forget about everything and everyone else in
favour of getting the perfect pic of your food.
Who would have thought that the hashtag, #food would been used over
32 million times – a stat that was reported in this week’s issue of Grazia magazine.
The article prompted me to write this because (apart from being my
job), taking pics of food in restaurants/public places is what I find
myself doing. A lot. (See below)
Should I feel guilty? Or stupid? Well, after being alerted to this blog (Thanks again to Grazia), I definitely do.
It appears that half the world has become obsessed with being their
own food stylist. But what do restaurants have to say about the craze?
Restaurants ban photography
According to the article, a few high profile chefs have banned
photography from their establishments. Which is totally fine – I get it.
It sometimes disrupts the dining atmosphere (if it’s a posh one) and
some people just take it too far by bringing in what may look like a
full blown photography studio; different lens filters, an adjustable
flash, tripods the size of a giraffe and who knows what else!
But what about when all you have on you is your sleek and slender
cell phone that is so discreet, one struggles to even notice it. Plus,
can you still be banned from having your phone with you in a restaurant?
After raising the issue with Cath, it was clear that NO ONE
is ever taking her phone away from her… which makes me think that
something like restaurant food photography is rather controversial and
could just rub a lot of people up the wrong way. Especially those of us
in food media.
As far as I know, there doesn’t seem to be a restaurant in South Africa that does ban photography of its food.
But what if there were? And how would you handle it?
By: Tessa Purdon