?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Taking photos of food. - I know it's wonky and I don't care [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kake

[ website | My Website ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Links
[Links:| Randomness Guide to London | Open Guide to Cambridge | Snake Soup | KakeFlickr ]

Taking photos of food. [Oct. 1st, 2007|08:19 pm]
Kake
[Tags|, , ]

I like taking photos, and one of the things I like taking photos of is food. I particularly like taking photos of restaurant food; the problem with this is that it impacts on the people I'm with. If I want to spend a couple of minutes taking photos of my food before I start eating it, then this means I'm not available for conversation, which some people find rude. Also, some people feel uncomfortable unless everyone starts to eat at exactly the same time.

So, if I know someone doesn't like it when I take photos in their presence, the polite thing is not to do it. But this does mean I enjoy the experience slightly less.

What do you lot think? If your answers depend on the type of restaurant, then assume the most sensible one of:

  • the kind of restaurant you're most likely to eat in with me;
  • the kind of restaurant you most usually eat in with other people;
  • the kind of restaurant you think these questions are most relevant to.

Note also that these are tickyboxes, so feel free to choose surface-contradictory answers if you think that expresses your opinion best.

Note: the difference between I don't like to start eating unless everyone else is ready to start too and I don't like to start eating until everyone's food has arrived is that everyone else ready to start means everyone's food has arrived and, for example, nobody has popped to the loo, nobody is taking photos, nobody's gone outside for a cigarette, etc.

I have no objection to people I'm dining with taking photos of their food
0(0.0%)
I might even ask for the camera so I can take some of mine too
0(0.0%)
I don't like it when people I'm dining with take photos of their food before they start eating it
0(0.0%)
I don't like it when people I'm dining with take photos of their food at all
0(0.0%)
I don't like to start eating unless everyone else is ready to start too
0(0.0%)
I don't like to start eating until everyone's food has arrived
1(1.4%)
I'm happy to start eating as soon as my own food arrives
0(0.0%)
I don't like it when people start eating before my food has arrived
0(0.0%)
I'm happy for people to start eating as soon as their food has arrived whether mine is here or not.
0(0.0%)

(The articles that got me thinking about this are this and this, but they're about something slightly different.)

LinkReply

Comments:
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
[User Picture]From: pne
2007-10-01 07:55 pm (UTC)
The last four were difficult to answer by tickybox, so I'll comment here.

_By default_, I like to have people wait until everyone's food is there.

However, if it is mutually acceptable to everyone present to start even though one or more people have not received their food yet, it is fine for the others to start. But I wouldn't want such acceptance understood or taken for granted from the outset but rather discussed.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: owlfish
2007-10-01 07:59 pm (UTC)
As long as I know there's an exception, I'm willing to go ahead and start. By default, I'd wait, but there are plenty of reasons not to: poorly timed arrivals with food going cold being the usual one. As long as you (or anyone else taking photos) said something like "Go ahead and eat, I just want to take a few photos first.", it would all be obvious and fine.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: ex_lark_asc
2007-10-01 08:01 pm (UTC)
I find in large restaurant parties you can't wait or the people who get served first will end up eating something cold.

As for photos, I think I'd find it rather bizarre for my dining companion to be snapping the filet mignon rather than snapping it up, but I don't have a Thing about it, IYSWIM.
(Reply) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: nou
2007-10-01 09:13 pm (UTC)
I approve of your sadness, and your weirdness.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: karen2205
2007-10-01 08:14 pm (UTC)
I don't mind people taking pictures of their *food*. I'd get upset if people wanted to take pictures of *me* while I was having a conversation/eating.

I think it's polite to ask one's dining companions if one can start eating as soon as one's food has arrived (showing awareness of the etiquette) but pretty rude for people to ask you to wait, unless say, they can see the waiting staff are bringing it over right now.

IMO, allowing food that's meant to be hot to get cold is worse than eating while others are waiting for their food. For cold courses (that aren't going to melt) it's better IMO to wait for everyone to get their food (unless there's a serious delay in one person's food).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2007-10-01 09:23 pm (UTC)
I think it's polite to ask one's dining companions if one can start eating as soon as one's food has arrived (showing awareness of the etiquette) but pretty rude for people to ask you to wait, unless say, they can see the waiting staff are bringing it over right now.

So it's polite for you to offer, but rude of them to accept? Or do you mean it's rude of them to ask you if you haven't offered?

I'd get upset if people wanted to take pictures of *me* while I was having a conversation/eating.

I have been thinking about this recently. I think it's a good thing to make it clear when you don't want photos taken of you under any circumstances ever. I am very much in sympathy with not wanting photos taken of oneself, but on the other hand, there are people who really enjoy being photographed, and there are people (the majority, I suspect), who are happy to have good photos taken of them, and not happy to have bad photos taken of them.

The compromise I'm working with at the moment is to never take photos of people who I know totally hate it, and in other cases to make it very clear that I will delete any photos that the subject is unhappy with (and any photos that I think suck will get deleted before I pester the subject with them at all). This does mean that my photos of people sometimes take a long time to see the light of day, since some people take quite a while to reply to email!

I find it very hard to understand why people put what I see as very unattractive photos of their friends on the interweb. Obviously it's none of my business, though, as long as all parties are happy with it.

I think it would be very difficult to take an attractive photo of someone who's eating, so I don't even try. I think people can look very attractive when they're talking, though, as long as they're not too conscious of the camera. If I see someone is becoming too conscious of the camera — playing up to it, or whatever — I'll stop shooting.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: alan1957
2007-10-01 08:21 pm (UTC)

don't much use as an answer really...

i really don't know 'ow i feel about the photo question...i kinda fink i might be embarassed, but it's never 'appened to me so i don't know.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rjw1
2007-10-01 08:24 pm (UTC)
people should eat as soon as their food arrives. it will get cold otherwise.

at least if you are taking photos while we're in a restaurant im not bored out of my skull.


(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: j4
2007-10-01 08:35 pm (UTC)
I have been known to take photos of my food, and the only reason I wouldn't ask for the camera is because I've almost always got my own camera with me. :-) The main reasons I don't take photos of food more often are a) it's not visually interesting enough, or b) I am hungry and part of my brain goes "ooh photo opportunity" but most of it goes "ROMYOMYOMYOMYOM", or c) the pub/restaurant/etc is sufficiently dark that I would have to go through faffy camera-propping-up shenanigans to get the camera steady enough for the blah blah blah basically I hate trying to take photos in the dark because I'm not very good at it.

I don't mind at all if other people start eating when my food hasn't arrived yet, but I tend not to start eating myself while other people are still waiting for their food. (It's kind of a "be conservative in what you generate and liberal in what you accept" thing, or at least a general mistrust of assumptions along the lines of "I do not give a damn about X, therefore other people will/should/must not give a damn about X".)

I still don't have a food icon! Clearly I must take more photos of food. :-)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: selki
2007-10-01 08:59 pm (UTC)
But you have a very cute badger icon!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: marnameow
2007-10-01 08:58 pm (UTC)
I have no problem with photos being taken (as long as I don't see a camera pointed at me, because that makes me hide or pull a funny face), but I would get quite quickly irritated with a flash. 1) Sudden bright lights are disconcerting. 2) Unless you stand well back, you'll be over-illuminating the subject matter, and head-on flashes make everything look flat and horrid anyway. I get irritated with flash usage *all the time*, not just for food-photographing purposes. (I have no clue whether you use a flash or not, btw. I am just ranting.)

I don't take photographs of food, or other random things, because I find it very hard to switch in and out of photographing mode.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2007-10-01 09:25 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on this one. I hate flash, and very very rarely use it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lnr
2007-10-01 09:04 pm (UTC)
I don't like to start eating until everyone's food has arrived *unless* it's obvious there's going to be a delay in which case obviously I should eat before my food goes cold, and I would equally urge other people to tuck in.

The smarter the meal the more the dining is an occasion in itself and the more it feels as though we should all be able to start at once, so the less likely I am to encourage people to tuck in, and the more likely I am to wait until we all have our food.

On balance if you want to take photos before eating I would be inclined to encourage you to stop if I thought your food might spoil before you got to eating. And I might feel a little awkward if it's in a very posh place, but it wouldn't bother me much. I might ask if you wanted a photo of mine too, but would be unlikely to want to take one on my own account.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lnr
2007-10-01 09:07 pm (UTC)
NB I'd always ask if people mind if I start in a restaurant setting, though not in a pub. And I'm a lot like Jan, in being inclined to wait myself but to urge others not to wait.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: selki
2007-10-01 09:38 pm (UTC)
I tried to take a picture of my Saturday evening meal (at Ten Penh, near the Washington, DC Smithsonian museums), because I was in love with my Asian mojito, gazpacho in a tiny glass, jewel-toned crispy fried spinach, and lobster (stir-fried and then returned to the shell). Alas, the camera on my little Palm is not really up to the finesse required, even with post-processing.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: selki
2007-10-01 09:43 pm (UTC)
BTW, my Palm Zire 71 camera does not have a flash, but this was at an outside table. It can sometimes take inside shots; sometimes they're better than outside shots (it's better at adjusting to dimness than over-brightness).
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: johnckirk
2007-10-01 09:39 pm (UTC)
I had a copy of Debrett's etiquette book when I was a kid, and according to that it's best for everyone to just dig in as soon as their food arrives. (The book probably phrased it a bit formally than that.) However, I recognise that other people feel differently. If my food is delayed then I'll normally say "Don't wait for me", but if my food arrives first then I'll normally wait for a sign from everyone else.

I can sort of understand the idea of sharing the dining experience with your friends. In my case that tends not to be an issue because I'm normally eating something different (i.e. the veggie option), so we can't directly compare notes.

The only problem I could see with photography (aside from flashes) is if there's a shared vegetable dish and other people can't use it until you've finished taking pictures.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2007-10-01 11:40 pm (UTC)
If my food is delayed then I'll normally say "Don't wait for me", but if my food arrives first then I'll normally wait for a sign from everyone else.

This is roughly the process I follow too, and it seems a sensible one.

In my case that tends not to be an issue because I'm normally eating something different (i.e. the veggie option), so we can't directly compare notes.

If you would like to compare notes about food, then I am absolutely happy to eat the veggie option next time we eat together!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ewx
2007-10-01 09:54 pm (UTC)
People should absolutely not wait for me. I don't mind waiting a small while for other people's food to arrive, but I would mind waiting for them to faff or if the waiting would cause my food to go cold.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2007-10-01 11:37 pm (UTC)
Judging by your tickyboxes, I'm assuming this means you only mind them faffing if they're insisting that you wait for them to finish faffing?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: truecatachresis
2007-10-01 11:03 pm (UTC)
Clarifying my position - I have not been in a position where people have taken photos of their food after it is server but before commencing eating, so I don't really have a strong position. I don't believe I would object, but I would find it distinctly odd. However, as I don't give a damn about waiting until everyone has their food (although I will wait if others do), then delays would not be a consideration on my part (unless others felt we all had to wait until the photographer was finished - but that would be the fault of those awkward buggers, and not the photographer).

That's way too many clarifications for a basic "I have no opinion"!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2007-10-01 11:35 pm (UTC)
You're not the first person to think it odd that someone would want to take photos of their food! I should probably write another post explaining why I enjoy doing it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: vyvyan
2007-10-01 11:50 pm (UTC)
I think the only thing that would bother me would be if someone else asked me not to start eating my food until they had taken a photo of it!
(Reply) (Thread)
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>