Questions for Chow Photogs
Do staff and chefs think it's weird when you whip out a camera and start taking pictures in their restaurant?
Do they ever think you are spies from a rival?
Do they ever think you work for a local newspaper?
Have you ever been asked not to use flash photography -- like in Disneyland?
I've actually never thought about doing that until one of my friends started to. I've been on several cruises in the past several years, and we've done that, but other than that, the only other time I've done it was at the Ritz for my 40th birthday dinner last year. We got their six and eight course tasting menu, so it was "once in a lifetime" type of thing. No one said anything. Of course it was such a positive experience that I'm asking DH to take me again this year and EVERY year! So I guess it's not really a once in a lifetime experience. :-)
Personally, I think that if your'e going to take multiple photos of food or the table in a restaurant, you should turn off the flash. It drives me nuts when people at my table use the flash because I feel like the other diners at the restaurant should be treated with the respect we'd like.
I think its a bit different if you're having the waiter take a photo or one of the party is taking a photo of the people because its a special occasion or just because someone likes to commemorate such things, then its a single shot and i think that it falls with in the normal range of behavior in a restaurant.
If you turn the flash off, and especially with a digital camera, I don't see how it could offend or intrude on anyone else's meal or experience, so I don't think its a problem.
i used to take a ton of photos at every restaurant i went to. i never use flash and just use photoshop to lighten later. very disruptive. even so, i've been kicked out of several restaurants and yelled at by a cafe owner. from what i can tell, they thought i was the competition.
re: Jimmy Buffet
I use flash all the time when it's dark. I never take more than three or four pix throughout a meal and I don't think it's any more intrusive than people having a birthday party where they're taking dozens of pictures, which happens all the time.
Strangely enough, in three years of blogging, I've never had anyone comment or ask me what I'm doing, especially when I'm at a table. Some really snobbly places don't like it if you take pictures of the interior because they think you will copy it (Joan's on Third).