Friday, September 23, 2011
Do you cook for your family or your blog?
The arguments about whether or not you should take pictures or notes in a restaurant have been well rehearsed but what about when you eat at home? Should you hold the entire meal up while you style a plate and snap away or should you end up - as I often do (above) - snatching a blurry low light image of your dinner?
If anything it’s a bigger problem because it happens more regularly. My husband has got well used to the routine, sighing wearily as I plate up “I suppose you want to take a picture of that”.
And it’s getting more of a dilemma as the standard of photography goes up. The best blogs, many of which I’ve documented, have photography that wouldn’t look out of place in a glossy magazine and having seen Jaden of Steamy Kitchen and Béatrice of La Tartine Gourmande in action at Food Blogger Connect, probably takes as long to set up. So do you cook, like a professional photographer for the shoot, and expect your nearest and dearest to eat the leftovers? Or, God forbid, cook two meals?
And what about the equipment? What used to be a sideline for many of us becomes an expensive hobby as you invest in the latest flashy digital camera - or two (one for your 'studio' shoots and a pocket sized one for restaurants and food on the go)?
I guess it depends how ambitious you are for your blog and where you see it taking you. If you’re angling for a new career in food writing and photography you’re going to have to behave like a pro with the ensuing waste that involves. I’ve been on shoots where whole meals are discarded in the bin, something I can never quite get used to.
But what about the rest of us with day jobs and partners and families to feed? Are we consigned to a nether world of mediocrity because our photography isn’t up to scratch?
I’d love to hear your views but here's one (heretical) suggestion of my own. Which is to use one of the many wizzy camera apps on your phone to create special effects - or even, if you have a Mac, play around with iphoto as I've done to the rather grotty shot above. OK it’s not going to give your readers the clearest idea of the masterpiece you’ve created but at least it looks a bit edgy.
What do you think? (Not of my photos, obviously - at least I'd rather you didn't tell me - but about the whole issue!)