on food memories


last year, as some of you might remember, i set about a personal project - a 365 day food photo project. 



each day i took pictures of food i encountered and, from the mix, picked one photo to represent the day. 

some of the foods i ate, some i didn't.

some i just marveled at.


by the end of the year (and continuing on well into this year), i had some thousand(s) of food photos.


f.y.i. raw meat looks like brains sometimes


today i deleted just about all of those photos.

except for a handful i truly love, i let them go.


food photography in general has developed a bad rep.

ke, the frau doktor doctor, recently sent me the link to this food photo rant.

some of the irritations expressed in this letter are valid.

it's easy to complain about instagram and facebook newsfeeds filling up with images of calzones and cappuccinos, just as it's easy to complain about the abundance of wedding, baby, and pet photos. 

but what's the real irritation here?

it's not the life events.

we don't sit in our chairs, jealously wishing our co-workers didn't get to have lunch because their tapas looks far better than our squished pb&j — just as we don't sit wishing our best friend didn't get married or that dog didn't get adopted from the pound.

it's not the life events we dislike, it's the copious amounts of milestones and landmarks we are exposed to at any given moment.

with the over-abundance of photography and photo-altering apps, we are losing the significance and the value normally embedded in our photos.

simply put: the stories of our lives are losing meaning and the sheer proliferation has overwhelmed the memory capacity of both our technology and our minds.


also, we might be eating too much sugar. or not enough. one or the other.


over the past several weeks, i've spent a lot of time sitting around, first waiting for medical diagnoses and then waiting for meds to kick in.

for those first several weeks, as i was contemplating the worst — organ failure, epilepsy, even possibly parkinson's disease — i didn't go looking for pictures of that bowl of pad thai or salt and pepper shakers sitting on a restaurant table. 

i went looking for these:


kb and sb at the hunt valley wine festival

photo-ing up food photographers dc, ja, and mk at the fancy food show

ap showing some 3 am diner love

nd's last senses class of the spring taking a boozey turnkicking it up screw it style with mrjs taking a mad swing during epic croquet

all of these photos have something to do with food or drinks (okay, mostly drinks because my friends never seem to sit still long enough at the table), but they're not food photos. 


so, do i miss taking however many gazillion photos photos with kb before each meal?


do i feel a need to go back to it?



but i can still be recursive and take pictures of kb taking food photos.




the food doesn't make the photograph, it's the people with you at the time who make the memory.