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Is it gauche to take a photo of your meal?

I know this seems tacky but I can't resist taking a picture of a particularly pretty or memorable meal. I do scrapbooks of my trips when I get home and the pictures are really nice to include. I've only gotten dirty looks from a woman at the Cafe Konig in Baden-Baden. I always feel embarrassed but maybe it's not so bad?

Posted by
111 posts

I do that too! I don't care what others think. It's not like I'm going to see them again. One of my friends took a pic of her food and the staff thought she was a food reviewer for a magazine LOL

Posted by
1320 posts

I've done it in France and didn't get any negative looks or remarks. In fact, I wish I'd done more of it. I don't think it's bad at all. I'd rather take a picture of a memorable meal than a famous landmark (which you can get a postcard of). After all, the meals are a huge attraction, especially in France.

Posted by
316 posts

I don't think it's tacky at all. We travel to see places and experience things that are different from our daily lives. A big part of this is food. I say take pictures of your food discreetly and don't worry about it. I'll be happy to send you copies of my 8 Euro gelato in Florence, my potatoes and sausages in Rothenberg or my pasty in York if you'd like! I can also send all sorts of European wine and beer pictures, too.

Posted by
2765 posts

No, but using the flashy is tacky! So take the picture with normal light but don't flash. The folks around you don't enjoy having the 'strobe' light meal effect.

Posted by
233 posts

I agree with Carol. Snap away but don't use the flash. Whenever I eat at a sit-down restaurant in Europe, I always take a picture. I put them on my trip websites and get mixed reviews from viewers. Some love to see what I've eaten, others find it odd. But I keep doing it :)

Posted by
180 posts

Obviously no issues here :)

I could go on... seriously, meals are some of the greatest memories of a trip to Europe. Whether that be on the side of a road, at a nice bistro or out of a bag on a train :)

Posted by
3428 posts

My husband took a pic of a great meal he ordered in a Chinese resturant in London. He immediately sent it to his bff - with whom he usually eats Chinese for lunch 3xs a week!

Posted by
2297 posts

Oh those potatoe pancake look perfectly crisp!! You got them in Germany by any chance?

Posted by
582 posts

Great pictures Pete!
This would go over well in the, "Not Bring a Camera" thread. Lol!
I took a picture of my food only once, but in the USA, in Carmel Ca. at the Cypress inn (owned by Doris Day)
Pretty fancy place, but no one cared. Glad to know it's not such a bad thing to do in Europe! I may do it myself!

Posted by
692 posts

Dorothy, my husband always does this when he finds his meal appealing, and it drives me nuts! but i have learned to live with it...he will be happy to learn he is far from being alone!

Posted by
2744 posts

What a great question. Last year I was looking at someone's pictures online and noticed how they took pictures of every meal they ate and every glass of beer they drank. I thought it was so odd. The beer I could kind of see because some of the glasses and mugs were pretty cool, but the food I just did not get. So now I find other people do this too. Well, it's your trip, so I think you should take pictures of whatever you want. I don't understand it, but I don't think it's gauche, and I certainly don't think it deserves a dirty look.

Posted by
180 posts

Beatrix, you're right. The potato pancakes were in Frankfurt. Cheap and tasty! It was my first experience with Apple wein too. Tastes light, but it sure had a kick!

Personally I NEVER use a flash in a restaurant. Doing so edges the experience from having a fun and memorable meal to "silly tourist". In fact I avoid using a flash on 99% of my travel photography.

Pete

Posted by
32273 posts

Dorothy,

I also take pictures of particularly memorable meals during my travels. I don't know if this is "tacky", but I really don't care what anyone else thinks. Some meals are very memorable due to either unique presentation or the fact that they're substiantially different than the "usual fare" at home.

However when I'm posting and sharing my holiday photos with family and friends, I tend to use only "selected" and special meals in the presentation so as not to overdo the food aspect. What I found very tasty and appealing during the trip doesn't necessarily have that same effect on others "after the fact".

I sometimes enlist the help of a helpful Waitress to take a photo of me while I'm enjoying a fine hot meal, as that's a nice memory too (unfortunately since I often use my P&S Camera for that type of photo, the Flash sometimes fires - I could turn the flash off, but the photo would then be too dark).

Cheers!

Posted by
2530 posts

Pete, you're making me hungry...yum!

Dorothy - I take lots of pictures of food, my last trip to Ireland it was mostly of my picnic fare (cheap, healthy, and yummy) and the wide variety of adult beverages I sampled. I usually make a special section in my photo album for food - people can skip it if they aren't interested. I don't tend to take restaurant pictures unless the meal is particularly spectacular, but that's just me. As long as you're not obtrusive (or "flashy" as the prior posts indicate) I say take the pictures!

Posted by
92 posts

I do sometimes take pictures of my food, especially if it's yummy, artfully arranged, or in a memorable location. I had sausages and champ in a snug (a booth with a door) at The Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast, washed down with a pint of Guinness... Good pub grub, good beverage, memorable atmosphere. And no one cared that I used a flash because we were in our own snug! :) But, yes, otherwise, I avoid using the flash in pretty much all of my photos.

Posted by
1003 posts

Just want to add another vote to the yes, I take pictures of my food camp. I would also never use flash (then again I almost never use flash under any circumstances), and frankly I'll never see the people I'm eating near, so I'd rather have my memories than be concerned about offending fellow diners. If it was some kind of cultural thing that was offensive I suppose that'd be another thing but I took pictures of my food - in restaurants and street food - and no one looked twice at me.

Posted by
37 posts

Thanks to all of you for your reassurances and to you Pete for those gorgeous pictures of apple wine and potato pancakes. I prize my own pictures of baba au rhum in Paris, tartiflette in Annecy, and an incredibly delicious goat cheese sorbet in Arles that had an orange berry on top that the French call "love in a cage"!

Posted by
320 posts

Dorothy:

My wife and I have done this for years. I keep a food journal on our trips separate and apart from the travel journal. The photos help so much.

My brother is a chef and on our return he is dying to read the journal and see the photos.

Once (back in 1993) we were in a small place in the Champagne region. I was taking photos and making some notes about our fabulous meal. I always try to do this very subtly - I don't want to disturb the other diners. The owners apparently thought I was a critic or writing a guidebook - they brought us a special dessert and a split of champagne on the house! We are still laughing about that.

Have fun.

Posted by
225 posts

Do you say "cheese" just before the photo is taken?

Posted by
689 posts

Foodies and food bloggers have done this for years (no flash of course). Some get really fancy with a tripod! I've known people that have had the chef come out and chat with them after seeing them take photos--it does indicate you're pretty serious about food.

Posted by
3551 posts

I particularly takes pics of lovely desserts w/ expressos at my place setting. It is a fun memory and everyone just smiles around me.

Posted by
73 posts

My husband does this all the time. But if you're feeling self-conscious, whip out a notebook and pen at the same time, and the owners will think you're a food critic and give you fabulous service.

Posted by
582 posts

Wow, Jon! I'll start taking pictures of my food from now on! Lol!

Posted by
11507 posts

I do not find it rude,, although I have only done it a few times myself.

I do LOVE it when I see it in other peoples blogs though,, I like to see photos of everything,, food, hotel room etc.. the only thing I am not wild about is 10 pictures of same well known monument..a tad boring..

Posted by
180 posts

I started looking through some of my pictures. Each one of these brings back a feeling, a taste and even a scent.

Hope nobody minds me sharing a few more:

Vienna, right outside the main train station:

This schnitzel was bigger then my head, Vienna again:

Our lunch before we left Paris for Nice:

Our first fish and chips ever in London. Seconds later the fish was gone!

In a pub in London preparing for our next day. I think everyone here will recognize the book:

Now I'm hungry.

Pete

Posted by
914 posts

I think every one of my vacation photo albums contains food porn. Whether because the presentation was beautiful, or because it was an unusual dish/drink, it's just fun to have photographic evidence that it existed!

Posted by
278 posts

I know two college-age friends of my daughter who took photos of themselves with every gelato they had in Italia. It sounds like so much fun that my husband and I plan to do just that on our trip to Europe next summer. I think we'll include every pastry in Paris, too!

Posted by
267 posts

Well, now I don't feel like such a dork taking a picture of my cone of gelato in Firenze, or my prosciutto e formaggio sandwich in Verona! I am convinced my friend who went with me to Italy thought I was nuts, and I get a good laugh out of showing the gelato one to my patients while waiting for the dentist to do their exam (I have my Italy pics on my computer at work!); it was SOO good, I HAD to take a picture of it: cioccolato fondente; absolutely fabulous!

Posted by
506 posts

Dorothy,

A friend gave us this idea before we left last summer for our trip and my only regret was I didn't take more pictures! It has really helped us to remember some of the great meals we had and to share the memories with others.

My favorite pictures (and again I wish we would have taken more photos of) were of the different beers and wines we drank. It's great to have pictures of the bottles so when we can try to find some of the beer/wines in stores around here. Not much luck with the wine, but we have found some of the beers!

Posted by
21 posts

My husband collects wine. When traveling, we don't buy anything (that we'd then have to carry) if it is exported to the US. Having said that, there are a lot of good ones he wants to remember, so we have lots of pictures of wine bottle labels, both at meals and at wineries. (His hand-writing is so terrible, the year he "made notes" was completely lost.)

Posted by
3551 posts

I have fond memories and pics of my best european desserts and cafes. It all started with a cafe creme in Siena. The barista put a smiley face in the crema foam. I still smile when I see that pic in my photo album. Not tacky to me just a great fun moment I get to relive over and over.