The Photo Faux pas


untitled (5)There is a new backlash on an everyday social media norm that all restaurant goers and foodies need to be aware of and it could be taking a stronghold in your cities most exclusive restaurant’s. Be warned that the celebrity chefs have had enough, the exclusive restaurants want their exclusivity back and they are now taking a stand!

From Heston Blumenthal not allowing any flash photography on his multiple coursed meals to restaurants in New York where you need to book up to a month in advance, not allowing you to take any photos at all, the restaurateurs are sending out a message to their patrons, “its just food, eat it”. No longer should you feel free in these restaurants to take photos how you want and share with your friends on social media, no longer will you be able to showcase the amazing food placed in front of you. You will now feel hesitant to take a  snapshot of the delectable morsels that you are so excited to share and so eager to eat. So the question I suppose is why are they doing this?

One would be that they don’t want you to let the food sit there too long and get cold while your too busy taking your photos. Which is a good point, as patrons, don’t we want the food to be at its best especially while we are sitting in these types of restaurants where you are spending much more money that you would usually when you go out to eat?

The second is that the amount of effort, time and skill that goes into all dishes presented by the chef can be astronomical and as result the chefs tend to feel like they have given a little piece of themselves on the plate they are serving to the public. So out of respect, wouldn’t you want to enjoy the food at its most perfect which is as soon as it comes out of the kitchen?

Another reason is that these award winning restaurants are becoming less exclusive as they used to be. Thanks to social media, anyone can now upload a photo of whatever they are eating. As an information tool it is fabulous and allows us to see the amazing products, creativity and flavours in the top restaurants in the world but this also creates less mystery for the dishes and allows other chefs to put their own spin on these award winning dishes without even stepping foot in the door which makes it harder and harder for top chefs to compete above their rivals.

And the last is due to the fact that we are all now (or like to think) budding photographers. While some photos that you see are amazing and the people who are responsible for taking them should really give up their day job and become professional photographers, some other photos (yes we have all seen them) can be rather….. *cough*…… *cough* …..disastrous. Now for a chef you want your plates to be showcased in the best possible light so that it attracts more customers into the restaurant. You want people looking at your food to be memorised on how the chefs have created such a wonderful dish and in turn have respect for the amount of work that goes into these dishes not the opposite.

On the other hand though, if your a foodie like myself with a community of foodie followers, my first priority while I am out is taking a photo and sharing the experience I’m having with people who support me and have similar interests. Out of respect to the restaurant and chefs, I will always try to get the best angles and take many photos of each plate as soon they come out of the kitchen to ensure that the food is still fresh, hot and that I have many photos to choose from. My favourite photos from the experience (albeit sometimes rustic) will then make it onto my social media page.

Should we really allow restaurants and celebrity chefs to dictate what we can or cannot share with our friends and where do we as customers draw the line?



  1. Gary Lum · February 2, 2015

    I heard on the radio this morning that Heston has asked guests not to use a flash, not to stand up and shoot photographs and not to rearrange the plates to get a better shot. If photographing food really disturbs other guests, fair enough. For most of us though it’s a smartphone shot trying to maximise light where possible without a flash.

    Given we pay so much money for our food in these fine dining establishments, I’d like to capture a memory and keep it and share it with my on-line friends. I usually wait until after the mea to share so the amount of disruption is minimal. If this banning of photography catches on would I reduce my patronage of these exclusive restaurants and spend my hard earned money at less salubrious establishments? Yes. I probably will shy away from them except for special occasions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Incidental Scribe · February 2, 2015

    That’s ridiculous if I want to take a picture of my food I should be able to do so how and when I want. I am a paying customer after all.

    Liked by 3 people

    • eloisesedibles · February 2, 2015

      Unfortunately it is happening Incidental Scribe in many of our high end/exclusive restaurants…. I completely agree with you though. We should have that option, shouldn’t we?!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cheergerm · February 2, 2015

    All very interesting. I think that ‘overt photography’ can really take away from the ambience of a restaurant, however, social media can be great free advertising for food businesses and as long as we are being subtle about it, whether it’s an iPhone or camera, I don’t think it should be a problem. Many people save up and wait for ages to get into more ‘exclusive’ restaurants, they should be able to take photos, albeit subtly, if they want! I wonder how they would police all those people who like to take photos of each other in restaurants and Facebook them. For example, birthday celebrations etc. Will the chef come running out, do a tuck and roll and lunge for the camera? He he….I already felt paranoid taking photos of my meals and only have ever written a post if it is a mostly positive experience, but now I feel even more hesitant.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. coffeegrounded · February 3, 2015

    I’m ready for the food fight to ensue, but I’m hanging my chad on the side of the chefs. I’ve not been professionally trained, but I’ve been honored to do recipe testing for two of Peter Reinhart’s bread books. The intensity and call to detail for certain works, or creations, is demanding. To realize exemplary results to such challenges is a reward all its own. I truly believe the masters of the kitchen prefer you experience the nuance of their creation(s) by taste, and save those camera shots so as not to distract from the culinary excellence they hope to deliver.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joseph Nebus · February 4, 2015

    I am kind of inclined toward respecting the chef’s wishes, but mainly as a matter of courtesy toward the person serving as host for the event. But I also don’t really get the desire to take photographs of food, past a couple special instances like birthday cakes and maybe the spread at Thanksgiving when you’ve taken out the fine plates you never use the rest of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dave & Sharynne Wilder · February 18, 2015

    Interesting comments on a real conundrum. Personally, we would never shoot pictures of the food we’re eating at any restaurant – we’re there to eat, not be photographers. By the same token, we never take a camera when traveling – constantly shooting and fiddling with a device is such an interruption of the enjoyment of the sights we’re seeing. One is not experiencing life when one is putting a camera lens between it and one’s self. On the other hand, a blogger is really more like a professional photographer (i.e., a “visual communicator”). But we’d be seriously annoyed at other diners’ turning a restaurant where we are trying to enjoy a meal into a photo-shoot (as mentioned above).


  7. Pingback: Reblogged – The Photo Faux pas | The Daily Dom
  8. Dominic · February 23, 2015

    Reblogged this on The Daily Dom.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s