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Thread: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

  1. #1

    Default Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Just dined at Aji by Hanabi at Vivocity for their buffet and seeing that the food looked pretty nice, I took photos of their food using a handphone, somehow they didnt stop us initially but towards the end, a guy in suit (presumably their floor manager? no name tags so can't identify man) walked up to us and told us that its actually illegal to take pictures of the food (in his exact words). Is this true?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    its not illegal but since you are on their premises i suppose they are within their rights to stop you.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Can he show you the exact clause in the law that says it is illegal.
    You could have asked him for his name and ask whether you can quote him. Then write to the expert (is it Legal Aid or the CJ?) by email. You are not creating a scene or challenging him. You just want to learn more about the law, since he says so (that it is ILLEGAL).
    If he is wrong, you may wish to complain or you can just drop the matter.

    Usually they are afraid of competitors copying their food presentation or if you take pic of the place, then of rivals copying their internal decoration.
    Or they are afraid something was wrong with the food and they may end up another PRIMA DELI case. And you got photo eveidence.
    Last edited by ricohflex; 12th January 2008 at 10:49 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by ricohflex View Post
    Usually they are afraid of competitors copying their food presentation or if you take pic of the place, then of rivals copying their internal decoration.
    Or they are afraid something was wrong with the food and they may end up another PRIMA DELI case. And you got photo eveidence.
    this is usually true if the food is up for display. If you are actually eating (and paying) in a restuarant, i don't think they will stop you unless the design of how the food looks like, is really important to them. Actually most premises allow and wont stop you from taking photos, as they know some people like to review food on their blogs. And allowing them to do so is good bizness sense (of coz food has to be good first...haha)
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    I think a lot of girls will avoid that restaurant. For some reason, girls in particular like to photograph food before they eat it.

    For private premises like in malls and restaurants, it is legally right to stop you from photographing inside their premises, unfortunately.

    (Need to be more discrete next time...)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Illegal means he can get the police to arrest you, or he can proesecute you in court (private prosecution). Do you think that would happen?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Taking photos in places of public hospitality has always been a 'sensitive' area.

    Generally, if fairness, if they have an in-house rule prohibiting photography on their premises, they have to make it clearly known before welcoming that patron and then later forcing them to stop taking photos.

    I'm not sure if there are actual 'laws' governing this area, because it's both a place run by a private entity, yet at the same time is open to members of the public specifically for public entertainment and hospitality, unlike a shopping center where the primary area of business is retail trade.

    If the photographer, in the act of taking a photo does not cause a public nuisance, or acts in any manner that can be construed as 'unruly' or indecent, then exactly where and what is the offence? No forewarning was given, and, it's a place of public entertainment and above all, hospitality.

    Also, a lot depends on how a photographer behaves, (and how you present your case when confronted.)

    The best I can think of is preparation - check ahead with management before deciding to go to that establishment, and if they do not allow it, ask exactly on what grounds.

    Many higher-end establishments place the greatest importance on patrons' satisfaction, and I found out from a gourmand friend that many diners actually find other patrons taking photos in a restaurant during a quiet meal irritating - even if they're not using flash.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    I don't think it's illegal to take photos of the food in any restaurants. In fact, i don't think it's right for the restaurants to stop you from taking any photographs, unless it stated VERY clearly there is no photography allowed before u walk in and sit down and have a meal there.


    But then again, i always ask for a corner table, back against most of the patrons, take my photo without flash and not go to the resturants which do not allow photography.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    if a 'kwai lo' take the pic, they definitely won't stop lor. might even ask to join in the photoshoot

  10. #10
    Senior Member Leong23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Legal or illegal, i will definitly boycott the place.

    Reason is that why should a staff use such a rude/harsh word.

    Maybe you should post the name of the place here.

  11. #11
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    ts did state the name of the restaurant.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    my back was facing all the patrons because i was sitting at the sushi counter table. Interesting thing is i found blogs with photos of their food taken by people like me. Will check with building management of vivocity if i can since got close relatives working in building management for mapletree.

    im not angry or anything, juz a bit shocked he used the word illegal, which implied criminal activity on my end. Maybe if he said that i should put my camera away because they do not allow photography on their premises it would have sounded more appropriate.

    The food there was pretty decent

  13. #13

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhangyb View Post
    my back was facing all the patrons because i was sitting at the sushi counter table. Interesting thing is i found blogs with photos of their food taken by people like me. Will check with building management of vivocity if i can since got close relatives working in building management for mapletree.

    im not angry or anything, juz a bit shocked he used the word illegal, which implied criminal activity on my end. Maybe if he said that i should put my camera away because they do not allow photography on their premises it would have sounded more appropriate.

    The food there was pretty decent
    dont worry about it. i think the fella didnt have a better word to use than "illegal". he probably wanted to say "not allowed". anyway..just keep shooting your food unless the management says otherwise.

    incidentally hanabi at bt timah also stopped me from shooting, but the one at north bridge road didnt. i took some shots at abi hanabi also without being stopped. maybe they didnt see me shoot

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhangyb View Post
    Just dined at Aji by Hanabi at Vivocity for their buffet and seeing that the food looked pretty nice, I took photos of their food using a handphone, somehow they didnt stop us initially but towards the end, a guy in suit (presumably their floor manager? no name tags so can't identify man) walked up to us and told us that its actually illegal to take pictures of the food (in his exact words). Is this true?
    pardon the manager for his limited vocabulary lah...

    not illegal, just that they forget to show you a picture on their upper right hand corner (no photography allowed) lol...
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    I have dine a lot of places around Singapore and I must say there are places whereby some restaurants are over sensitive about phototaking.

    I know many chefs who swears by their own designs. They will not stoop so low to go to a restaurant to copy other chef's creation.

    It's not "ILLEGAL" to take photographs using your mobile phone camera, digicams or even DSLRs unless there is a sign saying "No Photography Allowed" which is very rare in Singapore restaurants. I have done it plenty of times using DSLR with a 50mm and 60mm Macro.

    Have been approach by some managers a couple of times but I just asked them one simple question, does your restaurant have a sign that says "No photography allowed"? They just walk away quietly......

    I think as long as you do not disturb the guests (if you do use a flash), that might just trigger off another problem altogether.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    They're: a) Afraid you're a critic there in cognito to give them a bad write up.
    b) Afraid that you're there to steal design ideas, which as someone else points out is
    ludicrous to begin with. Now if you were photographing the menu then they could
    argue that you're a spy who's there to get intel on their prices so you can undercut
    them. But apparently that issue was never raised was it? Next time a manager does
    that ask if there's a sign that sez no photography. And if he still kicks up a fuss,
    demand to see his boss. You did nothing wrong with.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Radiation from a camera flash is bad for the sushi as it will degenerate and induce acidic juice.

    It is worse if you use a lightsphere on top of your flash as it bounces the light everywhere and makes your neighouring tables' sushi turn sour.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sion View Post
    Radiation from a camera flash is bad for the sushi as it will degenerate and induce acidic juice.

    It is worse if you use a lightsphere on top of your flash as it bounces the light everywhere and makes your neighouring tables' sushi turn sour.
    wah if that's true how come you're not a mutant?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    I have dine a lot of places around Singapore and I must say there are places whereby some restaurants are over sensitive about phototaking.

    I know many chefs who swears by their own designs. They will not stoop so low to go to a restaurant to copy other chef's creation.
    .
    Copy some other chef's creation, recipe, etc - well, if you're a chef who needs some new ideas, just by looking at it, tasting it and smelling it is more than enough to know how to replicate it liao, no photo is needed.

    In our company, we often invite visitors to view our factory. And we allow them to take as many pictures as they want to fill their memory cards. Someone actually tried to copy what we do, but ended up a huge disaster in terms of quality, delivery and most of all, a big financial loss. Well, it is a combo of experience, team work, know-how ,reputation and probably some other attributes.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Taking photos of food in restaurant illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by garou12 View Post
    wah if that's true how come you're not a mutant?
    It (Sion) is a mutant liao lar........this is why it(Sion) behaves this way.......

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