March 20, 2024

How to prepare your products for a photo session?

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.

March 12, 2024

Live photography and cooking event at Elements Kitchens, Reading, Berkshire

Food photography in action.

Showcasing my portfolio at Elements Kitchens event

Getting out of the studio and the staged shoots turned special about catching the moment and embracing the dynamic energy of live events. That's what I experienced at the perfectly organised gathering by Maria Lloyd and Elements Kitchens, and it was a masterclass in adaptability and connection. Thank you, Maria, for the smooth process.

The best food background

The scene was the beautiful Elements Kitchens showroom in Reading, showcasing the essence of the modern home cooking place in traditional British style, Italian modern and German tech with many innovations and beauty in details.

What a beautiful background of innovative design for the food to thrive!

Working with professional chef, Jo Barwick

Chef Jo Barwick showcased the latest of NEF's hobs and ovens, cooking delicious all-favourite food. Then there were we - the photographers: myself, Sapna Odlin and Kathryn Fell. Each with her unique style and presentation, but still united by a passion for capturing an image. If you expect photographers gathered in the same place and environment to produce the same result, I will disappoint you. We are so different, and that’s the best part.

Jo Barwick and her amazing freshly cooked bread.
Jo Barwick and her amazing freshly cooked bread.

Collaborating with professionals with complementary skills fulfils the gaps, brings the best of each and combines in the result. I adore working with skilful chefs, stylists, baristas, and all professionals involved. That allows me to focus on the photography part.

Shooting live-action food photography is a dynamic, constantly changing object. It was a chase of the second to catch the people in front of the camera, mixing ingredients, steam clouds, whisking and cooking. A skilled photographer thrives in this fluidity, anticipating and solving problems in real-time. Improvisation and resourcefulness become your main tools, transforming unexpected events into visual gold.

Fresh muffins shot at a live photography event at Element Kitchens

Networking was another essential ingredient. Sharing tips, discussing techniques, and simply connecting with fellow food and photography enthusiasts – these interactions fuelled creativity and broadened perspectives.

Step out of the comfort zone and embrace the challenge

Never hold yourself back from trying something new. However, embracing live cooking events and networking at the same time was completely new and challenging for me. The need to step out of my comfort zone was vital as a creative. It demands improvisation and quick thinking to capture fleeting moments and leverage the unique setting. I couldn't imagine a better background for the story in my photos. Stepping outside the studio can lead to unexpected growth and ignite fresh ideas. I embraced the moment and enjoyed the day. Thank you, Maria, Jo, Sarah and Elements Kitchens, for the great experience.

Jo and Sarah at live photography event at Elements Kitchens, Reading

You can find all about the home kitchen trends at:
Elements Kitchens,
8b Portman Road,
Reading, Berkshire,
RG30 1E

To get in touch with me and book for your bespoke photography, drop me a message.

January 21, 2024

More Than Mouthwatering Photos: The Sweetest Collaboration

Recent work for CakeDrop.

More of the CakeDrop's sweet treats, you can find on my Client's page.

Picture this: a world where cupcakes don't just sit on plates on the dining table or in the restaurant but also on the desk to treat you for a job well done. Where giant biscuits come in a letter box to say: "We value you as part of the team". Or candies to sweeten your business event up and break that stiff conversation. This isn't some sweet dream – it's the daily reality of my client, who is building a mind-blowing business, delivering the sweetest service.

CakeDrop branded letterbox of giant chocolate cookies.
CakeDrop branded letterbox of giant chocolate cookies, product photo with a touch.
You're a star biscuit
"You're a star" biscuit with icing in a twisted presentation

It all started with a box of biscuits and a simple request: mouthwatering product photos using their signature brand colour. But simple doesn't mean boring. Amidst the frosting and sprinkles, something clicked. We found the silver line to showcase the best of their sweet treats. What was supposed to be a one-off project blossomed into a long-term creative partnership sprinkled with trust, mutual respect, and a dash of playful banter.

My studio has transformed into the most lovingly smelled gingerbread-chocolate-caramel-vanilla space. Can you sense the aroma? And when the beautifully decorated cupcakes were too delicate and fragile to travel to my studio, I moved into their office for a day. Working onsite is always an option.

International Women's Day irresistible cupcakes
International Women's Day irresistible cupcakes.
Soft and fluffy sexy cream-topped cupcakes for CakeDrop.
Soft and fluffy sexy cupcakes.

The photos themselves? Simple, impactful, mouthwatering foodporn, with a human touch woven into every treat. It is a play with light, colour, textures, and catchy details to make you turn after each photo, whispering: "Eat me!"

Find the best partner in crime

So, if you're looking for the best partner to help you show appreciation to your team or clients – check the CakeDrop website, and they will make your bespoke branded treat-to-remember. When searching for a photographer who speaks fluent food and sees beyond the sugar into the soul of every bite, I'm your person. I'm not just a lens for hire, I'm a creative collaborator, hungry for delicious pictures.

Halloween pumpkin frosted biscuits
Halloween-themed giant orange biscuit for CakeDrop.
Christmas special topped brownies
Christmas special topped brownies in a letterbox.

P.S. To my incredible client:

Thank you for the shared vision, creative freedom, and endless supply of inspiration. Let's keep baking up visual magic.

To book your food or product photo session, drop me a line.

January 9, 2024

When does a business need a professional food photographer?

A guide for an ambitious startup in the food and drink business.

More of the Doughboys' pizza, you can find on my Clients page.

Your business is flourishing, and you start feeling it needs something more. You've done it well with the phone in your pocket, but the gut tells you there is more. You reach more clients and partners, and your marketing needs rise like an unstoppable avalanche. It worked well for your friends on Facebook but not enough for the big audience and the national and global partners.

Do you wonder:

  • What your business is missing from its presentation?
  • Is it quality?
  • Is it your brand style across your content?
  • Does it have consistency?
  • Does it stand out?
Pizza and nibbles lifestyle shot, created in a studio for a summer promo campaign for Doughboys Pizza
Pizza and nibbles lifestyle photo, created in a studio for a summer promo campaign for Doughboys Pizza.

Convince your audience without hesitation.

Professional food photographers know how to tell your story by capturing the best angles, lighting, and composition to make your product look its absolute best. They can also use the styling to create a cohesive and visually appealing look. High-quality food photography can help you grab attention and make potential customers hungry.

Make it the best way. 

Making your own photos whenever the occasion arises can lack quality when they are usually made in a hurry or are not your top priority. Investing in high-quality food photography is essential if you want your business to look professional and have a solid presence on all selling points and channels. A photo of the same meal could look either delicious or disgusting. It is the skilful touch that makes the difference. Vision, years of experience and specialised skills are the most valuable tools that make a good photo. A business with professional-looking visuals is more likely to be trusted and valued highly by the customers.

Say it with your unique voice. 

Your photography content is part of your branding. A professional photographer can help you develop a signature style to make your brand stand out. Your unique vision creates not only followers but loyalty to your brand. It adds to the weight when the customers choose between you and the others. 

Doughboys retail range pizza
Product photos, Doughboys Pizza, Packaging elements, packshots, Retail and social media usage

Make it consistent but not boring. 

The difference between a good amateur and a professional will always be asking the right questions to get the right outcome. The non-professional could deliver you a good image, but the professional will take YOUR photos across all your content. No matter how different the setup is, it will include your mood and feelings. The seasoned photographer will know how to keep guides without doing the same picture every time.

To stand out, you need a vision.

No matter how good your camera is, it is not enough to be noticed. The photographic equipment offers easy-to-reach sharpness and megapixels than ever before. The most valuable tool is and will be even more the original ideas. Be bold, creative and different. Choose your photographer based on their ideas, not the size of the camera sensor. 

Balancing pizza slices and ingredients, "The best pizza has a balanced taste and only the best ingredients."
Balancing pizza slices and ingredients, "The best pizza has a balanced taste and only the best ingredients."
It is bold, it is catchy, it is Doughboys unique product
It is bold, it is catchy, it is Doughboys' unique product

The time to hire a professional photographer is NOW!

Finally, you have a budget that will allow you to move forward.

  • To take photos for packaging and selling points. Show, convince, and turn an occasional visitor into a customer.
  • To create digital and print ads. Are you planning a campaign? Make it attractive.
  • To build an image library for marketing materials. If the client doesn't see you, you wouldn't exist for them. Your marketing needs content to feed your presence constantly.
  • To update seasonal promotions. Do not forget to finish your Christmas campaign shooting by August, or it will be late.
  • To present your brand at events. From stands and banners to posters and flyers, you will need the best to show your product.
  • To document food preparation and cooking processes. The best way to build trust is to show your clients behind the curtain.
  • To create photos for cookbooks and other publications. Who reeds the recipe if one doesn't see how delicious the food is?

Your visual content is an investment. Make it wise, as the good one wouldn't be cheap. Choose the professional to do the best job that will return the most.

The photographic content in this blog-post was created across multiple photoshoots for different campaigns exclusively for Doughboys. If you want to know more about my work, please do not hesitate to contact me.

October 4, 2023

Inspiration. How to stay creative?

Where to find inspiration? How to stay inspired when feeling creatively blocked? See this personaly tested tips for creatives in need.

Read more

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All images on this website are intellectual property. Please respect this. Some of them are available to purchase from image banks. For your bespoke photographs, please contact me to book a photo session.


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