It's easy to send a product to a chosen photographer and receive beautiful photos in return.

I take many photos of client products in my studio. Most of the items I receive are in perfect shape, but not all deliveries are that lucky - or, better to say, not that well prepared. Recently, I had an absolute horror case in which I had to dispose of everything and cancel work because the products were completely unusable. That was a heartbreaking event, and it was worth that blog post.

We product photographers have one main goal - to SHOW the best of your product through its visual side. We "draw" its shape, colour and texture using light. To make sure you'll receive the best outcome, there are a few little but mandatory steps.

Moth Drinks canned cocktails
Moth Drinks canned cocktails

Delivering the product

If you are sending your products by courier, make everything possible for them to arrive in impeccable shape. A lot of food is exceptionally fragile, much more than a glass bottle, for example. Remember the FRAGILE label, a specialised courier for chilled and frozen, or even personal delivery, if necessary.

Snaffling Pig advent calendar, stop motion
Santa balloons in a surprise box

More of The Snaffling Pig product photos
More of the Party Pieces product photos


The food could also have a specific shape; it only sometimes has those special inserts to protect it. A loaf of bread is soft but easy to be smashed. The biscuits are hard, but they'll turn into crumbs when shaken. Ensure there is no room for movement and friction between them, the outer box is hard enough and durable. Empty spaces between the items and the box mean the products could be easily smashed from other heavier parcels. Choose from various inserts to keep everything in place and in the shape that works best for you. Be sure your packaging will resist until the day of the photo shoot.

CakeDrop branded letterbox of giant chocolate cookies.
CakeDrop branded letterbox of giant chocolate cookies, product photo with a touch
Soft and fluffy sexy cream-topped cupcakes for CakeDrop.
Soft and creamy branded cupcakes for CakeDrop.

More of the Cake Drop product photos
Working with Cake Drop - the long-term success story

Send your product as it should appear in front of your five-star customer

Choose only the best-looking ones. No cheat, no tricks, but a selection. When using fresh ingredients, I'll pick up the loveliest red of the strawberries, the shiniest of cherries, and the freshest green of the spring onion. As a photographer, I can hide a crack or ripple or retouch a spot and a few crumbs later. Still, I can't turn Marie-Antoinette to life after the guillotine. It's not personal, but those wonky bits can go, in the best case, at the back of the scene, where they will be out of the focus and only play a supporting role.

You want to avoid half-printed or faded and unevenly positioned labels on the photos. Breakage, leakage, and all possible deformations are others a regular customer wouldn't pick from the shelf. We also don't want that on the photos. I know how high you value every single item, especially for a starting business. Selecting only the best is never a waste. Those photos on your virtual web shelf will sell the actual stock in your warehouse, working without hesitation 24/7 as long as you keep them online.

Zero Waste Club - reusable glass bottles
Zero Waste Club - reusable glass bottles
Zero Waste Club - Starer home kit
Zero Waste Club - Starer home kit

The box as it is!?

I had a few cases where I had to photograph the overall packaging, a brown cardboard box with specific labels containing multiple products for an online store. There wouldn't be an issue if I had to take photos only of the sole products. Still, the task included additional images of the box, which I received like this:

  • No additional box to preserve it.
  • Smashed corners
  • Dirty
  • Additional labels for the delivery, which, when removed, left traces

Luckily, it wasn't completely destroyed, simply because it was delivered on a dry day. Alternatively, imagine it would be soaked and completely unusable. These minor imperfections resulted in increased time spent preparing and editing the photographs, at least triple, for relatively easy pictures of a simple box. Ensure all steps and planned photos will be covered when sending a product.

The first Home Kit box from Doughboys
The first Home Kit box from Doughboys

More of Doughboys photos

Can you check all the points when sending products to your photographer?

  • Delivering the Product:
    • Use a specialised courier for chilled, frozen or fragile products.
    • Ensure proper labelling ("FRAGILE") for safe transport.
    • Consider hand-delivery for delicate items.
  • Packaging:
    • Use durable boxes and inserts to keep everything secure and prevent damage.
    • Fill empty spaces to avoid movement and smashing during transport.
  • Sending the Product:
    • Select only the best-looking items.
    • Avoid products with dents, leakage, or deformations.
    • Ensure labels have an immaculate print and are well-positioned.
  • Box Presentation:
    • If packaging needs to be photographed, ensure the box will arrive in its best condition, the same as the product.
Luxury chocolate truffle box
Luxury chocolate truffle box

Make it in place.

If you can't deliver with the above, think about a photo session in person, on-site, or in a rented larger kitchen-equipped studio. In many cases, the food should be created in the kitchen next to the studio, or the studio could be built next to the kitchen, whichever is more convenient to achieve the best result. It is all about making the best possible photo.

Send me a line about your project, and I'll give you the best solution tailored for you.

*I am delighted to work with the above clients and proud to show you the result. None of the reasons for that post will be published.