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Veggo Dec 1, 2013 07:07 AM

CBS Sunday Morning did a refreshing segment rather critical of photographing food what with the proliferation of camera phones. One chef said his food should be eaten before it gets cold. Many of us have suffered through friends' vacation photos over the decades, but now it's worse. I don't give a flying fuck what the salad you ate last Thursday looked like. Others' thoughts on the subject?

  1. mucho gordo Dec 14, 2013 02:18 PM

    I live vicariously through my younger son. He goes to places that I'll never get to and orders all kinds of good things that Mrs. G. wouldn't dream of eating. I drool over his pix.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mucho gordo
      c oliver Dec 14, 2013 02:25 PM

      As I do over CHs who post pix.

    2. HillJ Dec 13, 2013 06:36 PM

      NYTimes, The Agony of Instagram

      One friend had posted a Martha Stewart-worthy photo of her “mashed potato bar” featuring 15 spud-filled martini glasses artfully arranged in a pyramid, alongside a matching pyramid of bowls of homemade condiments.

      Another friend had posted a close-up of a cranberry barrel, with a sieve scooping up a Technicolor explosion of the crimson fruit above the caption, “Last-minute grocery run.”

      A third posted her holiday table setting in Paris, complete with burning candles, rolled napkins with napkin rings, an open Champagne bottle, a huge centerpiece of fall flowers and the illuminated Eiffel Tower framed in a casement window.

      “I let out an ‘Oh, my God!,’ like a little kid who wants something they cannot have,” said Ms. Wurzel, a program analyst in Philadelphia who uses the Instagram handle likewantneed. “You’re searching through your feed and a picture will hit you, like that Paris shot. It’s just so perfect. You just think, ‘I want that, I want that life.’ ”

      It’s called Instagram envy.

      1. jrvedivici Dec 10, 2013 07:48 AM

        I'm with you completely on this one Veggo, I don't understand it nor do I care to sit around while people play paparazzi with their meals.

        I do have to admit though, I did recently have a chicken dish that was different, it seemed to lure me to seduce me, I couldn't resist but take a picture of my lil dirty bird. I know it sounds silly, I honestly don't know what it was about this dish but here see for yourself............

        3 Replies
        1. re: jrvedivici
          Veggo Dec 10, 2013 08:10 AM

          Looks like the best little henhouse in Texas!

          1. re: jrvedivici
            linguafood Dec 10, 2013 10:17 AM


            1. re: jrvedivici
              Caroline1 Dec 14, 2013 02:28 PM

              Eeeeks! Eeeeeks! Dirty Old Men are messing in the kitchen!

              ummmm.... Did it taste good?

            2. Master Dec 6, 2013 10:37 AM

              I do not and will not use my phone to photograph food in a restaurant, doing so is a joke (at least to me). However... I have started taking photo's of the bread I bake with the camera on a tripod and fill flash.

              20 Replies
              1. re: Master
                c oliver Dec 6, 2013 10:42 AM

                Curious why it's a "joke" to you.

                1. re: c oliver
                  magic Dec 6, 2013 11:54 AM

                  Uncontrolled children in a restaurant are far more disruptive to me than someone snapping a pic discretely with their phone or camera.

                  1. re: magic
                    Master Dec 6, 2013 12:35 PM

                    I don't find it disruptive, it simply strikes me funny.

                    In fact it's given me an idea for a staged photo, picture this... Three star restaurant, filled to capacity with diners dressed to the nines, all of them using a phone to take snap shots of the plate set before them.

                    1. re: Master
                      magic Dec 6, 2013 12:43 PM

                      I usually don't snap pics in high end places. I try to respect the dignity of the surroundings I guess. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it. But that’s just me. If someone else wants to discretely, it’s no skin off my nose really.

                      It’s a funny image. :)

                      1. re: Master
                        Caroline1 Dec 6, 2013 07:17 PM

                        Even funnier, a restaurant banquet length table full of people dressed to the nines, tuxedoed waiters synchronously set artistic amuse bouches in front of every guest. Every guest raises their cell phone and takes a photo of their food, then all of the guests rise at one time and leave the restaurant!

                        hmmm... Am I channeling an old Woodie Allen unpublished script??? '-)

                        1. re: Caroline1
                          Veggo Dec 6, 2013 07:25 PM

                          If not for the cellphones, I'd have guessed they were on their way to Studio 54 or Plato's Retreat.

                          1. re: Veggo
                            Caroline1 Dec 6, 2013 10:49 PM

                            Yes, indeed! Where they all take photos of their drinks, then leave without drinking!

                  2. re: Master
                    Motosport Dec 6, 2013 10:51 AM

                    My cell phone takes better pictures than my digital camera. Joke????

                    1. re: Motosport
                      c oliver Dec 6, 2013 11:03 AM

                      Oh, his point was regarding the phone? Gotcha.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        Motosport Dec 6, 2013 11:16 AM

                        Yup! My cell phone (Droid) is lighter and smaller than my digital camera. It also makes phone calls. I have not used my digital camera which I bought a year ago in 6 months.
                        I can also upload pics to email and FB right from the phone. I don't know why it would be a "joke."

                        1. re: c oliver
                          Master Dec 6, 2013 11:17 AM

                          Yes, whipping out a phone in a resturant to take a picture of the plate of food just placed in front of you... brings up memories of "Get Smart", it's the kind of thing I could see agent 86 trying to do on the sly.

                          No offence given or ment.

                          1. re: Master
                            Motosport Dec 6, 2013 11:20 AM

                            I thought the phone was hidden in Maxwell Smart's shoe!! Now that I would not do!

                            1. re: Master
                              JuniorBalloon Dec 6, 2013 11:26 AM

                              If it was a McDonalds cheesegurger? No. But at a restaurant in Sicily where some mighty fine ravioli have been placed in front of me? I take two seconds to snap a photo. No joke.

                              Context is everything.


                              1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                Master Dec 6, 2013 11:49 AM

                                Junior, I can see you're point.

                                1. re: Master
                                  Motosport Dec 6, 2013 11:57 AM

                                  How would I have described this unusual dish @ Cibreo in Firenze without a picture?

                          2. re: Motosport
                            Master Dec 6, 2013 11:25 AM

                            Hey Moto, I've seen some very good quality pictures taken with phones, read recently that one of the phone manufactures will have a 31 megapixel camera in their newest release, more pixels = more detail.

                            1. re: Master
                              ChillyDog Dec 6, 2013 06:47 PM

                              I just have an old iPhone. I don't feel compelled to have the latest and greatest.

                              1. re: ChillyDog
                                c oliver Dec 6, 2013 06:52 PM

                                Ooh. Is that XLB? See, those pix tell mre more than a description.

                                1. re: c oliver
                                  ChillyDog Dec 9, 2013 03:42 PM

                                  It's actually a khinkali.

                                  1. re: ChillyDog
                                    c oliver Dec 9, 2013 03:52 PM

                                    Just googled. Fascinating. And, see, if you'd said "khinkali" and no pic then I'd have never pictured this.

                        2. JuniorBalloon Dec 6, 2013 08:20 AM

                          I take pictures of my food. And I don't care if it bothers someone. I don't stand on a chair or use a flash or make a big production of it. That might be bothersome, but really no more so than loud talkers or laughers or children other people enjoying themselves. People should lighten up. It's Christmas for gods sake!


                          1. Motosport Dec 2, 2013 11:13 AM

                            Mea culpa!! I am guilty but I never use a flash in a restaurant.
                            At some point I stopped taking pictures of my interesting meals. Most of my FB friends wondered if I was ill.
                            So, someone out there likes it!!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Motosport
                              c oliver Dec 2, 2013 11:25 AM

                              No mea-culpa-ing please! Unlike on CH, on FB the pictures show up well without clicking on them but I click on them anyway. I've made more than one recipe by seeing a picture. Or visited a restaurant. Here on CH I believe it's DOTM (Dish of the Month) where people are invited to share photos. I still think some people just like to complain about things. BTW, IIRC, the only person truly complaining was the woman doing the segment :)

                              1. re: c oliver
                                BeefeaterRocks Dec 2, 2013 02:39 PM

                                It was an opinion piece, her opinion, nothing more, nothing less. And yes I take pictures of my food & booze, home cooked and restaurant.

                            2. ipsedixit Dec 1, 2013 08:29 PM

                              It's humble-brag for Chowhounds.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                c oliver Dec 1, 2013 08:30 PM

                                Not a clue what that means.

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  Veggo Dec 2, 2013 06:23 AM

                                  Attribution to American Comedian Harris Wittles, who coined the term in 2011. A clever term for those who thump their chest and crow with false modesty.

                                  1. re: Veggo
                                    ipsedixit Dec 2, 2013 07:58 AM

                                    To me it encapsulates what you aptly coined as "Foodtography".

                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                      c oliver Dec 2, 2013 08:34 AM

                                      And how does that connect to people taking pictures of their food, either at home or in a restaurant?

                                      1. re: c oliver
                                        ipsedixit Dec 2, 2013 08:41 AM


                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          c oliver Dec 2, 2013 08:48 AM

                                          Exactly? On my regional board I recently posted a picture of a $3.25 egg taco. Humble-brag? Draw me a picture cause I don't get it. Or is this the "ipse-factor" at work again?

                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                            Veggo Dec 2, 2013 08:56 AM

                                            Ipse, in the spirit of the holidays, let's forgive them, for they know not what they have done....

                                            1. re: Veggo
                                              ipsedixit Dec 2, 2013 09:59 AM

                                              'Tis I who has sinned, V.

                                              But forgiveness is not in the offing for me.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                Veggo Dec 2, 2013 01:14 PM

                                                Ipse, you have reminded me of one of my favorite movie lines, from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
                                                "If you're gonna shoot, shoot. Don't Talk."

                                            2. re: ipsedixit
                                              c oliver Dec 2, 2013 09:01 AM


                                              I also just had a thought. Why do people take ANY pictures?

                                    2. KarenDW Dec 1, 2013 07:47 PM

                                      Because I practise at home, I'm getting proficient and quick at shooting both food that I've cooked, and others' food which I'm about to eat. Sometimes my tablemates even play along :)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: KarenDW
                                        c oliver Dec 1, 2013 08:20 PM

                                        Ya know, honestly, I don't think my resto pix are bad and perhaps it's cause I pay attention when I do them at home. So perhaps I have a better or quicker 'eye.'

                                      2. c
                                        ChillyDog Dec 1, 2013 03:10 PM

                                        I photograph my restaurant meals all the time. I do it discreetly (sound & flash off). You wouldn't know I was doing it unless you were watching me and why would you do that?

                                        In the nearly three years I've had this phone, I've posted more than 1000 photos on Foursquare. If you aren't familiar, it's a site that shares tips and photos. Site users can view the photos or not. If a place is new to me, I appreciate others' photos.

                                        This year I have visited more than 50 new to me restaurants. Saving my photos this way helps me recall the experience.

                                        13 Replies
                                        1. re: ChillyDog
                                          c oliver Dec 1, 2013 03:22 PM

                                          And I do believe the old picture/1000 word things. We went to a new to us place for breakfast. We had the egg taco described thusly

                                          "Organic soft corn tortilla topped with melted cheese, fried egg, black bean salsa, sour cream and avocado" Sounds fine, right? Well, then there's the picture (below).

                                          1. re: c oliver
                                            ChillyDog Dec 1, 2013 03:35 PM

                                            Oh my. You won't want to forget that place!

                                            1. re: ChillyDog
                                              c oliver Dec 1, 2013 03:39 PM

                                              And I want CHs to go there so I posted about it and included the picture.

                                            2. re: c oliver
                                              sandiasingh Dec 6, 2013 08:15 AM

                                              That LOOKS really good, c!

                                              1. re: sandiasingh
                                                c oliver Dec 6, 2013 08:37 AM

                                                It WAS really good. And how anyone thinks it's "bragging" to show a picture of a $3.25 meal is just beyond me :)

                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                  magic Dec 6, 2013 08:41 AM

                                                  Also, not everyone who takes food pics shows them to others.

                                                  I love taking food pics but don't show them to anyone. I'm not on any social media platforms.

                                                  I take them for me and for me alone. Cuz they remind me of good times.

                                                  1. re: magic
                                                    c oliver Dec 6, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                    But OPs being bombarded by people showing him pictures of food.

                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                      magic Dec 6, 2013 09:44 AM

                                                      I think the broad assumption might be is that all who photograph food in public do so to showcase the images to others.

                                                      When in reality not everyone is like that.

                                                      1. re: magic
                                                        c oliver Dec 6, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                        And we all know what happens when we "assume" :)

                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                          magic Dec 6, 2013 12:02 PM

                                                          We do indeed. :)

                                                        2. re: magic
                                                          sandiasingh Dec 6, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                          There is a promo on the Cooking Channel of these two young guys who talk about the huge Twitter community they created by doing just this. They'll post a pic of a hunky burger and all their followers want to know where it is and if it's crowded right now, etc. It's a great marketing tool for some, but in their case, it sounds like a fun way of social networking and branding themselves as (and I hate this word) "foodies."

                                                    2. re: c oliver
                                                      sandiasingh Dec 6, 2013 09:18 AM

                                                      What is the big deal here about taking food pics? How about cat pics, dog pics, baby pics? If you don't like them, don't look at them.

                                                      I have never and will never take a pic in a restaurant (even people pics annoy me there), but I do take food pics at home for my little teeny weeny FB page. It started out as a way to let friends and family know I was doing fine after a bout with cancer, but I also use it as a small teaching tool and it does inspire people. And the people I hear from from around the globe, who never post anything and some of whom I forgot I know, respond in the most amusing ways. The biggest benefit by far has been in sharing a lifestyle that many people would love to have and demonstrating that it is possible if you reset your priorities.

                                                      1. re: sandiasingh
                                                        c oliver Dec 6, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                        Hey, you're preaching to the choir :) Plus except for showing interested parties the latest grandkid pic (singular) I don't burden people with them.

                                              2. TSAW Dec 1, 2013 02:56 PM

                                                I'm a little bit guilty of this crime.

                                                I take pictures of my food at restaurants. I try not to be a maniac and disturb other diners. A photo or two at most. Some times I do Facebook albums of my trips that are only about food, "Foods of Disney", "..NOLA", etc. None of my friends have complained, in fact many of them look forward to it. I'd rather see a picture of a delicious meal you enjoyed in Paris than yet another Eiffel Tower shot.

                                                With that said, I do think that people taking numerous pictures of every course can be disruptive and disrespectful. I don't really want a flash going off in my face all night while I'm trying to eat so I try to extend the same courtesy. But I do sneak a couple shots if I can. ;-)

                                                1. inthekitchen Dec 1, 2013 02:42 PM

                                                  While an occasional photo of a time intensive desert made by a CH and posted with their comments can be appropriate, photos of a meal in a restaurant, are tedious, at best.

                                                  Having said that, I have started taking photos of some of the dishes that I make, which are my own recipe. I am planning on assembling an illustrated "cookbook" for a few select family members which I will assemble using one of the websites that allows you to make photo books. However, because this will be a gift for family members, hopefully, next Christmas, I have not shared the photos with anyone.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: inthekitchen
                                                    c oliver Dec 1, 2013 03:10 PM

                                                    I guess I don't understand how photos at the bottom of a post can be "tedious." Unless you click on them, you hardly know they're food :)

                                                    I really do hope that your family doesn't consider the book "tedious." I made one of family recipes for our daughters a few years ago. No pix. And neither has mentioned it since then.

                                                  2. HillJ Dec 1, 2013 10:41 AM


                                                    In case anyone else (like me) missed the food seflie (ugh) segment due to the train accident in NY.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                      linguafood Dec 1, 2013 11:01 AM

                                                      Wah, wah, annoying voice, wah, 'clever' puns, wah, wah... cry me a river :-)

                                                      People oughta get a life.

                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                        c oliver Dec 1, 2013 11:05 AM

                                                        Oh, gawd, now I'm REALLY sorry I missed it :) Was there a particular point? I tend not to watch shows like that cause it's rarely "news." Give details please.

                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                          HillJ Dec 1, 2013 01:42 PM

                                                          The two of you slay me. Was it really that painful to watch a small opinion piece, ha!

                                                          CBS Sunday Morning is about the only news program on television that bothers to bring positive news to the week. Segments on art, culture, food, science, good ole interesting things to learn about. Their OpEd voices like the last one CH's discussed about the misuse of the phrase "no problem" doesn't attempt to do anything more than observe human behavior. Much like CH's do 24/7.

                                                          Lighten up friends. (she says with a smirk).

                                                        2. re: linguafood
                                                          c oliver Dec 2, 2013 08:32 AM

                                                          Okay, I was able to watch this just now. News? Hardly. And I've never seen anyone stand on a chair. Actually I've never seen anyone stand up to take a pic. Or to have one of those great big honkin' cameras. My camera is about the size of a deck of cards. I think using examples that don't generally occur completely negates the message they were trying to send. And how it comes across as bragging is simply beyond me. Huh. Get a life indeed. And if that's the kind of programming that they have I'm pretty glad my TV doesn't go on til about 6PM :)

                                                        3. re: HillJ
                                                          c oliver Dec 1, 2013 11:03 AM

                                                          Unfortunately, HJ, my data plan doesn't allow me to watch much in the way of videos. But it would have been interesting. I've not actually seen people overdo it in restaurants but just some of the things I've seen on CH show that it clearly happens. And like other obsessions (I'm especially thinking of golf where aficionados will discuss every shot ad nauseum - I know cause I'm married to one!) I'm sure a lot of us do get carried away. I catch myself not infrequently giving someone way too much info about a dish I've eaten or cooked.

                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                            HillJ Dec 1, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                            I can't say that I've experienced a great deal of customer food photography while eating out in restaurants or popping in for take away but I see food photography postings all over the social media forums. Whatever the popularity, it's caught the attention of people who report on social behavior. Does it matter to me, no not really.

                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                              linguafood Dec 1, 2013 02:07 PM

                                                              It was a brilliant example of investigative journalism :-D

                                                        4. linguafood Dec 1, 2013 08:22 AM

                                                          Don't look at them.

                                                          I'd much rather see a picture of a meal someone ate than the 10,000th picture of their drooling baby.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                            Veggo Dec 1, 2013 08:36 AM

                                                            10,000 drooling baby pictures? I would rather see one close up of a regurgitated meal, with my reading glasses.
                                                            I'm becoming more routine at swatting away incoming camera photos, like flies. I really don't give a rat's ass what the image is. I live in real time.

                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                              c oliver Dec 1, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                              I try to be a good CH and do a little writeup when I visit a new to us restaurant or have a new and especially good dish at a regular haunt. Goes on my regional board. And as to food getting cold while photos are taken, I'm sure that happens but not with me. The camera is out, pic takes a VERY few secs and that's that. I will however show a current grandbaby photo to friends. But just one. At a time :)

                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                c oliver Dec 1, 2013 09:34 AM

                                                                Thought a little more about this. I don't believe I've ever had anyone show me a food picture on their phone. Even a chef acquaintance :) He might show me a recent picture of his family but never any of food. But I suppose if a "news magazine" had a feature on it, it must happen.

                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                  linguafood Dec 1, 2013 09:41 AM

                                                                  I do it all the time. In fact, my phone pics are pretty much two categories: pics of the dude (my cat) and pics of food.

                                                                  Oh, how my friends suffer :-D

                                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                                    c oliver Dec 1, 2013 10:09 AM

                                                                    :) Most of the food pix I take, either with my camera or my phone, are just too small and in need of brightening and cropping so my friends are saved :)

                                                                    Here are a couple from our lunch out yesterday. Spicy black bean beef chow fun and claypot beef and glass noodles! HAHAHA!

                                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                                      fldhkybnva Dec 1, 2013 04:59 PM

                                                                      I'm glad I'm not the only one!! Friends often ask to see pictures of what I've been cooking or eating and as I browse the food pictures are mixed with pictures of my little buddy (the kitten). Just yesterday someone remarked "uh, your phone is just pictures of food and your cat, is there anything else on there?" Nope

                                                              2. s
                                                                seamunky Dec 1, 2013 08:05 AM

                                                                photographing food:


                                                                1. petek Dec 1, 2013 07:17 AM

                                                                  I do some "Foodtography" at home to share with my FB friends but never, ever in a restaurant.
                                                                  It's outta control! I know a few people who take pictures of every single restaurant meal they have. It's embarrassing and laughable...
                                                                  Make it go away please.

                                                                  1. PotatoHouse Dec 1, 2013 07:15 AM

                                                                    The only time I have done this was my wonderful day spent in the French Quarter a few months ago. Trust me, the 3 seconds it took me to take a picture of my Jambalaya at Coop's Place or my Gator Poppers at The New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company did not cause them to get cold and did not diminish the wonderful taste in any way, although it does allow me to remember and relive such an enjoyable day in my favorite city.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                      Veggo Dec 1, 2013 07:20 AM

                                                                      I like the reliving a memory part. But not all of your 100 closest friends want to relive it with you....
                                                                      I have friends constantly sticking their phone screens in my face. "Oh Veggo, go to your car and get your reading glasses so you can see this better.."

                                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                                        EWSflash Dec 1, 2013 03:36 PM

                                                                        Veggo, I feel your pain. I was a biomedical photographer for 36 years, and have been shown a lot of vacation photos. Although I get a big kick out of some of the livelier vacation photos I've seen, the food photos had better be damn interesting, and there shouldn't be more than a couple per trip. As Bill Hunt said once, they're by definition pretty lousy quality, so don't bother bragging about the food shot, either.

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