Sunday 4 July 2010

Get rankled

Gastro porn?
Gastro porn?

There's an article in today's Sunday Age about food bloggers and photography in restaurants. I was chuffed to see that an accompanying column in the print version of the paper referred to Melbourne Gastronome as "witty and passionate", and I liked that the article used the word "rankle" (one of my favourite words) not once but three times... but I was bemused to read the rather odd quote from the president of the Australian Association of Food Professionals, who seems to think a food blogger will speak aloud to plates of food in the manner of a frenzied, lecherous paparazzo.

For what it's worth, I wrote about my take on food blogging camera etiquette here.


fitzroyalty said...

Ah so hilarious. The Australian Association of Food Professionals doesn't have a website and they've just realised how behind the times they are. As for the reference to 'intellectual copyright laws', well, the alleged journalist is obviously a moron! Copyright, yes, intellectual property, yes, but 'intellectual copyright'? iLOL...

Daniel said...

Smart restaurants know that the clever use of social networking sites and food blogs can be a very effective way to market themselves. All they need to do is to take a look at the example of EARL Canteen.

The only people who should fear the work of bloggers are restaurants that have crap food and/or poor service. And even then, if their business is struggling and they are clever, maybe the bloggers can offer some good advice.

Nola said...

I must admit, I do rather like the word "rankle" myself.

"Intellectual copyright?" Sounds outrageous. So, I can eat it, but I can't photograph it? Pffft.

Is there more of this article in print? I don't think my computer is showing me the whole article.

Unknown said...

Nice of them to grudgingly acknowledge food blogging as "a legitimate form of experession"

Leanne said...

Wow that's really interesting. I've been taking photos of food for a long time. More because I find them an interesting subject matter- way they are set and so on. I've always been very conscious about taking photos though. Always asking fellow eaters whether anyone is watching.

Food blogs are definitely beneficial for restaurants and cafes. It's free marketing!

Jane said...

'Rankle'. Great word. Up there with 'irregardless'.

You do not breach someone's copyright (to extent it exists which is arguable) by taking a photo of it.

The breach (if any) comes with publication.

Some of these restaurant and cafe owners seem to be overlooking how much free PR they get from food bloggers. Biting the hand, so to speak,

Personally I loathe other people taking photos in restaurants but the ones that annoy me are the ones taking photos of each other with a flash. BUT If you are discreet as you are, then what is the big deal? I call it a form of public service.

Unknown said...

Ha! It's my food and I'll photograph it if I want.

But like you guys, I do it discreetly, with no flash. The wait staff aren't stupid though and they'l know what I'm up to, but they also know that many people like to take s photo of their meal

When recognisable people are in shot, I always ask them first.

Reemski said...

The Association was formerly known as the Food Media Club. They're trying to re-brand hence the lack of website, and the drumming up of publicity for the awards this year. Which coincidentally includes a blogger award. What they don't mention is that you have to pay to enter.

Jo - SecondHelping said...

Just wondering why they didn't speak with Helena Lewis for this article?!

Megan said...

I don't understand why they don't like the food being photograph.. Food bloggers help promote these restaurants for free! And they are bothered with it? It's not like we're giving away their secret recipes.

kam said...

As well as taking a crack at the "pale, flabby" people he assumes are food bloggers with their "wankerish little digicameras", he continues, in trademark fashion, "I think photographing one's food in a restaurant is easily as rude, disrespectful and brutish as … dropping one's trousers in the middle of the room and taking a massive dump".

Unknown said...

Hi Clare,

Just looking at the blog before emailing your Mum. As ever it's terrific. Great to see how well it's done. Hope to be back in Melbourne in November 2011 - so will need the usual Family D degustation visits!


Sue (Pritt)


Hi Claire, I think this article is pretty lame - photographing food shouldn't be a big deal. But it does raise the bigger point of what ethics and standards food bloggers should hold themselves to. For example, what disclosure obligations do you think food bloggers should have? If some sommeliers, waiters and chefs know the identity of a food blogger and therefore give freebies or advise the kitchen to pay extra attention, is that fair to those restaurateurs who are not aware? Once ones cover is blown in some restaurants, would it be fairer to audiences and owners to advise all restaurants about ones blog, if ones blog is influential enough to get you the occasional free course?

claire said...

Thanks for your comments, everybody.

Hi kam - yes, we all had a laugh and shook our heads when that sad little Giles Coren article was published.

Hi Sue, thanks for dropping by! Looking forward to seeing you and R again in the not too distant future... xx

Hi C-M, I've written before elsewhere on the blog about the questions you ask, and I covered the same topics in the seminar paper I presented at the Eat Drink Blog food bloggers conference in March, entitled "I thought you might like to mention our product on your blog": The impact of trade practices regulation on bloggers and the ethics of freebies and conflicts of interest. The presentation is not online, but in a nutshell my philosophy is to disclose, disclose, disclose.
I prefer to go incognito but at a few places these days sometimes people recognise/know me and send out the occasional complimentary dish - if they do, I'll always mention what the freebie was when writing up a review. In that way, my readers can decide for themselves whether they think the freebie 'tainted' my opinion of the place. But I'd never swagger in and announce who I am - some people might think that I'm TRYING to get special treatment! What d'you think?

Anonymous said...

Hi Claire, FYI the AAFP does have a website
Congrats on the blog.