I Am Not a Food Photographer

And this is not a food diary.

Okay, so I delay mealtimes by photographing the food I cook–sometimes. And, yes, I do take photos of the food I eat in restaurants–occasionally. But, I swear, I’m not a pathological food photographer!

If I’m sounding defensive, it’s because I read this article in today’s New York Times that my friend Waltraud sent me. It notes that “the number of pictures tagged ‘food’ on the photo-sharing Web site Flickr has increased tenfold to more than six million in the last two years”….and “one of the largest and most active Flickr groups called I Ate This includes more than 300,000 photos that have been contributed by more than 19,000 members.”

I had heard that many people photograph their food. In fact, one time the server at Electric Cheetah told me I could get free cookies if I posted my photos on their Facebook page, so I figured it must be common practice.

But I don’t photograph all my food…only the stuff that fits the bill: happy food. I’m not artistic about it, nor am I looking for photogenic food. And, I like to think I’m fairly discreet at restaurants. (At home, it’s a different story, however. Poor Bill. Sometimes he has to wait for me to get the lighting just right in our kitchen before we can move the food to the table. I appreciate his tolerance of my documentation process!)

Back to the article: “That some people are keeping photographic food diaries and posting them online does not surprise psychotherapists. ‘In the unconscious mind, food equals love because food is our deepest and earliest connection with our caretaker,’ said Kathryn Zerbe, a psychiatrist who specializes in eating disorders and food fixations at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. ‘So it makes sense that people would want to capture, collect, catalog, brag about and show off their food.'”

Okay, maybe I do want to make you drool.

But I’m doing it for you, not for me. I just want to share the love of happy food so you can find it, cook it, and eat it yourself!


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