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Food, Photos, and Fun at Acacia Food & Wine

Learn how to photograph that visual culinary delight before you devour it!

Quick Details


For those of us who love to take pictures, it is VERY hard to be confronted with a visual culinary delight in a fancy restaurant and not take a picture! You’ve been there, right? Food presentation has now become an art form. That gorgeous dessert dripping with sauce and calories just HAS to be photographed before it is eaten, right?

But it is not easy to do. The picture does not do justice to the dish: it comes out too bright, or too dark, or too blurry, or the wrong color. Or you have committed an even worse sin by leaving your camera at home!

Help is now on the way from professional food and restaurant photographer E. David Luria, Director of the Washington Photo Safari, working in cooperation with Acacia Food & Wine and Van Ness Main Street, the business development organization that supports small business in the Van Ness/UDC area of northwest Washington DC.

Washington Photo Safari, based in the Forest Hills neighborhood of DC, is one of the country’s largest photography instruction programs, having trained over 39,000 amateur photographers from 50 states and 53 countries on 5,800 photo safaris since 1999. It is a three-time winner of Trip Advisor’s coveted Hall of Fame Award for having received hundreds of 5-star reviews from satisfied clients.

After gathering (masked and socially distant in individual tables in the outdoor patio of the Acacia Food and Wine Bar in the Van Ness area of DC, about 1.5 miles south of Chevy Chase Circle, Mr. Luria will provide basic tips on food and restaurant photography.

Each client will then be served the first of 3 plates, Before you dive in to taste the samples served by the restaurant, Mr. Luria, who has photographed over 300 restaurants for the Entertainment Book, will then work with each client individually, giving tips on camera settings, white balance, ISO, depth of field and composition and camera stability so that memories of your experience in the restaurant will exist not just in your stomach but in your camera as well, a VERY valuable skill to have on your next vacation! He will also show you how to photograph the lovely interior of the restaurant.

With Mr. Luria donating his instructional services, half of the proceeds of this safari will go to support Van Ness Main Street, the other half pays for the meal!

Acacia Food and Wine is one of the many small restaurants in DC affected by the pandemic, so this photo safari is also designed to give the restaurant a publicity boost while helping the Van Ness Main Street organization and the restaurant’s manager, Ozzy Bicakci, hopes you will publish your photographs on your social media and let people know where you took them!

Acacia Food & Wine specializes in Italian, Spanish, French and American Cuisine all of which can be paired with their extensive collection of 60 plus wines by the glass. Their wine list is designed to give their guests a different interpretation of all the major grape varietals they carry. Acacia’s cuisine incorporates flavors from around the Mediterranean basin, providing guests a variety of tasty yet healthy choices. They are a small, family-owned business dedicated to incorporating locally grown, organic and sustainably farmed produce, artisanal cheese and beer. Learn more at

Here are the dishes that will be served on this safari for you to photograph and then eat:

Plate 1: Watermelon Salad

Plate 2: Quinoa Cakes

Plate 3: (dessert) Strawberry Sherbet

For those clients choosing to order drinks from the cash bar, they get to photograph not only the food but also one of Acacia Bistro Wine Bar’s beautifully concocted specialties, such as this cocktail, the Acacia Manhattan :

Acacia Manhattan

For this safari any camera will do, even late-model cellphone cameras, but cameras with adjustable apertures, shutter speeds and the ability to shoot on Manual are highly recommended to give you the maximum benefit from the safari. Lenses such as 18-55mm are fine, wide angle lenses (i.e. 10-20 mm or 11-16 mm) give broader coverage for interior shots, macro lens capability, such as a 105mm F2.8 is also desirable for food close-ups that blur the background. We also suggest a table-top tripod or a handy Gorillapod for stability, but we will also show you what to do if you DON’T have one A full standing tripod gives the most professional, sharpest results for this type of work but it is only suggested, not required.

The $99/person fee includes prix fixe lunch and photographic instruction and charitable donation to Van Ness Main Street. Cash bar is extra.