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Apr 13, 2013 10:09 AM

Photos in restaurants- what's the big deal?

Another poster appeared to be terrified to even ask if it was OK to have a family photo take in restaurants. She laid out her reasons and backed them up as if expecting people would flay her alive for even considering. In fairness everyone who replied said to not worry about it but it got me thinking about the whole topic.

Has dining out become so commonplace that no one understands that it might actually be a special occasion that someone may want to capture?

I get it if a patron set up lights like their meal was wedding, stands on the chair or basically makes an on going scene but why get upset about the occasional flash of a camera? How does it bother you? Honestly obnoxiously loud drunks are more offensive than the flash of a camera.

Maybe I am the odd one out but I really don't pay attention to what is going on at the other tables unless they are making a scene. If someone asked the server to snap a photo of them or another guest stood to take a picture of the table I doubt I would even notice unless they were right next to me. And if that were case I would probably offer to take it for them. And if someone next to me took a quick pic of their food or drink I can't imagine getting my panties in a bunch over it.

So whats the big deal? If you are incensed by what others are doing around you why is that? What am I missing that makes taking a photo such an egregious act?

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  1. There was another thread (don't remember which one) that turned pretty aggressive about photos in restaurants, but it was more geared towards the people taking incessant pictures of their food with flash photography... not the folks taking the occasional photo.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. It's not people taking photos of diners who have people so anti-cameras-in-restaurants. It's the idiots who have to treat every meal like a photo shoot by taking pictures of their food. You've kind of gotten caught in the crossfire.

        1. We were recently dining at a fine-dining restaurant, where a couple was at a near-by table. They had a photographer shooting every aspect of their evening. The flash went off maybe 100 times, in a dimly-lit restaurant. Nearly every bite was recorded.

          At a UK 3-star restaurant, a couple asked us, and many others, to leave their tables, so that the photographs of their food, for their blog, would not have images of other diners. Yeah, right!

          We refused to leave our table, glared at the camera, and asked the restaurant to move those diners to a table, far from us, so that they could do some Facebook, or similar, shots.

          When I am dining, I do NOT wish to be intruded upon - by anyone.


          4 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Seems to me the manager of the UK 3-star restaurant was remiss for not stepping in, especially if other diners were being asked to leave their tables.

            And maybe it's just me, but while I'm eating has got to be high on my list of times when I do *not* want a photographer hovering around taking pics!

            1. re: msiangal

              I felt the same way.

              The strobe was bad enough, and many diners were turning to see what was going on, and then it got worse.

              Had similar happen in a US, upper-end restaurant, in Phoenix, AZ, where someone wanted a shot of their entire table of food and wine glasses, with no one in the background. My feeling was "you have got to be kidding me," and we just went about eating, ignoring the requests. Finally, the flashes ceased. Guess that I am going to be in some food-blogger's shots, though dark and probably out of focus?


              1. re: Bill Hunt

                IMHO, the diners should have booked a private room or the restaurant for a private party.

                Where was the manager?

                I would never return to those restaurants.

            2. re: Bill Hunt

              Wow - how rude.

              I hope you got photos of them taking photos of their dinner. There are a couple of websites around that specialise in this stuff. ;)

            3. You haven't encountered the obnoxiously loud drunks WITH cameras? A truly enjoyable addition to your dining experience.

              With cameras so ubiquitous and people so into sharing pictures, it can be taken to excess. Nobody objects to an occasional photo. It's the 20 people at a birthday party, all taking photos of each other. It's the food bloggers who have to take multiple pictures of each course. It's the food bloggers at birthday parties all taking pictures of each other meals. That many flashes, you can't ignore it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: 512window

                I have yet to encounter them (do not think any afore-mentioned food photographers were drunk, but might have missed it?), and hope that I do not.