There once was a time before posting content on social media became the status symbol of our generation, a time when Instagram didn't exist and your self worth wasn't measured in a 5 x 5 photo of frozen dessert. As humans, it's natural to want the approval of others, even if that approval is through a photo of the latest food trend. Ahead of this weekend, here's a brief summary of restaurant etiquette for how to take photos before it gets obnoxious.

Black Tap's milkshakes launched outrageous amounts of FOMO beginning in 2016. The lines simply to get a Magnolia Birthday Shake were enough to work up an appetite that by the time you got a table, you'd be ravishing. As time went on, the term influencer gradually became embedded into our vocabulary, facilitated by who else but the marketers themselves. I think it's certainly acceptable to take photos of its presentation for the appreciation, I mean - just look at it. 

Yet we have to draw the line somewhere. If it's not for the sake of appreciating the experience, and instead for the recognition, then I personally distaste - no pun intended - the act of devaluing the care and thought that went into an idea - even if it is just desserts.

Ellen Gibbs

I can personally say the hype at Don Angie was well worth the trip - not to mention the three month advance that was needed just to get a reservation. The West Village Italian eatery where celebs like Melissa McCarthy have been spotted enjoying their signature lasagna certainly yields to influencer territory, so yes - I did have to whip out my camera, stand up, and take a quick photo (or two) albeit with my cell phone.

However at some point the moment will pass, the ice cream will melt, (metaphorically and physically speaking) and then we linger on the line of bad manners. Here's what you need to know to avoid upsetting diners and restaurant staff, while still getting that 'gram. 

Take a stand? Only if you've got the chops.

If your passion is photography and food, you've probably gone through this process enough to know the etiquette beforehand. It's always a good idea to let the staff or manager know ahead of time, as a courtesy that you'd like to take some photos of the food. Believe it or not, some restaurants are even grateful for an influencer to give them a plug on social media, so introduce yourself ahead of time, and always be friendly.

Feel when the moment is right.

Not everything is going to look good on camera, no matter how good it tastes. It could be low lighting, and flash photography can make food look unnatural. Sometimes, it's best just to put the camera down and enjoy the food. 

Plan beforehand.

If you know you're going to be taking lots of photos, try reserving a table further from subjects not involved. I'm talking about the diners, noise, foot traffic, and areas that are elbow-to-elbow congested. You wouldn't want someone's rear end in your eggs Benedict now, would you? Didn't think so.

Know when enough is enough. 

Are people at your table midway through their meal? Are your fries getting cold? Is your ice cream oozing onto the plate? Time to put the camera down. The moment for a photo has passed, and now people just want you to come back to the present and enjoy your food. There will be more photo-ops available in the future, so long as food trends keep evolving and there's an appetite for this market. Which I think it's safe to say, will continue to only grow.