News & Features

When What You See Isn't What You Get

March 15 2012 - 1:29 PM

To anyone who checks a restauran’ts website or reads some newspaper reviews before dining, this is a common scenario: The beautiful, pristine dish that you saw photographed on the website or in the newspaper looks nothing at all like what’s served to you.

That’s not always the case, but when it happens, it can be something of a let-down. No matter how good the food tastes, there’s no denying we eat with our eyes first.

On her “Reviewing the Review” blog for The Seattle Times, writer Hannah Raskin tackles the tricky subject of those beautiful food photographs after a reader commented on the disconnect between Raskin’s description of the potato she ate with the beautiful, fluffy potato pictured in the paper.


Raskin explains: “I work anonymously, but my photographer doesn’t. It’s impossible for a professional photographer to capture the ambiance of a restaurant and the food it serves without using fancy lighting equipment and oversized lenses, both of which are bound to attract attention.”

After reading her full explanation of how these photographs happen, do you think these print photos should better reflect the food you’ll receive? Or do we just have to admit that we want to look at beautiful images, regardless of whether they’re indicative of what we’ll be served?

–Kate Bernot

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