Last Saturday, I spoke on a panel at TECHmunch Philadelphia, a food and technology bloggers conference. I have to hand it to TECHmunch producer Babette Pepaj of Bakespace and her Philadelphia producer Wendy Kirby of La Phemme Phoodie — they put together an informative conference with great speakers and just the right amount of information and networking time.


A lot of the information was geared, obviously, to the professional work of blogging, but there was one tip that photographer Albert Yee gave about taking pictures of food in restaurants that was so simple and so brilliant I had to share it with you. In addition to his professional photography, Yee often takes photos of pictures in restaurants for the food blog he and his wife write, Messy and Picky. If you want to see some great shots of food in restaurants, I highly suggest you visit the blog.


I know a lot of my readers are food lovers, and food lovers love to take photos of food. If we didn’t there wouldn’t be wildly successful websites dedicated to food photos like foodgawker, FoodPorn or the restaurant specific Foodspotting.


I really wanted to be active on Foodspotting, but one of the reasons I let it go by the wayside is that I didn’t want to be one of those obnoxious people who uses a flash in restaurants. And here is where Yee’s brilliant tip comes in.


Instead of using a flash to light food in a dark setting, use the light from your smartphone flashlight app to shine on the food. See, I told you, simple and brilliant. Now, of course, if the only camera you have to take the photo with is your phone, this isn’t going to work. But, if your dining partner has a smartphone with a camera app, too, it would work. Or, if like me, you have a small point-and-shoot camera with you at most times, it works as well.


Yes, the light from the flashlight app might catch the attention of diners around you, but it won’t be nearly as distracting as a flash going off in a restaurant. 


What do you think? Isn't this a great tip?


Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Best tip for taking photos of food in restaurants
If you're one of those food lovers who can't help but shoot photos of your restaurant food, here's a tip that will keep you from obnoxiously annoying the surrou