Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Must-Read For All "Foodtographers"

My foodie friend Cindy sent me this great article last week from the New York Times:

As my blog post title says, this is a must-read for anybody who likes to take pictures of their food  (as well as other people's food). 

If you don't have time to read the whole article, here's a summary of it:

  • Javier Garcia posted everything he ate for the last FIVE years here, and he's still going
  • He began photographing his food after losing 80 pounds, and "hopes to one day use the photographs to calculate how much money he spends to consume a calorie versus how much he spends in gym memberships and sports gear to burn a calorie."
  • Norma Sherman "was introduced to her boyfriend through someone she came to know through his comments on the food pictures on her blog, and who thought the two might be a match." Strangers follow her blog and know her for the food she eats.
  • Pamela Hollinger began taking pictures of her food in 1997, and says its easier than ever now to do this because of her iPhone
  • Keeping a photographic food diary is becoming a popular trend - evident from the growing food photos from Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, MySpace, Shutterfly, Chowhound, and FoodCandy
  • People like Javier, Norma, and Pamela find it hard to suppress the urge to photograph everything they eat and post it
  • Psychotherapists says this behaviour is not surprising because “In the unconscious mind, food equals love because food is our deepest and earliest connection with our it makes sense that people would want to capture, collect, catalog, brag about and show off their food.”
  • However, this habit may become pathological if it interferes with relationships or the anxiety of not doing it becomes an obsessive-compulsive disorder - a restaurant owner once saw a customer left his wife sitting there for an hour while he goes back home because he didn't have the right lens for his camera
  • Camera manufacturers are catching onto the trend and will soon release cameras with "cuisine" modes that enable sharp, close-up shots of food
  • A food critic spent a year photographing his food, and realizes that those pictures capture memories and emotions that a written journal cannot achieve. He says "It used to turn heads if you took a picture of your food, and I even got in trouble at a few it’s ubiquitous and just shows that we are in a spastic food era — we couldn’t get more obsessive.”
  • Another person says food pictures forms a memory of an occasion because people have a more direction connection with their food. He also says:

"I think photographing food is a more accurate way to document life...Food isn’t going to put on a special face when you take a picture of it."

Well for sure I'm not as obsessive as the people featured in this article.

I mean, yeah, I prevent my family, my close friends, or my boyfriend to dig into their plates until I have taken a good picture of what's in front of them. And I also prefer that I am the one taking the picture because, you know, many people have shaky hands and you just cannot rely on them to take a good picture with the right lighting and angle. But that's pretty much it in terms of my foodtography needs............for now =)