When the camera eats first

One of the reasons I walked away from Facebook was all the food being posted by people whenever they sat down for a meal in a restaurant, cafe, on the go, or created something in their kitchen. It’s one thing to be a food photographer, food blogger, caterer or restaurant owner, but quite another to be inundated by unsolicited information and images that, well, kill the appetite more than inspire it.

My daughter jumped on the social media bandwagon years before I ever did, so she got a head start to all this madness, and it was from her that I picked up the phrase “the camera eats first”. When I first heard this my eyebrows shot up and I could just hear my parents’ voices in my head saying “No, we give thanks to the Lord first!” To which comes the counterargument – but it will get cold! or it might melt! Now that we are all out of practice eating at restaurants and hanging out at cafes, I wonder how many will have cut down on this habit…

Whatever the case may be, our society has disintegrated into social media addicts who can’t wait to share their food and drinks with the world. To each his own and whatever floats your boat. Having said that, let me say that my journey into food photography the past three years has been very bumpy. It took a lot of experimentation until I stumbled on a food photography two years ago that showcased zen food styling and consequently zen food photography. It’s a very specific niche, surprisingly dominated by men and not women as I would have expected. I suppose the philosophy here is that women are predisposed to feed all and sundry, ensuring that everyone walks away from the table with a full belly. We lean more towards abundance, cornucopia and indulgence – with food being our preferred language of love. So if we cook, we cook for an army or a family reunion, and bake as if there is no tomorrow. The tendency here is for this impulse to carry over to photography as well, and it has only been in recent years that minimalism and zen has become appealing to women photographers.

Having said this, thereby admitting my own guilt in the culinary world – I can’t even argue that it’s my Asian roots! – zen food photography has captivated me albeit being one hell of a challenge. I’m not even sure I would have gotten into it had I not rediscovered ikebana. Nevertheless, HERE is where I began… and this is where I am today (some of them you might recognise from the Christmas blogs)

Lockdown does have its positive side, definitely appetising in some ways. Might as well make the most of the available time and put it to good use! I’ve enjoyed the homesteading almost as much as the photography, and now that spring is here I will be combining more food and flowers over the next couple of months. In spite of all the cooking and baking, the surprising thing is that I’m actually losing weight in the process!

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