Friday, January 30

Is food blogging antisocial?

And... we're back! I haven't forgotten about this blog. As I was sorting through the un-posted food photos collected over the past year or two, some thoughts came to mind about why the posts on this blog have been so far and few in between.

The first reason is simple enough. I started working and had to make some adjustments to my priorities. As a student if I slept late because I stayed up writing, it was of no consequence. As a working person, that's irresponsible. I used to dabble in paid food and travel writing to partially fund my hobbies. Then full time work came along with a lot more money but a lot less time. Plus, my friends who loved food also started working and we could no longer share so many lovely long lunches, trying this or that cafe.

The second reason is less straightforward. I think subconsciously the question that's been floating in my mind and accountable for noticeable gaps of months and months where I hadn't taken any food photos at all is this - is food blogging antisocial? I don't know if writing about the Grilled campaign had anything to do with conjuring these notions. Is it selfish to make others wait and have their food go cold while you try to capture a photogenic shot? Does it disrupt the flow of conversation? How does the other person feel when you take out your phone or bring out a bulky camera in the middle of the meal? There are certainly a lot of people who are vocal about finding the habit of food photos before meals annoying or simply ridiculous.

"Photographing meals becomes pathological, however, if it interferes with careers or relationships or there’s anxiety associated with not doing it." - First Camera, Then Fork

Taking food photos when eating alone is a no-brainer. When eating out with others however, it depends. I've found that with some people, there is no element of being antisocial as you each take out your devices and help each other "pose" the food for a shot. Some don't mind but start to look quite hungry if you take too long. Yes, the photo may not be framed right or have the best lighting but maybe a quick snap or none at all is better than making your dinner companion wait too long. Some hate it or find it rude (but you would probably never know because friends are often too polite to say so). Some don't mind either way. For acquaintances or others you don't know so well, it's hard to tell how they would react to it. So more and more, I avoid it in those situations in case whoever I'm eating with gets the impression that I'm more interested in the food than in their company. Which may or may not be true, but building relationships definitely takes precedence over documenting my culinary journeys.

Having said all this, I will still be writing here in 2015. Hopefully more posts than 2014, which shouldn't be very hard at all!