Restaurants Discouraging Food Photos

I found this article in the New York Times very interesting. Rather than tolerate diners snapping pictures of their food — even ‘subtly’ — and disturbing other guests, some restaurants are strongly discouraging food photos (even without flash) in the dining room (David Bouley invites the photobugs back to the kitchen to snap the shots) while others flat-out instruct “No pictures” (like Momofuku Ko).

Personally, I find it flattering if someone wants to take a picture of the food I served them in a restaurant. However, I also feel that the table is the worst place to take the picture, because it’s inconsiderate of the other patrons as well as the other guests at your own table. If someone wants a picture of the restaurant’s food, there are several options as I see it:

  • Be “that guy” and snap away in the dining room without consideration of the ambiance or other diners
  • Schedule a photo session with the restaurant during non-service hours. They’ll probably say no, but just think if they didn’t!
  • Ask if you can go into the kitchen during your meal to shoot your pictures instead of bothering other diners
  • Enjoy the food and the memories it creates without shooting pictures at all. After all, no one cares, really.

Then, there’s this:

Below, a professional picture of one of my dishes (click the picture for a larger view). This photograph was made in the kitchen next to my kitchen, during service, and not one single diner was irritated. That makes it even more beautiful, doesn’t it?


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