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Dear Urban Diplomat: can I lodge a complaint when fellow restaurant patrons start photographing their food?

Urban Diplomat

(Image: Shermeee)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My wife and I were enjoying our 35-year anniversary at Scaramouche, until the young couple at the table next to us started photographing their food, distracting us with flashes every time a new dish arrived. My son tells me that these food bloggers take their work very seriously. I don’t care—they ruined our night. I was tempted to lodge a complaint. Should I have?
Meal, Interrupted, Summerhill

No Toronto restaurant is safe from the macro lenses of hobby food pornographers. Whether you think their craft is the highest form of culinary appreciation or the crudest violation of etiquette, as long as it’s done discreetly—no light boxes, no standing on chairs, no flashes—a little dinnertime photography is fine. That goes for fancy dining institutions as well as down-market delis. But if those ground rules are breached, follow your impulse and let the floor manager rain down hushed, pristinely polished hell on their snap-happy heads.

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  • Cynthia

    As a lifestyle blogger (I focus on dining, style, travel, etc…), I completely agree. As long as people are using their phone or small point-and-shoot (rather than lugging a DSLR with them), it should be fine. And to food bloggers: there are apps you can download or settings on your camera you can use so that you can photograph without the need to use flash.

  • W. K. Lis

    What about birthday, anniversary, or special occasion dinners? No photos at all, flash or not?

    Please hold the pose for 30 seconds since flash is not allowed and it is dark in here.

  • re-electrobford?areyoumad

    in the good old days it was illegal to take photos in a licenced establishment-period.

  • iEatiGeek

    Meal Interrupted – having someone take some pictures in the vicinity of you seems like such a silly, trivial thing to have “ruin your night”. If it takes so little to wreck your day, you must have a lot of bad days.

  • just one guy’s opinion

    eat the g’damned food while the food is still hot g’dammit!

  • Sarah

    How many pictures did these people take? Unless it was a full-on foodie photoshoot, I think “Meal, Interrupted” is a little overly sensitive.
    Solution: next time, complain to the manager and move to a new table far away from them.