What’s more important than actually eating your meal at a restaurant? Sharing it on Instagram of course. Turns out that #dinnercam is the world’s first portable food photography studio marketed to #millennials. It’s designed to give customers the perfect light and background to snap a photo and share it on the Internet.

The bad news is that #dinnercam is only available in one place: a Mexican restaurant in South Africa called El Burro. The food photo studio is the creation of a South African Internet service provider, MWEB. What business does an Internet service provider have creating a mini food-photo studio? The answer is increased brand awareness, market penetration, social media integration, and some other made-up marketing terms.

But #dinnercam isn’t just a glorified lamp, it’s also a photo printer! To receive a free print of your food glamour shot you must first connect to the MWEB WiFi and include the hashtag #dinnercam with your Instagram post. It’s not the worst way to increase brand awareness.

Sure #dinnercam is new and kind of cool, but eating at a restaurant that has one of these bulky cubes would just seem off. Just imagine spending money on a meal only to have the experience ruined by people fiddling with the light setting, right next to you, to ensure they have the “perfect” lighting for their chips and salsa. Food photography can be a great thing, it can showcase some amazing meals, but #dinnercam just seems to take food photography to a dark place.

Putting this much effort into a complex device that’s main use is to enhance the food photos posted to social media is ridiculous. No one likes that person at dinner who spends the entire meal on her phone snapping photos. Right, Martha Stewart?

Also by Brian Staffield:
Turf to Surf: If Terroir Is a Thing, What About “Meroir”?

#dinnercam photo from MWEB

Brian Staffield has been interested in food ever since he was a child experimenting in the kitchen. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Oregon State University, and continues his passion for food and writing at his blog, Cooking with B.S., and on Chowhound.
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