Taking pictures of food in restaurants

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Dining' started by Lalala, Feb 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    Do you ever ask permission, especially when shooting interiors as well? I was wondering because more and more I am seeing people bringing out the "big guns - digital slrs w/multiple lens changes when shooting their dinners instead of their iPhones or p&s cameras. I know more than one food blogger who was asked to delete her photos of some baked goods because she did not ask permission before starting picture taking.

    If you bring a tripod to dinner, you might want to seek professional help.
     
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  2. lipton
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    lipton Gold Member

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    Ehmmm, dont u think its kind of embarrassing taking pictures of your food while tons of people are watching you? I hardly ever do that due to that fact. [​IMG]
     
  3. QSG
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    QSG Gold Member

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    Isn't it incredible the amount of blogging that is done about food, then again we all have to eat, so...I have never asked permission as I would generally take the product home and photograph it there. That way I do not interrupt others enjoyment that way.....
     
  4. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    Kind of hard to take home a plated meal - a muffin perhaps. Andrew Scrivani from the NYT has a few posts about Photographing food in restos for non-food stylists. Honestly, some of the pictures my friends take are magnificent, but some (oy!) suck due to low light or angles. I stopped taking pictures in low light a while ago, but swear we were seated directly by a light fixture last week at Commerc 24 in BCN because they knew we were American and were likely to shoot our meal before eating it. For the record, I did not photograph any of my dishes.
     
  5. QSG
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    QSG Gold Member

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    Sorry if I misunderstood, in Japan you can take home meals that are "plated" quality ! I have been trying to upload some pics to the food porn thread but the pic files are too big and are rejected![​IMG]
     
  6. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    I did not know that about Japan. My bad. I haven't been in nine years, but hoping to in Nov. 2011. Can I take pics (sans tripod, hah!) in restos?
     
  7. :D

    Unless there's something specific to the venue or food itself that makes it truly memorable, I'm generally not going to photograph it. There are some exceptions to that, but I make every effort to be subtle about it and without a flash.
     
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  8. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I was asked to put my camera away at a local eating establishment. Basically the concern was children would be distracted from their happy meals if I kept snapping shots of my nuggets.
     
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  9. cockpitvisit
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    cockpitvisit Gold Member

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    I take photos with a compact camera without flash (more to avoid ruining the picture though). I never ask for permission, unless I want someone to pose for the picture.

    And how is this different from taking a night pic of Big Ben with a tripod? Everyone saw that picture countless times before going to London. Millions of similar pictures exist on the web, including those taken by professional photographers which are way better than anything I am going to shoot.

    A nice meal is a much more personal and memorable experience than seeing a tourist landmark you already saw so many times before the trip on other photos. And thus deserves to be photographed.
     
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  10. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Seems to me that asking permission is a nice gesture, but it
    all depends on the setting - i.e., the more formal the more the
    need to ask for an official ok. On the other hand, people I know
    recently ate in a sultan's palace and didn't ask permission, and
    none of the staff (one per guest in house and who knows in
    the back) seemed to be upset.
     
  11. FriendlySkies
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    FriendlySkies Gold Member

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    Depending on the restaurant, I'll use my iPhone 4, or my P&S. I only use my DSLR when I am on a flight, or somewhere pretty private.
     
  12. QSG
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    QSG Gold Member

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    It seems normal.....( ask first/make a gesture especially if you are at a class joint or famous resto). Most here use small cameras, phones! Check out http://tabelog.com/ to get a feeling of what I mean!
     
  13. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I take photos all the time, if I want to share them on places like this or on my blog. I try to do so discretely. I use a camera that fits in my pocket, I don't use a flash, I open the camera while it's under the table.. grab the picture quickly.. put it away.

    I've only ever been asked not to photograph once, that was at Komi in DC which some people love and say is the best place in town but I've had two mediocre meals there.

    When I ate at El Bulli it was really quite funny. At least half the tables were photographing their food. But they were the once-in-a-lifetime photographing types, they were all using their flash. ;)
     
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  14. kingalien
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    I too photograph away but always without the flash. I'll take more than one picture if the lighting is not good enough. If a pic is a must have and needs a flash I'll do it but only once. However, I have never asked for permission.
     
  15. techgirl
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    I sometimes photograph food to share the experience with my other food obsessed friends... but I try to do it discretely with my camera phone and don't make a scene.
     
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  16. joanek
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    I'm with you---I'll use the iphone, but wouldn't ever pull out my DSLR in a restaurant...and certainly not with a tripod. I have used a p/s too, but without the flash.
     
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  17. ddrewboy
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    My gf does it all the time. Sometimes, she asks for permissions. Most of the times, she does not. We never use flash. Generally, if we go to a fairly nice place, I always ask first - mainly as a courtesy.
     
  18. Henry
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    Henry Silver Member

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    I was yelled at in a food court for taking pictures of fried cake/cookies. Now I'll ask before taking pictures.
     
  19. yunicorner
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    yunicorner Silver Member

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    I've never asked for permission. I try to be discreet though. I use a point and shoot and have to use my flash in poor lighting. It's much easier for me to take pictures when I'm eating with other people. If I'm eating by myself I tend to shy away from taking pictures with flash. I figure that people think I'm harmless with a point and shoot.
     
  20. FUNNY!

    I mock my Asian friends on FB whenever they post their meals.. (ALWAYS).
    Seriously.. You don't need to take photos of everything you eat.
    When I'm dining I find it horribly distracting too.
     
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  21. I take pictures of most things I eat, either with a compact or using the camera on my phone. I think the general rule must be that if you aren't disturbing other diners then you don't need permission.

    For that reason, using a flash is a real no-no for me. It's one of the reasons why I recently bought a Canon S95 as it shoots really well in low light.
     
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  22. pokerhammy
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    I use a point and shoot camera and take pictures of everything, including most meals. Not for posting everything online, but for recalling what I did when my memory slips. Usually no flash, and no asking for permission (unless in very nice restaurants). I figured if you ask then there's a chance of being rejected. [​IMG] The only times I've been asked to not take pictures were at Parisian patisseries (Laduree and Pierre Herme) - but at least that's after I've already snapped a few shots.
     
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  23. Chamonix
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    I used to take photos of my food, but just haven't done it for a couple of years now. Can't decide if I miss it or not. I never really did much with the pictures...no food blogging or anything. Never had anyone ask me to stop. (besides my husband, lol)

    I do still take pics of wine labels on occasion, to save from writing them down or trying to remember which vintage we enjoyed.
     
  24. nomflyer
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    I often use my iPhone to take pictures (flash off), but usually only when I visit a new restaurant or try a new dish. I've never run into trouble for doing it.
     
  25. Chimpy
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    Chimpy Gold Member

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    I agree, if some food stands out I will take a photograph of it. I do not tend to ask permission as I am fairly discreet, using a compact camera on the twilight setting. I don't think that anybody notices, if they do nobody has commented.
     

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