Our favourite restaurant in Chester is one of those pretty cool places. Chester, being Chester is a veritable sea of cool with its highly manicured population. Mr N & I are not the sort of people you would describe as ‘cool’. We’re more ‘comfy slippers’ than Jimmy Choo. However, this particular restaurant, which I would describe as a fine dining restaurant, doesn’t make us feel out of place the way some places do. You know the ones, you walk in & all eyes are immediately on you as if you have just walked in with a welly (boot) on your head!
This restaurant, while being cool is accommodating & inclusive. When I saw they had a new menu on, I thought I would make this the very first outing to a restaurant with my DSLR rather than just my phone camera. What better place to stand out like a sore thumb than somewhere I felt comfortable in right?
Taking The Bull By The Horns
I’m very self-conscious at the best of times, but particularly when taking photos in public. When I have a camera in my hand I worry I look arrogant & that people expect great things I can’t then deliver. Irrational I know, but lack of confidence is irrational. Also, I am conscious that taking photographs of your food in a restaurant may break all social etiquette rules (I know my mother would be appalled!!).
However, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to showcase this restaurant’s resplendent dishes on my blog so on I added a note to my booking requesting a window seat so I could photograph my food. It actually said something along the lines of “I bet you hate this but……”!
Feeling apprehensive that the restaurant staff would be annoyed, I half expected a flat “we don’t allow that in our restaurant”. I was anxious I would upset fellow diners with my less than discreet camera in the middle of the restaurant. Also, I worried my husband would get arsey as he salivated over his meal, unable to eat it until I had got the shot I wanted.
None of those things happened. Well, actually, that’s isn’t strictly true. Mr N did indeed get a bit tetchy hence the half eaten bread shot!
Arriving slightly early. We were seated away from the window at the only free table. The nerves kicked in. “They’re annoyed at my request” I thought. Eyeing up the table in the window which I can see is about to come free I face an internal challenge; should I, shouldn’t I ask if we could move once it was free? Am I going to look like a total diva?
I am just about to shelve the idea of taking any photos at all, parking the whole thing as a really bad idea when a lovely lady approaches our table. She explains they’re aware of my window seat request & are going to move us as soon as the table in the window becomes free. Yessss! I thank her profusely & apologise (of course) for being pain. But I have a green light to take photos!!
So, Mr N & I are now comfortably sitting at the window table. Our drinks are ordered. My camera is out of its bag. We order some olives & bread appetisers.
Our waitress suggests we might want to move our water carafe onto the floor. Ahh, she’s dealt with the likes of the food photographing customer before!! I am feeling even more comfortable. A 2nd green light – boom!
And We Are Off…
So, water carafe is now on the floor, appetisers are on the table looking good! Time to be really brave & actually take some shots. Adjusting the items on the table a little more, I pick up the jug of milk for Mr N’s coffee, elevating it into the air & swooping it across the table.
Only, I don’t. Elevate it I mean. Instead of swooping, I crash unceremoniously into his freshly poured hot cup of coffee scattering the hot content all over our table. The clatter of the 2 glass objects is deafening!! Well, to me at least.
Catching the eye of the lady next to us, she says “that’s exactly the sort of thing I do!”.
On the upside, the said fellow diner on the table next to us & I go on to have a lovely chat about our love of photography & food! She explains she has only ever attempted to do it using her phone camera to which her companion says, “and they are already all over facebook”!
I did it! Yes, I felt awkward, and totally out of my comfort zone. But at least I did it & I even got a blog post out of it. If you want to read it & see more photos it’s HERE!
And so, from this experience I have put together a pinnable image with tips on how to photograph your food in a restaurant, the right way:
If anyone has any additional tips on how to photograph your meal in a public place, I would be very grateful for them!
Thank you to The Chef’s Table for your patience. The meal was, as always, amazing. Apologies, again, for the spillage!!