My personal concern would be that you are not including the edge of the plate in your shot. Perhaps this because, as you said, the table cloth was a poor background. However, I think the plate acts as a frame for the meal -- when chefs prepare dishes, they often select a particullar size or shape of plate for accent.
Thanks BrianS. You're absolutely right. The problem with the Sushi plates in this case was that they were very long and thin which made it complicated to photograph. I could either take a wider shot, getting the whole plate in and lose the intimacy with the food or get up close to the food and cut off the plate. It wasn't ideal.
The restaurant asked me to come in last night and photograph 20 dishes that the chef had prepared. The photos I took capture the whole plate as that's what the client wanted (I'll post the results a bit later on). All I can say is... what a fantastic experience! The manager and the Chef were *so* nice. As our "payment" my wife and I probably got to eat about £100 worth of sushi and other Japanese dishes (
). The whole experience, working with the client, was really enlightening - suggesting ideas, taking a few shots and showing them and then trying something else to give them what they wanted. Only on digital would this have been possible and it made for a really reactive experience.
Also, when you first announced what you intended to do, I expected to see shots of the interior of the resteraunt (people eating, or as Gordon mentioned, the front of the resteraunt, etc). Have you given thought to that?
That was my plan in the beginning but on the original night I went in they hadn't even received their sign for the front of the building so outside shots seemed pointless. Inside, the place was quite empty at the time so the atmosphere wasn't there. Then when I got the callback, they were quite specific about what they wanted (food to show in the window/menus) so I stuck to that.
I don't think they're finished yet either. They want me to come back again for some more shots.
This is so much more than what I was expecting.