Every Monday Blogging4Jobs invites our resident Etiquette Expert, CareySue Vega (@Etiquette101), to share tips when it comes to etiquette in the workplace during our own Manner Monday segment. This segment is for the practitioner who is focused on creating a more etiquette-friendly environment.
I often hear things along the lines of ‘old-fashioned’, ‘out-dated’, ‘irrelevant’, when hearing people talk about Etiquette. Yes, some of the rules may seem out-dated, and irrelevant, but they are all in place to help us navigate situations comfortably; we know what to expect and we know what’s expected of us. With modern times, come modern rules – the rules of etiquette evolve. We now have #Foodie Photo etiquette, #Selfie Etiquette, and a whole host of new rules related to technology.
This past summer, I was attending a conference in Chicago. The location was incredible, the food and table settings were extraordinary, and a ton of time, attention, and detail were put into making every session fabulous from both a content and visual perspective. Needless to say, we all wanted to take pictures to share with our friends who weren’t in attendance.
A perfect example of the evolution of etiquette happened when 10 of us were seated at a table for dinner. Everyone uncomfortably looking at me – someone finally said, we really want to take pictures of our table and food, but ‘you’re here’. They assumed I was the ‘etiquette police’ and I was going to whack them over the knuckles if they pulled out their phones at the dinner table to snap a picture. So after ensuring my tablemates that I’m not legalistic when it comes to Etiquette, we had a fun and lively conversation about how to graciously take #foodie photos without breaking too many ‘rules’.
First off, we all know that your focus should be on your business associates and tablemates. But if you feel as though you have to snap a picture, do so quickly and discreetly. And do I even have to say this part (yes… I do); wait until you leave the restaurant, or event, if you plan to spend a lot of time crafting and creating the perfect post of your photo to share on your social media sites.
If you do want to snap a #foodie photo here are some tips to avoid ruining the rhythm of the meal and annoying your fellow diners:
- Your phone should already be on silent, but double check before snapping your pic. You don’t want the ‘shutter’ sound disturbing nearby diners.
- While you’re checking the mute function, turn off the flash. You don’t want to disturb and distract others with the flash, plus it makes your food look horrible in the photo.
- Don’t rearrange furniture, food placement or people. Remember the key is to be quick and discreet.
- Get a closeup. If you can’t sense being able to touch and smell the food through the photo, you’re not close enough.
- Keep it to a minimum. Don’t take a picture of every course that comes out. One or two pics per meal is plenty.
- Make sure to leave other diners in the restaurant out of your photo.
- After you leave the event, give the photo a quick edit before posting it. Don’t forget to crop out any extraneous table clutter and correct the white balance before you share it. And again, refrain from this part of the process at the table.
- Finally make sure your picture is actually a good one before sharing it. You don’t want the ‘best-meal-ever’ to end up looking like something you would serve Fido.
It’s great to take pictures to keep as a memento of a fabulous dinner or event, but don’t forget to actually enjoy the moment with the people who are at your table.