Photograph Your Food Without Being A Jerk

When the dish you ordered arrives beautifully arranged and absolutely glistening with flavor, it can be hard not to turn into a restaurant shutterbug. Chow.com's Table Manners column suggests practical limits on how far one indulges their foodie photo fetish.

Photo by rick.

Well-shot photographs of interesting food can killer viral marketing for restaurants, and so the owners usually don't mind a little discrete photographic indulgence. What irks them is when it slows down service, or bothers other guests. Other than keeping the Table Manners' column horror stories in mind as reference points (like never leaving a reservation because you forgot your camera), here are a few quick etiquette points:

First, don't take multiple shots from multiple angles, kneel on the banquette, or rearrange the table. Jeffrey Porter, cowriter of the blog Drink Eat Love, says he limits himself to "four or five shots." Besides creating an unnecessary disturbance, your dinner might get cold ...

Forgo the flash, as Chowhounds advise. At (Chicago restaurant) Alinea, when diners have complained about other parties' obsessive photography, it's the flash that has bothered them. (Also, says Dang, it washes out the food.)

I try to generally follow these rules in my own food-geek excursions, though "multiple angles" probably does seem annoying to my table mates. What are your own limits on how far you'll go, or you'll allow, to get a great food shot? Share the stories in the comments.

Put Away the Darn Camera : How to politely photograph restaurant food [CHOW via Serious Eats]


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