So... No photo-taking if I want to really enjoy my food?

Friday, April 23, 2010

A friend forwarded this article from the Los Angeles Times to me the other day, with the following quote:
"The paparazzi target wasn't hard to find: The star smelled distinctly of fish."
Thinking that it was funny (the fish part) and similar to the entry I wrote about, I clicked on the link to find.....

Dinner is the theater as food paparazzi converge

Serious foodies and casual diners are bringing restaurant creations home in photos. They are also causing problems that some chefs find hard to swallow.

Although I feel somewhat indignant, I do find this article hilarious. It paints a picture (har har) of food photographers existing as trigger-happy clones that take incessant pictures of Everything (true sometimes). Personally, I can see where the chefs are coming from in terms of video-taping people without their permission (quite a violation, actually) and getting in the way of staff, all of which, could be distracting. Bringing a tripod to a restaurant IS unreasonable and ridiculous.

However, I agree with a thought in the article which says that some consumers believe food should be consumed visually as well as physically. The enjoyment of just eating the food is now complete with pictures I can take home! 

I admit I am food paparazzi. I also agree that since I've paid for my meal, it is mine. However, my attitude is not as obnoxiously self-entitled as implied in the article because I do respect the integrity of the chefs and their food. By taking pleasing shots. Would that not be considered art or food experience too? I suppose there is a disconnect in between how chefs want us to experience their creations and how we want to do it.

I do not own an SLR. In fact all of my pictures shown on the blog come from my small and portable Canon Ixus 850IS. In terms of exposure shots in dim lighting, it really doesn't look so great. My style of food porn deals with flash photography which allows me to capture minute details in food. Absolutely, it usually takes me more than one take to capture what I want to show. While I regret that taking n number of shots at various angles, being 30 seconds slower in enjoying each dish does not reduce the pleasure I feel in tasting what was prepared for me. So how can we try to be happy? If possible, seat all photo-takers (growing in huge numbers as we speak) in the same area and section us off from the anti-photography patrons. I am pretty sure that fellow-photographers and their friends are not going to fault other tables for 'flashing' when the food comes.

In fact, knowing that I have beautiful evidence of the food I consume heightens my dining experience because I am able to crystallize a beautiful memory I have at the restaurant and allow these memories to shared with with friends and family who cannot partake in the event because of economy or geography.

Photography of chefs is more complex. Like it or not, good and talented chefs are now being embraced as celebrities in the blogosphere and in reality. Some welcome fame, while others become reluctant celebrities. Point is, there is no running away from the food paparazzi. Try to like us a little?

I wonder:  If one day, no one wanted to take pictures and videos of chefs and their food, would they feel a sense of loss or appreciate the sanity?

Respectfully (no hazing pls),
(Doggie Photocredit:


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