Skip to main content

Your opinion? Is photography in restaurants really annoying you?

According to a report on Mashable some New York City restaurants are banning their customers from taking food photos.

They say taking photos of your meal is annoying to other customers, distracting to the chef and just plain silly.

I say, with a few self-imposed rules -

1. always ask permission
2. never use a flash
3. try to be discreet

food photography is a harmless hobby, a bonding experience with other food lovers and a great way to see what your meal could look like.

It's also a source of instant free publicity for restaurants, a rare and valuable commodity these days.

Permission to take photos has only been declined to me once, at Max Brenner in Sydney many years ago.

Have you ever been asked not to take photos?  Do you find it annoying when others take photos of their food?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Comments

  1. I've been denied taking photos at Esquire. This was within a month of their opening though and I'm not sure if they are stead-fast on this rule anymore.

    I usually take photos of my meals to share with like-minded friends. I agree with no flash and trying to be discreet so as to not annoy others. And don't take heaps of pictures. One is suffice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are very restrained only taking one photo. I have to take many more than that.

    Esquire may have changed their stance as I have taken photos there, although it was at a media event to launch a new menu.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Taking photos is far less intrusive than taking mobile calls and shouting into the phone. But I do agree that restaurants and chefs have some rights of exclusivity over what they provide to their customers. There seems to be a disastrous fall-off in good manners, which is the main problem. A good rule is don't get in anyone's face. These days, that's far too often forgotten.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A good point- what happened to good manners?

      Delete
  4. I sit on both sides of the fence on this one - I am a photographer and food lover at heart, and I am also a business owner in the hospitality industry. My suggestion to all is to ask permission first. Think of it this way - would you like someone taking a photo of your baby without asking you permission? Well business owners and chefs see their businesses and food like that - their babies. So I just think out of common decency and respect, just ask! And I bet that more people will be open to you taking photos once you do that!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I need more than one photo too and usually more than one visit! So the second visit usually entails an interview, often late morning before lunch starts - a great time to take photos with permission. I try not to get other customers in photos so take photos out of peak times.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think many chefs and restaurant owners are not as social media savy as they could be. They are still a little scared of it which is why they hesitate over photos

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love to see my foodie friends posting their meals on facebook. It is one of the ways I find new restaurants through my friends going there first and giving it a thumbs up.

    I don't eat out a lot because I am a student but when I do I usually take photos of my friends and the food is not centre stage on my photos. That is why I think the argument about flashes disturbing other patrons doesn't add up for me. I would never think to ask permission to take photos of my friends eating out and if I was asked not to, then I would be left with a bad taste in my mouth. It would be the same for food photos, if I was asked not to take photos of the food I would feel like they are being a bit unpleasant. I have never heard of people being asked not to take photos of their friends at a restaurant, it would seem quite extraordinary.

    If it was a restaurant with low lighting and a quiet atmosphere I would probably be embarrassed to pull a camera out anyway. But if the atmosphere is busy and alive then who would be offended by the flash??

    I say this is a bit of bah humbug.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fair comparison between taking mobile phone calls and photos, but the calls, unfortunately can last a lot longer.

    Also note your point Therese, about flash photography. I've had wait staff offer to take photos of a group of friends on many occasions and no one seems to get bent outa shape about that.

    Methings this is just NYC soup nazis out of control.

    Polite behaviour and good manners will win the day. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I see both sides. If you're taking a photo isn't it because you're going to post (wherever) about the restaurant? That's a good thing, On the other hand, bad photos of good food don't do the restaurant any favours.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gillian, while no one can take a photo like a professional, - clever cameras and post processing helps most make a decent job of even the most mundane shots now days.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I annoy myself by doing it! So try not to. I whip out my iPhone if i must. There are already too many food photographs in the world! However, about to participate in a food photography workshop ... so not sure where i'll stand after that. Probably very annoyed at myself!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous4:27 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks this is just plain silly? It's a meal, not a child. If an establishment feels anything less than pride about the appearance of their food then perhaps they need to reconsider how they plate up.

    What's next? Will we have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before we can see a menu?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Agreed. Why all the fuss? If a restaurant is not happy to have a meal photographed, why are they serving it to a customer?

    The old 'bad photography' comment just doesn't float with me. Photos today usually make the food look even better.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I love getting your comments - really makes my day! If you like this blog please follow by email or subscribe.

Popular posts from this blog

Brisbane's top 10 'chew with a view' restaurants and cafes

It's a beautiful day! Where can you go and dine in the warm sun with a view that you'll never want to leave?

Here are ten top places in and around Brisbane to while away a lunch hour or a whole afternoon when the weather is warm and the skies are blue .

River Quay, South Bank

South Bank’s River Quay precinct has plenty of opportunities to relax in the sunshine and just about any restaurant at River Quay will offer a great spot for a winter lunch with a large, grassed lawn rolling down to the river bank.  You can even lie in the sun if you so desire.

Stop for champagne, oysters and more at Cove Bar and Dining, enjoy French provincial food at Aquitaine Brasserie, take in the river view from a Balinese daybed while you tuck into the contemporary menu at The Jetty, feast on Italian cuisine at Popolo or sip a long drink on the riverside deck of Stokehouse Q where the menu draws on local produce combined with bold flavours from the Mediterranean.

River Quay is the spot for Sunday …

Thar she blows - how to hunt whales the friendly way

A grunt and a spurt of seawater rising into the air show the position of a mother humpback whale and her three-week-old calf.

I'm on purpose-designed whale watching boat and we have motored for an hour over the calm seas of the great sandy straits up the coastline of Fraser Island





Captain Phil tells the 50 or so people aboard that the tip of the island is where we will see the whales and he is right.

Our first mother and calf are a little shy at first, keeping the boat at a good distance but I can clearly see the much smaller calf swimming strongly beside its mother.




I'm fascinated by the large circles of calm water that float past us and Phil tells us these are whale footprints

"They break the water tension when they flick their tails to swim down resulting in the clear circles on the water,” Phil says.

Sailors used whale footprints to track whales back in the bad old days when whales were valued more for their blubber than their beauty.

Our next mother and calf are a l…

Lunch amongst the lavender in the Scenic Rim

It was time to brush the cobwebs off the motor bike over Easter and head out of Brisbane into the beautiful Scenic Rim.

We started down the highway towards Beenleigh in beautiful autumn sunshine and stopped for a coffee at The Outpost Cafe at Canungra.  This is a well known bikies hangout but don't expect too much in the way of chains and dreadlocks - it's more favoured by the middle aged bikie enjoying the freedom of the road second time round.

The road less travelled is always our favoured route for this type of outing and we back tracked through Rathdowney before reaching our destination for the day, Kooroomba Lavender Farm about 65 minutes from Brisbane in the Scenic Rim at Mt Alford near Boonah.

Autumn is not the premium time for viewing either the vineyard or the lavender but the view across the valley to the mountains was still outstanding.  The building has a New Zealand lodge feel to it with plenty of stone walls both inside and outside, complimented by timber and ex…

Ten top things to do in Noosa Heads

It doesn't matter how many times I head down the hill on Noosa Drive towards the ocean, I still get a little shiver of excitement every time. This very special part of the world has achieved international recognition for its unique environment and I am privileged to be able to dip my toes into it on a regular basis.

Here are ten of my favourite Noosa pastimes.





1. Although it’s always tempting to sleep in, I don't like to waste a moment of the day when I wake up in Noosa. The best way to start is in the coffee queue at Sails on Hastings Street and then a stroll along the winding boardwalk to the National Park, koala spotting along the way.





Depending on my mood and energy level, I continue the walk through the park to enjoy the beachside views. Some like to run it. You can pick up a coffee at the information hut in the national park as well.





2. After a bit of exercise there's nothing like a big breakie at Aromas and a spot of people watching. With t…

Lots to explore at Brisbane's South Bank

Four markets in one day - what a way to spend a Sunday!

We started at the organic markets at Downy Park, Windsor which was not such a good idea. Why? Well we took the dog and the place was full of puddles - he's a corgi with very low legs - it all ended up being very messy.

Also, these markets definitely finish up on their advertised closing time of 10.30am.  Call me slow or just plain lazy but I find it hard to get out and about early on a Sunday morning. We arrived primed for breakfast at 10am just as everyone was shutting up - they had even run out of bread for French toast!

However, this market was just the first on our list. Next, we drove to South Bank Parklands to explore the Young Designers Market and the Granite Belt Flavours Market - both on the same day.

Several designer/clothes/jewellery purchases later, K2 subdued his inner male and agreed to look for the Granite Belt Flavours market which was not in its usual spot.  On the way, we walked through the regular South Ba…

A night of firsts at Urbane

It was a night of firsts - my first duck tongue and my first lamb sweetbreads.

I've always avoided offal, scarred by an unfortunate experience as a child when my mother tried to make me eat liver, but as Ubane owner Andrew Buchanan said, best to try it first cooked by a great chef - so I did.


Seated at a long table we were there to experience the new Urbane menu under Alejandro Cancino. He looks like he's just out of short pants, but this chef has a list of restaurants and awards on his resume that demand attention.

Passionate about fine dining, Argentinian-born Alejandro has spent the last 10 years working with some of the best chefs in the world, naming the great chef and innovator Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz in Spain, Luca Fantin at Bulgari Tokyo and Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in England as his mentors. In Australia, he calls Dan Hunter at the Royal Mail in Victoria his local guide, having worked together at Mugaritz.

Last April Alejandro was Stagie…

North Stradbroke Island - 10 top things to do

One of the largest sand islands in the world, the relaxed bliss of North Stradbroke Island is only an hour's drive from Brisbane.

The trip from the mainland to the island takes 45 minutes by barge, which also takes your car or 25 minutes by fast water taxi but it's more of a journey into a different realm where it's hard to work up the energy to get stressed about anything.

When there's plenty of beach to roam, friendly folk to chat with, incredible vistas around every corner and comfortable accommodation and food, life seems pretty sweet.

Apart from swimming at any of the beaches, here are my top 10 things to do on Straddie. What are yours? Please leave your Straddie tips in the comments section at the end.

1. Start your Straddie sojourn at the Island Fruit Barn on the main drag in Dunwich where you can pick up all your holiday supplies.  There's a surprisingly good range of deli items from the essential to the unusual, high-quality fruit and good cake and coffee…

10 top tips for Bunya Mountains weekend

With a long weekend looming we clocked off early on Friday to head to the Bunya Mountains, home to the world's largest stand of bunya trees and more nature and wildlife than your eyes can absorb.

It's about 150km from Brisbane, and as we prefer to travel in daylight hours on the motorbike, a 2 pm departure was planned.  Unfortunately, with a few stops along the way to meet up with group members, road works and a speeding fine (you know who you are) from a friendly copper, it was dark and raining when we hit the last 30 minutes of the ride and a dirt/gravel stretch. The boys were not happy, and it was a slow procession to our accommodation.

Our group of four couples was staying in two side-by-side cottages in the small village in the middle of the national park.  There is also a camping ground in the same spot and a couple of others close by. Despite popular opinion, I like to camp and have camped here before, but on a motorbike, it's easier to stay in accommodation.


Stayi…

Have you been to Queensland’s favourite café?

Once you’ve eaten at Indulge in Bundaberg, it comes as no surprise that this small cafe has been voted as Queensland’s favourite.

Now taking the title for two years in a row as People’s Choice in the Brisbane Times Good Food Awards, Indulge is a showcase for the Bundaberg region’s fabulous produce.

Established by passionate food lovers Amanda and Larry Hinds, this café has been the catalyst that has propelled local farmers into the spotlight as premium primary producers.




Amanda is adamant that it’s the rich red tomatoes, the full-flavoured potatoes, the crisp capsicums, luscious eggplants and the vibrant ginger, that make all the different to the meals she dishes up to eager crowds.

As Amanda says, there’s something very special about knowing where your food comes from and who grew it.






I clearly remember my first meal at Indulge. It was scrambled eggs dusted with thinly sliced truffle and anointed with duck ham. My first taste of duck ham, I was fascinated with the flavour and eager …

Next Door Kitchen and Bar, South Bank, Brisbane.

The line up of restaurants at South Bank just keeps getting better with Next Door Kitchen and Bar as the latest addition in Little Stanley Street.

Styled on speakeasy establishments of the 1920s, Next Door has positioned itself as a cocktail bar with an emphasis on shared dining. The fit out is glamorous fit-out with smooth timber, vintage décor and mirror detailing.

Harun Gencerler, a member of the family which runs Ahmet's Turkish Restaurant right next door, has opened Next Door Kitchen as his first solo venture.



Head Chef Dean Brewer has selected a range of shared plates which tie in with the 1920s theme.

“Our menu consists of larger shared plates such as whisky beef cheeks, with creamed blue cheese polenta and smaller dishes including fresh oysters, with gin and cracked pepper vinaigrette,” Deans says.


We started the night with a fresh baguette and a combo of Pepe Saya Butter and house made sardine butter.  I loved both but I needed more bread to enjoy all the butter.


Our sha…