I’ve been reading about food photography today, and I was a little surprised at what I found. Apparently there are people out there that disapprove of people taking photos of food in restaurants.

And here I was, thinking that everyone loved taking photos of food in restaurants. But apparently not.

It was fascinating for me as I wandered around the internet, reading about food bloggers and how they take photos, and also the comments that people were leaving on some of these blogs.

It seems that a lot of people enjoy taking photos of food. There’s also a lot that enjoy reading food blogs and seeing the photos, but there’s a few people that seem to take great offence at it.

Some of these are chefs of very reputable establishments that get upset at seeing the crappy photos of their masterpieces out there on the internet. As a result, these precious chefs have banned all photography in their restaurants and tell people to leave if they see a camera.

Some of these are people that don’t appreciate the idiots that use flashes in the restaurant, or that set up tripods and lighting around their table. I know there’s a lot of stupid people out there, but I just didn’t think there’d be stupid people taking food photos. I know, stupid of me….

So I can understand the desire to avoid flash photography and tripods in a restaurant.

For me, that just goes without saying. Ultimately, I’m in a restaurant to enjoy the food with friends. It’s a social occasion. Taking photos of the food is just something we do because we enjoy it, but we do our utmost to avoid disturbing other people in the restaurant.

Since we started this food blog, our friends are really getting into it with us. When their food arrives, they put it into a place on the table where we can take photos of it, and when we’re finished they take back their plate. They take turns, waiting until someone’s plate has been photographed before they put their plate there as well.

It’s great fun and adds to the festivities. But once photos are done, we all dig into the food, getting on with the social occasion.

I was also reading today that some people wouldn’t even dream to take photos of food in a restaurant. For a start, they think that they can’t take photos without the owner or staff’s permission first, so they don’t usually bother. Second, they think that everyone in the restaurant would be looking at them as they’re taking photos, so they want to avoid the embarrassment.

It was very surprising for me to read these comments. I don’t even think about asking permission. If someone has a problem with me taking photos in their restaurant, they’re well within their rights to ask me to stop, but no one ever has, and I’m not expecting them to. Taking photos of food is, after all, a sign of appreciation in today’s photo-happy society, where everyone has a camera of some sort.

I also don’t get embarrassed getting my camera and taking photos. It’s not something I’ve ever felt embarrassed about. But I can understand many people would.

But the whole experience of discovering all these opinions about it made me wonder.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Do you get embarrassed taking photos of food? Do you get annoyed about other people taking photos of their food in a restaurant? Are you a chef that’s bothered by people taking photos of your food and sharing it out on the internet? Or maybe you have some opinions on this that I haven’t discussed above?

I’d love to hear your own thoughts about this in the comments below.