Typically, each of my chocolate photoshoots (which usually take place on Saturday afternoons) net between 4-8 photos.  My goal is a minimum of two shots of each chocolate (wrapped) and one shot unwrapped (providing the
chocolate didn’t melt in transit, and also provided the mold the maker used was unique enough).

Every time, I find myself saving a few “outtake” photos that are just too good to delete, and going through those now I found a rather accurate picture-by-picture portrayal of the “behind the scenes of a chocolate photoshoot”.

True, if I fast-forwarded to the end, there are photos like this:

Pump Street Bakery Ecuador 60% Dark Milk Chocolate

(Pictured: Pump Street Bakery – Ecuador 60% Dark Milk)  (Due to ordering it in the winter and thanks to Caputo’s stellar packaging, this bar arrived practically pristine!)

But during the entire process, lots of stuff happens.

Things get broken.

99.9% of the time, this candle was used to tack down one of the four corners of the foam mat backdrops I use for 99.9% of my pictures. The other 0.1% of the time it actually got to be in the photo itself. Then one day it got a little too close to the edge of the table and well… It’s gone now.  (Though if I would have thought there was a creative way to showcase glass shards and chocolate together I probably would have kept it…)

Half the outdoors comes indoors with me.

Behind The Scenes of a Chocolate Photoshoot - Venezuelan National Tree

Armed with clippers (and sometimes a basket or a tray), I often can be seen snipping this tree or trimming that bush and bringing in flowers, blooms, and branches. (Apparently I’m not very particular, because I’ve also brought in cactus, berries that may or may not have been poisonous, and an invasive vine*.  I think the purple-tinted burr bushes may be next.)  A few weeks ago some glossy yellow-green neem pods caught my eye and when coming back inside my comment was something along the lines of, “I didn’t know how many sprigs I would need…  So I brought back the whole tree.”

My photography set-up gets hijacked.

While the white background and camera are out, I get asked if it would be possible to work in a few pictures of arduino parts. (Yes, I realize asking nicely doesn’t exactly equal hijacking, but hijacking sounds more dramatic, and I am known for being a little dramatic.)  Sometimes a mini arduino photoshoot includes the meticulous process of taping everything down with double-sided tape.  On the plus side, one can be meticulous with such things without worrying about them melting (unlike my subjects)!

Then there are the hijinks.

Because apparently it’s funny to come in with whatever one happens to be carrying at the time and stick it in the shot to see how I react.  This particular time it was a pair of pliers. Other times anything from a phone to a tongue have suddenly photo-bombed my chocolate.

At the end of the day?

Behind The Scenes of a Chocolate Photoshoot - End of Day

It’s a mess.  Everything ends up jumbled together in my hurry to get as much done as possible, and, as always, get.it.done.before.the.chocolate.melts.  It’s a colorful interesting mess, but a mess nonetheless.

There’s even more that goes on behind the scenes of a chocolate photoshoot.  The photo of someone (very dramatically) “passed out” on my floor after trying their first Lindt truffle comes to mind (they really liked it!), but I have a feeling I’d be in more than a little ‘trouble’ if I posted that photo, so…use your imagination!

*That invasive vine I mentioned just happens to be in the Pump Street Bakery photo above.  I thought it was rather pretty.













When visiting a new store, I usually make a beeline for the chocolate section.

It’s not that I don’t care about other foods.   I like other foods.  But they can be found at the grocery store, and I’m at the grocery store every week.   On the other hand, visiting new stores isn’t an every week occurrence, especially one that might potentially have chocolates I haven’t tried yet.

During one such trip to a new-to-me market, my initial scan of the store only turned up large bars of baking chocolate.  Upon further investigation, I hit the jackpot:  A shelf filled with a variety of chocolate bars and bonbons.  Immediately, my eyes rested on one particular bar.   I could almost hearing it saying, “Pick me! Pick me! I’m photogenic! Pick me!”  So I did.  Behold, Sanders Chocolatier Cafe Crunch, Closeup:

Sander Chocolatier Coffee Beans Chocolate Bar

This chocolate wasn’t lying about being photogenic!

Sander Chocolatier Cafe Crunch

Dark and milk chocolates, crafted to look like coffee beans, decorated this beautiful chocolate bar. Inside the bar were flecks of coffee beans.

The coffee flavor wasn’t particularly strong, making this bar perfect for those who like both coffee and chocolate but, when the chips are down, they’d pick chocolate flavor over coffee flavor any day.

But wait, there’s more…

Sander Chocolatier Pimienta Limon (Lemon Pepper)

Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if I would like this chocolate.   Yes, it had lemon (lemon + chocolate = fantastic).  But it also had pepper.  Pepper goes on steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes.  I needed convincing that pepper belonged in chocolate.


Consider me convinced.  Well, at least I’m convinced pepper belongs in chocolate as long as it is paired with lemon crystals.  This delicious bar is so incredibly flavorful that it made my list of favorite chocolates.  (It will hold this position for at least a couple of days.  My list of favorites keeps expanding and changing!)

It turns out that lemon pepper is rather photogenic, too:

Sander Chocolatier Lemon Pepper Chocolate Bar

Website: Sander Chocolatier
Twitter: @sanderchoco


Very recently, there was a milestone birthday at my house (I turned the big nottelling-0 earlier this month), during which I celebrated by….not having any chocolate.

That is correct.   This chocolate lover did not have any chocolate whatsoever on her birthday.  This was for two reasons.

  1. I’d had more than my fair share of chocolate over the past month or two. (The chocolate you see on this site? I had a part in eating a lot of it.  And you haven’t seen all the outtakes, or the photos that haven’t been published yet!)
  2. A little bird told me that some of my gifts would be either partially or entirely composed of chocolate.

The little bird was correct.   My parents decided to deviate from conventional brands and flavors; one of their gifts was a stone-ground, hand-crafted, raw, vegan chocolate giftset by Rawmio, with intriguing flavors such as sprouted almonds and hemp!