Danger, Will Robinson! All humor aside, the answer is an emphatic ‘no’, as this has caused significant problems in the past. Our studio receives shipments from clients almost every day and the first thing we do is to match them up with contracts, to ensure that all of the items arrived.
Several times a month, we receive ‘mystery boxes’ that have no contracts. We have no idea where they came from or who they belong to. When this happened in the past, we would place these products on a shelf, in the hopes that their owners would come forward. Some of them reached out within a day or two, but many wouldn’t reach out for weeks.
We were surprised to learn that the majority of the people that came forward had assumed that they were already booked for product photography – even though no contract had been signed!
Remember that ‘mystery box’ shelf I mentioned? Soon it grew to two shelves, then an entire shelving system, then the hallway. We filled large plastic bins with unclaimed and unknown products and when (if) a client did sign a contract with us, we then had to search for their products. Things reached a boiling point when we began considering a larger studio space, only to realize that much of our studio was being take up by mystery boxes.
Which brings us to the present. When a shipment comes in, we give our due diligence to uncover who shipped them (we keep extremely detailed online records of clients and their products, so if a client has signed a contract with us, we will assuredly match their contract with their products). If a shipment comes in that we have not been contracted to shoot, it is discarded or donated to charity within 24 hours.
It’s not something we enjoy doing, but it ensures our studio will always remain tidy!