It might soon happen that a usual set of cutlery gets
a new member. Right next to the plate, with the spoon, fork and knife also a
camera will be set.
Photographic food diaries are a new Internet
phenomenon. The number of people that have to take a picture of anything before
they put it in their mouths, be it first class lasagne, exotic fruit from the
most outback places, up to the ordinary bag of chips or a chewing gum, is
increasing. English language already has a name coined for them - food snappers (probably according to the
web site with the same name). The most renowned such a group is on Flickr,
called "I Ate This", and has gathered so far more than 20 thousand
users with more than 350,000 photos. A giant virtual table. There would
probably be even more photos uploaded if the users were not limited to 50
pictures a month. There are similar groups also on other social networks -
Facebook, MySpace, Twitter.
Not every person that takes photos of food is a food
snapper. Somebody likes to preserve a memory of a special dinner or share it
with relatives and friends. Others put the pictures up on their blogs as
evidence that they saw or ate something or they want to share their experiences
with the strangers on the web sites.
Addicts could be those that have to start every single meal by snapping. Researchers
offer various explanations of such behaviour. Some say that they started on
their junior year when their mothers wanted to know if they are eating healthy,
others say that shooting food made them more curious for trying, the third ones
say that this is exactly the way they lost weight, because after posting three
photos of an ice cream in a day it is impossible to post the fourth one as well.
There is a need to express ourselves through
recipes, but also through photos of what we eat.
New digital cameras that made us forget what the films
with 12, 24 or 36 pictures meant, together with their development in a studio,
made picture taking free of charge. Nobody bothers anymore with the number of
pictures they take. First we shoot, then we choose and then we delete. Digital
cameras are always by our side, and nowadays iPhones and other mobiles with
cameras. Besides, uploading photos on the web is simple and free. Following
market demands, some digital camera manufacturers have included
"food" or "cuisine" in their menu options.
It is simply incredible how the technology available to anyone provoked our
ego, exhibitionism and voyeurism. Sometimes it seems that only those things
happened that we took the photos of. The same is with food.
The restaurants also noticed that more and
more people first go for their camera and then for their spoon in front of a
Naturally, the restaurants also noticed that more and more people first go for
their camera and then for their spoon in front of a full plate. Most of them
accepted this, providing they do not bother other guests. Besides, it is a kind
of advertisement for them. But there are also those that kindly inform the
guests that taking pictures of food is not allowed in their restaurants. If the
guests would like some photos of the food they ate, the restaurant has photos
of all of their meals ready and they would be happy to give them away.
Food defines us, it is a fact that many will agree
with. Probably this is the fact that sets the need to express ourselves through
recipes, but also photos of what we eat.