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Photographs in Restaurant Reviews


DonRocks
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(I promise I'm not taking a slam at anyone here ... it's just a thought that popped into my head awhile back.)

I recently saw a critic's review of a restaurant, and thought how beautiful the dishes looked. Then, I thought to myself, wait a minute ... this is a news publication; not a marketing brochure. Do these beautiful photos reflect reality, or not? And if not, then why are they in there?

(Personally, the reason I don't like taking pictures of dishes is because I think it completely diminishes the value of the prose. "A Year In Provence" seems trite now (Peter Mayle completely jumped the shark with "Toujours Provence"), but it was a salivating read when it first appeared; I think photos would have harmed it.)

(Was Peter Mayle really the author of "What's Happening To Me?!)

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(I promise I'm not taking a slam at anyone here ... it's just a thought that popped into my head awhile back.)

I recently saw a critic's review of a restaurant, and thought how beautiful the dishes looked. Then, I thought to myself, wait a minute ... this is a news publication; not a marketing brochure. Do these beautiful photos reflect reality, or not? And if not, then why are they in there?

(Personally, the reason I don't like taking pictures of dishes is because I think it completely diminishes the value of the prose. "A Year In Provence" seems trite now (Peter Mayle completely jumped the shark with "Toujours Provence"), but it was a salivating read when it first appeared; I think photos would have harmed it.)

(Was Peter Mayle really the author of "What's Happening To Me?!)

I know that Sietsema has said that the photographer gets sent over and the restaurant prepares the food for him, so it's definitely not anonymous.

Given that, I guess it's just art or decoration, not a comment on the food.

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I think it's genetically impossible for a photographer not to try to take the best possible shot. And, fwiw, I think of photos that accompany restaurant reviews more as "illustrations" than "journalism." I mean, when yo come down to it, the reviews themselves are perhaps not really journalism, but are instead criticism.

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I think it's genetically impossible for a photographer not to try to take the best possible shot. And, fwiw, I think of photos that accompany restaurant reviews more as "illustrations" than "journalism." I mean, when yo come down to it, the reviews themselves are perhaps not really journalism, but are instead criticism.

But the dishes depicted aren't the ones being criticized, at least not in reality (it's a little-known variation of this).

I'm not sounding a clarion call to do away with this, but I see it as something very close to marketing (for the publication) - I mean, appealing photos sell magazines.

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I'd suggest that most glossy food magazines have little to nothing to do with journalism and a great deal to do with giving the reader a food boner, selling magazines, and getting the editor free meals and oral sex from the management . Save GQ (and the Evil Richman), I'm hard pressed to think of a national glossy that publishes critical reviews as opposed to well-buffed press releases. What kind of publications are you thinking of?

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I'd suggest that most glossy food magazines have little to nothing to do with journalism and a great deal to do with giving the reader a food boner, selling magazines, and getting the editor free meals and oral sex from the management . Save GQ (and the Evil Richman), I'm hard pressed to think of a national glossy that publishes critical reviews as opposed to well-buffed press releases. What kind of publications are you thinking of?

Honestly, I was just making it a point not to single out newspapers (refer to the first sentence in the thread).

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I know that Sietsema has said that the photographer gets sent over and the restaurant prepares the food for him, so it's definitely not anonymous.

Given that, I guess it's just art or decoration, not a comment on the food.

The photographer is sent after Sietsema has visited, presumably written the review, and the piece is being scheduled for publication, so the restaurant is well aware. They discuss, prepare and plate a couple of different dishes, and the photographer chooses what to use.

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