Taking Pictures of Your Food Might Be a Faux Pas
Ten years ago, unless you were an actual, professional food photographer, your reaction to a gorgeous meal being placed in front of you was probably to admire it for just a moment, then dig in.
Now, as soon as we see the waiter approaching with our food, we have our phones out, Instagram on, and we’re already coming up with a witty caption in our heads. I see you nodding your head along with me. It’s okay.
OR IS IT?
Some chefs and certain restaurants are taking issue with our food p*rn obsession. At a time when more and more foodies are traveling to locations at least in part because they want to eat in a particular establishment (like, say, 39 million in 2013, by World Food Travel’s count), some of those same establishments are telling them they can’t take a picture of the food they’ve ordered.
Yeah, I clutched my pearls a bit, too.
The deal, according to The Daily Beast, is this: The growing “no food photo” policy is based on an image. If a chef has worked long and hard to create a brand, he considers his food part of that brand, and an Instagrammed iPhone photo in a dim restaurant might not be an accurate representation of the brand or reputation he’s trying to build.
Others in favor of the photo-ban simply say they’re worried about the photography taking away from the experience. It might just take a couple of minutes to snap that picture and share it with the world, but your food can significantly cool down in that time, making that amazing first-bite experience a little … tepid.
Personally, after thinking it through, I have mixed emotions. I mean, I get where the restaurants and chefs are coming from, but if I’m paying for a dish, don’t I have the right to document the occasion in any way I see fit? I mean, if I buy a Versace dress and decide I prefer the way it looks when I wear it backward, Donatella can’t come after me because she thinks my interpretation is a defamation of her label, can she?
(No, seriously, I’m asking — not that I have any Versace in my closet, let alone a dress I want to wear backwards, but it seems like that would be good information to have. Donatella seems like someone you wouldn’t want on your bad side.)
So, my photographic foodies, please weigh in. How would you react if you were asked not to photograph your food? Would you avoid a restaurant because of that type of policy? —Kristen