Lately, whenever we go out to eat, Tara cringes. Because it usually ends up being a party of three: me, her, and my camera. Like many people, I’m sort-of obsessed with photographing my food. This would probably be okay with my wife if I did so subtly – a quick snapshot with my phone, say – but for some reason, she gets embarrassed when I drag out the Nikon. Doubly so if I use the flash.
Admittedly, I try not to go to such extremes. I don’t want to annoy my fellow diners or draw attention to the fact that I am taking pics of my food. But even without the flash, it’s kind of hard not to notice the guy with the big red camera pointed at his plate. In my defense, I say this: food is art, and should be appreciated by both the eyes and the mouth.
There are downsides to photographing food, aside from attracting the ire of the other restaurant patrons. It takes time to position the plate just so, focus the lens, remove unnecessary items (took me a long time to start paying attention to things like straws in glasses and Stevia packets on the table). So by the time I am able to actually dig into my food, it is no longer piping hot.
Here’s the thing, though: food represents memories. I can take a look at a plate and instantly conjure up where I was and what I was doing at the exact moment I took the photo. If I were to stroll down this foodie version of Memory Lane, for instance, I would recall…
I think you get the point.
Some foods photograph better than others. Split pea soup, no matter how good it tastes, inevitably ends up looking pale and disgusting. But a hearty bowl of ramen? Much more appealing.
Or a great sandwich.
Even something simple like pork rinds.
I have love for cocktails, too.
And an entire gallery of Bloody Mary pics.
Last night, we met up with our foodie friend Kara to take advantage of Portland Dining Month. Naturally, I brought along my camera. And naturally, I embarrassed Tara.
But damn, was it good. And again, I say: art on a plate.
How ’bout you? Do you take the time to photograph your food, snicker at those busting out their cameras or phones, or do you not care because you are too busy diving right in?