11.24.2015
lifestyle

Boned Appétit: Let’s Enjoy Bad Restaurant Food Photography

Supposedly, people high on weed will eat anything. There are limits.

I always love it when a restaurant takes photos of the food items on its menu and then displays the images in the window to entice customers to eat at the establishment. The restaurant manager’s intentions are good: To entice more customers.

Sometime the execution betrays those intentions. The shots are blurry, badly lit, out-of-focus, oddly framed, often shot with a disposable camera. These just plain poor results do the opposite of what was intended. The images actually scare away hungry people who might otherwise have eaten at the establishment. 

Take the photo above as an example. And an object lesson. If this pic were hanging in an art gallery, it might be titled “Dining After the Apocalypse.”

In real-life, there is a chance that this is a photo of a delicious chicken fajita. But the image is commits an injustice; the food item looks like it was a victim of a mild nuclear holocaust or was rubbed down by a work rag out of Van Gogh’s yellow period. I do not want to eat this big bunch of yellow muck.

So, with camera in hand, I ventured the streets of Brooklyn in search of bad restaurant food photography. Grab a fork, and leave your appetite at home. I’ve found the worst of the worst.

Animal, Mineral, or Vegetable?

Is this a plant or a plate of food that the proprietor serves up? I think I see a head protruding out of the main portion—but I’m not certain. Regardless, if you’re taking photos of your menu items, learning how to focus a camera is generally the place to start. Subtext to this photo in the window: “We have no desire to please customers.”

WHERE’S MY F-ING FOOD!?

Wait a goddamn minute here; they forgot to put goddamn food on the goddamn plate before they took a photo and placed it in the goddamn window. Goddamn it!

Medical Byproduct

Once again, the purpose of the restaurant photo is to draw in people who will eat at your establishment. It’s not supposed to remind some of a spilled hazardous waste bag.

Culinary Acid Trip

Holy cow! This phantasmagoria is like one of those bad acid trips they used to have in the ’60s, isn’t it? This is what the inside of my head felt like when I had a really bad food-poisoning fever and became delirious—except all these food items were swirling. Make it stop! Make it stop!

Nail Trimming

Ok, this photo is a little confusing and slightly unappetizing. What makes it fully unappetizing is its placement in the window of a restaurant two doors down from a pharmacy displaying this corresponding photo outside.

I’m pretty sure the photos could be interchangeable, and it wouldn’t make a difference. 

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