Let's get one thing out in the air immediately. Posting pictures of your food on Instagram has become a global phenomenon. Really, you know you've had that time when you forgot to Instagram your fancy dinner from RPM or Dos Caminos and you kicked yourself after the fact.
I find myself pulling out my iPhone all the time and restaurants, feeling the need to document every bite that I take. I've unfortunately even caught myself photographing my Bacon Habanero Ranch Burger from McDonald's... This strange obsession with food photography infused into social media has become common practice in our society. The matter of the fact is, I don't see it going away anytime soon.
So with that in mind, I offer up a few general rules to follow when taking pictures of your food at a restaurant:
1. Avoid the flash. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If I wanted to be surrounded by strobe lights I would have gone to American Junkie on a Saturday night. When it comes down to it, using a flash in the middle of a restaurant is rude and distracting to other diners. Plus, more often than not, the flash will wash out your food. Stick to no flash and go au naturel.
2. Snap and dine. There's no reason to turn this into a production. The chef put time and effort into preparing your meal and it is rude to let it sit and get cold just because you need the perfect picture. Quickly snap a few pictures and then put away your phone.
3. Pull out that smart phone. Let's face it, even I'm not a professional photographer taking pictures of gourmet dishes for a restaurant. Although I'd love to be doing that someday... Most of us want to share a little food porn on social media, so stick to your iPhone or Android. There are enough apps out there now to enhance your photos and make them look delectable.
4. Keep it discrete. Trust me, I want the perfect picture too. "Perspective is everything. It's all about the aerial view. I just gotta stand up and get the picture from up above." No, please do not make a spectacle out of yourself. These antics can end up being more distracting than anything else.
5. Social media can wait. There is no need to edit your photos, apply a filter, and post it on Instagram or Twitter right away. You can wait a few hours before posting. Again, people put a lot of effort into making your food so please, just enjoy it!