Chefs should embrace food photography and not follow a reported crackdown on diners taking pictures of their meals, says the UK founder of an international food photo contest.


Picture: Jonathan Gregson/Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2013

Last week, Gilles Goujon, who runs a Michelin-starred restaurant in southern France, reportedly said it was ‘poor etiquette’ to take photos of food and claimed it infringed his ‘intellectual property’ rights when they appear on social networks.

However, Caroline Kenyon, director of the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year – a competition that attracts thousands of entries from around the world – today hit back.

She told Amateur Photographer: ‘They [chefs] are being paid a compliment and are given publicity if the pictures are transmitted on social media. It may be an idea to embrace it rather than being hostile…’

Founded two years ago, the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year last year saw a 70% rise in the number of entries.

This year it has so far pulled in 6,000 submissions.

Kenyon points out that photography allows chefs to gain publicity
through recipes and books, for example, and says they should regard
pictures as a ‘tribute’ to their work, by diners who pay for the food
they are photographing.

She said she understands the ‘sensitivity’ over such photos but that a ban would be a ‘bridge too far’.

Kenyon urged chefs to consider the purpose of photography.

‘It’s a record… an expression of happiness and part of our culture.’

  • Mike Williams

    Maybe I’m being a little muddle-headed about this, but… if I pay for a meal, it’s up to me what I do with it, as I’m not licencing the food; it’s an outright purchase. There is no “intellectual property” here, it’s a consumer item made, dare I say, to be consumed. Perhaps chefs who are so sensitive about the appearance of their food should ban it being eaten, in case the diner leaves the plate looking less than perfect, thus upsetting the precious chef.