If you’re ever looking to spot a Millennial at a restaurant, look for the person who is holding their iPhone high above their head, attempting to get the perfect #foodporn to post to their Instagram followers. In the social media age that we live in, you’re either one of two stereotypes: the amateur food photographer or the person who has to endure said “photographer” denying you your food until they have captured the perfect shot.
Personally, I’m a fan of posting snaps of food to social media, so you can imagine that I was rather excited to hear that NYC-inspired restaurant Dirty Bones was providing their diners with “Instagram packs” to ensure that they get the most Instagrammable shot of their grub. I mean, a moment on the lips… a lifetime on the internet?!
Dirty Bones, which dishes up delicious American comfort food, recently opened their new restaurant in Soho with the “Instagram universe” in mind. The location offers a free Instagram Pack to customers that includes a portable LED camera light, a clip on wide angle lens and a tripod selfie stick. We visited the restaurant to test out just how great the kit would make my pics look on the ‘gram…
Now, I must mention that I am not the most proficient Instagrammer; I love taking pictures of my food but I sometimes struggle with how much I should adjust the contrast, whether to add a vignette or up the brightness and so on. But after visiting Dirty Bones Soho, I realised how a few extra pieces of tech can really elevate the humble iPhone photo.
Certainly, if you’re not exactly voiced on the technical aspects of getting the best picture on your smart phone, the service makes it easy. You clip on the wide-angle lens onto your phone and voila! Your photos will have that “fish eye” effect which all the trendy Instagrammers are using. And although the interior of the restaurant is rather moodily lit, rest assured your photos will end up being as vivacious as you want them to be as the LED light has three different brightness settings. Finally, the tripod selfie stick ensures that you achieve the perfect overhead shot of your table.
I had a great time playing around with the kit but must admit that I felt rather self-conscious using such hi-fi tech on a table of sticky ribs and cocktails. At an intimate dinner, you don’t really want people staring at you, thinking that you’re that person unless you’re very committed to an aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed. And although the staff are on hand to troubleshoot any problems you have with the rather self-explanatory pack, I’d rather spend less time fussing and more time eating the restaurant’s iconic Mac Daddy burger which I photographed below.
The snap shows that the Instagram Pack helped me create a more stylised shot of the burger, but it couldn’t exactly the fix the rather grainy quality of my iPhone’s camera.
It’s evident that the kit is designed with a specific social media user in mind. I doubt that the person who has trouble replying to their Facebook messages will exactly be enthralled by a kit designed to up their photo-sharing game. In fact, the whole restaurant is dedicated to the production of picture-perfect shareable content. The setting is beautiful; lit almost entirely by candlelight. A neon light declares, “it was all a dream”, it recreates with precision the fashionable ambience which garners thousands of likes on the platform. This is a shrewd and carefully choreographed move made by the restaurant-chain. A spokesperson for Dirty Bones confirms:
“People love to share what they’re eating on social media, so we wanted to put together something that made it easier to get that perfect shot regardless of the lighting or time of day.
“More and more people are also using Instagram to help them decide where to eat, so as a restaurant group it’s key for us to make sure that people are getting the best possible shots of all our dishes and drinks.”
It makes sense. After all, would you put out a picture of yourself on the internet which wasn’t carefully moderated and accordingly filtered? Probably not.
Ultimately, the kit does allow restaurant goers to take better pictures but it’s up to the consumer to decide whether they would feel pretentious by using it. I personally think it’s worth a go as it’s just good fun to play around with camera tech which you otherwise may not have a chance to use. One thing is for sure, however. The cool kids of Instagram are going to come flocking.
Check out Dirty Bones’ Instagram at @dirtyboneslondon if you fancy some inspiration for the next time you use the ‘gram.