Sunday, November 02, 2008

A question to food bloggers...

I met up with an acquaintance at a recent party.
While I was busy snapping away food pictures, I got a casual remark
Oh, I see you are a food blogger too?
I merely smiled and nodded, while I continued taking pictures..
I knew his family ran a few famous food establishments, in fact, some of us food bloggers have written about their restaurants before.
And the next question came from him
Have you ever seek the restaurant's approval before you take any of their food pictures?
You don't find it rude for not doing so?
To be honest, I was rather taken aback. I understand that coming from his view, he is more defensive as food blogging may be for or against his family business; and they are rather defenseless in this sense. It's good news if the write up is good, heck, it's free advertising for them in the blog sphere; but am sure they will not be thrilled if we had bad experiences instead.
I am so used to my way of walking into a restaurant/ stall/ shop, order my food, snap the pictures and write. It's almost second nature to me now. I never preempted any of the food joints I go for as I do not want any 'special treatment'. My close friends knows that I use my food blog as my own food diary and references in the future.
But somehow, his comments got me thinking.
Is my way of recording my actual food experiences and sharing in the blog sphere wrong?
So my food blogger friends, what do you think is a proper protocol of a food blogger then?



Anonymous YeinJee said...

There's no absolute protocol for this... some restaurants love food bloggers, most don't care/mind, while some are not welcoming photography at all.

I guess nowadays most restaurants are familiar with customers taking pictures; if they seriously don't like it, they can always put a signboard or something.

Personally, I would ask permission if the owner/managers are within sight. And I only took food pics on my table while avoiding customers or food counters (eg buffet).

02 November, 2008  
Blogger JC @ Jessey said...

Yeah man, I think yeinjee got it right. I will taking pictures while visiting most of the restaurant as well and I believe most of them don't mind of taking pictures. I did ask one of the owner of the stall whether I could taking pictures for their yummylicious foods and the answer is: "YES!Welcome!", because I can post it on the blog and make them famous, so why not?

Anyway, different people might have their different thought, as the person you mentioned?

02 November, 2008  
Blogger J2Kfm said...

all this while I've only faced one difficult situation, when the staff asked me to talk to their manager if I wanted to snap.
needless to say, I was slightly offended. Here I was, holding a camphone, and I'm supposed to be a threat/competitor? Geez.

they can easily put a notice at their door in case they do not prefer flash photography, or any photos at all.

02 November, 2008  
Blogger Precious Pea said...

Hmm...good question. I am like you, it has become my 2nd nature to just walk in, sit down, order, served, snap snap snap, eat, blog. But I tot asking for permission will be attracting more attention, no?

02 November, 2008  
Blogger Nic (KHKL) said...

i thought of this as well. i believe it's all about freedom of expression, as long as it's done truthfully. and ya lor, like you, i think it's sorta like a write-up of our daily lives. nothing wrong with that, me thinks. unless they mention that photography and blogging are not allowed...hehe...

and i believe food blogging is wayyyyyyyy less controversial compared to political blogs.

hmm, perhaps the owner of the reviewed restaurant can start a hate-food-blogging blog to antagonize this form of is so difficult hor? geez....

03 November, 2008  
Anonymous Lyrical Lemongrass said...

As a customer at a restaurant, I believe it is perfectly okay to take pictures because a restaurant is considered a public place UNLESS there is a sign that specifically says that you cannot take pictures. Management can, of course, tell you to stop taking pictures, but ownership of the pictures still belongs to you.

03 November, 2008  
Anonymous jason said...

I think I agree with LL. I usually will not take any pictures if the premise displayed the No Camera sign but it they didn't, hey, I paid for the food, I'll decide what should I do to it.

If the management stop me from taking pictures based on some ridiculous reasons/manners, I would be turned off. I won't bother to write about it.

03 November, 2008  
Blogger sc said...

yeinjee: so you do ask for permission if the manager/ owner is observing you? but yeah, like you, i avoid taking buffet pictures and of course, other customer's food :)

jc: hi there! i guess so that his opinion and mine differs..but then again, not everyone who take pictures of food are bloggers. most tourists takes pictures too, but not for blogs..hmm, tough call eh?

pea: my sentiments exactly. the whole reason i never wanted attention is bcoz i didnt want any difference in treatment. i just want to write based on a normal walk-in customer experience...

nic: hahaha..yes, wayyy lesssss controversial compared to political blogs..i mean, we can talk about it, but we cant write about it? if a place serves good food, it still gets spread from word of mouth, no? same for bad's all freedom of expression as you aptly put it..

lyrical lemongrass: agreed. if they dont like customers taking pictures (be it for blogging or for keepsakes), they should notify us/ place a sign...

jason: so far, i have yet to come across a restaurant that stops me from taking pictures of their food. but i guess if they do stop me and warn me/ be rude to me.. i will definitely not do a post on it. and if they are extra rude to me, then i'll post about their rudeness, not their food :p

03 November, 2008  
Blogger sc said...

j2kfm: oooppps, missed your comments :p.oh no, you are the unlucky one that got 'warned'. geez, yeah, they should just place notices if they dislike customers taking pictures of the food..

03 November, 2008  
Anonymous Vincent said...

Hell, you ordered the food. If they're that ansy about it, either

(1) switch off all the lights in the restaurant,

(2) ensure hat their standard is up to mark, or

(3) get a professional food columnist to write amazing things about their food.

I just think that our acquaintance was off the mark with a comment like that.

10 November, 2008  
Blogger PureGlutton said...

So far i have been stopped once not to take pics - a Jap buffet joint. I was rather pissed since there was no sign to say "No camera"! Anyway, i stopped and didnt bother to blog about them. Maybe they think their biz is so good, they don't need more publicity, whether good or bad!

11 November, 2008  
Blogger Simon Seow said...

I'll just take photo without asking first, I'll only stop doing so if the staff from the restaurant told me that I am not allowed to take pics. If I was asked politely, I'll of course stop doing. If they're very rude in ordering me to stop taking pics. Be sure the post I write about the food there is not a good one.

12 November, 2008  
Blogger sc said...

vincent: wow, you seemed even more offended than me! :). yes, i ordered the food, why cant i take picture ya?

pureglutton: i wont blog about it too if they stopped me. but like you say, if they dont want people taking pictures, why dont they just put up the sign?

simon: wow, sounds quite scary lor..:)

12 November, 2008  

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