Product Photography Tutorial by Karl Taylor - EP#011

FREE Product Photography Tutorial – EP#011

Karl Taylor Photo Studio Vlog 48 Comments

In this video I’ll be demonstrating what can be captured directly out of camera without resorting to post production as your first option to fix your image.

Apply this knowledge take-away to your work and save yourself a huge amount of time in the future.

Other techniques covered include:

  • Precision lighting control.
  • Common misunderstandings of lighting ratios.
  • How to visually identify your lighting requirements WITHOUT a light meter.
  • The light by light development of the image.
  • Using hidden reflectors.
  • Using large graduated diffused lights and very precise hard light control.


P.S. Please share and comment below with your thoughts – thank you!

Comments 48

  1. Scott Kosa

    Great learning tool . I have had intrest in doing that very type of photography. It dose frustrate me that your lighting is very costly . However the learning is over the top with information thank you for sharing you r amazing talent

  2. KLASEN Eric

    Thanks a lot ! Really awesome !

    And … I agree, no need of a lightmeter, since it does not take into account the reflectivity or absorbtion of light of the object, and is only measures a globl light, not the one on each side/object/element/…

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  3. Krishnadas

    Great tutorial Karl.

    You said it right.. before any of the expensive equipment… what’s more important is the vision of the photographer on how he/she understood the requirements on how the product needs to be captured, both from client perspective and his/her creativity. I’m a firm believer that, if you want, you can create your own tools to get an exceptional capture, but, if you can afford it or if the work really demands it, the use of expensive tools certainly becomes a necessity. And if you can’t buy, there are other options like renting the equipment or a studio for the same.

    The best equipment though, are our eyes..!!! Kudos on your work and as always, a BIG FAN of yours..!!!


  4. Marco ter Beek

    Awesome video again Carl, for me as a beauty/portrait photographer these video’s are really helpful , because it is not my main photography work and i want to give my customers the best that I can produce for them if they want me to shoot their products. And please do me one favor, do not defend yourself about that you used gear thats worth tens of thousands euro’s, it is your work, if you are a chauffeur you don’t drive a shitty car 😉 or do you? haha.

    Greetings Marco

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  5. JIm Eubanks

    I enjoy very much the short video’s about business shots. I am not yet able to afford the business video, but will sometime in the future.

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  6. Alan Coley

    Excellent presentation Karl. Seeing the effect each light made one at a time was particularly interesting. I look forward to your D-I-Y tips for focusing studio strobes and off-camera flash units. Maybe consider a commercial release of the video camera-upper body workout 😉

  7. Heinz Nemela

    Hi Karl,

    pretty well done and explained. Some time you were filming handheld I thought I would be getting dizzy. A stabilized camera should help overcome this problem.

    As a comparison I would like to see a similar setup with “handmade” lighting tools and off-camera flashes (not strobes). I think it is pretty hard to get out a decent amount of light of a flash with a snoot – not to mention when there is a grid added. ISO should be as low as possible.
    I myself had to use a 500 WS strobe to get enough light out of a gridded snoot. And even gridded the light spilled too widely …

    I like your work and I like the way you interact with Urs Recher when you are doing a tutorial together. Please go on doing that. It is always a pleasure watching.

    🙂 h1

  8. Viva

    Great, I really love this and yes you got the top of the line lights. I’m not mad at you its great I love it!

    I think it can be done on low budget lights with a lot of work. You really did a great job on this one very eye opening.

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  9. jenny guth

    excellent! Cab’t fin bell symbol to click nor others, please click for me, consider myself clicked! Don’t want to miss ANYTHING!

  10. Terry Rutledge

    Thanks, Karl,

    It is great to see how you build the shot. As you say, we can build snoots and grids…but its knowing what to do with them that counts!

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  11. Harrington

    As always great video on product photography . I have learned so much and hope to put all this training to use with the equipment I have.

    Thanks & keep up the great work

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    Thanks, Karl! As always, very informative and detailed. Look forward to your ideas about setting up a similar shot with cheaper lighting (and accessory) alternatives.

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  13. Charles Waller

    Great video, and of course the equipment is the best for the job, hence we are watching a professional talk about professional lighting, to create a professional result for a top client. This is what they pay you for.

    Id be interested in your thought for an alternative way to achieve the lighting on a budget. I quite frequently light paint product shots from the very small upto a recent job on a 4 WD vehicle. I can light each element individually then combine in photoshop and adjust the lighting on each layer accordingly until I get the required result. Sure, this is not creating an in camera end result in one shot but is often made up of 20+ shots but it gets me a result to please the client.

  14. Robert Appleyard

    I watch all your videos/tutorials,landscape is my prefered subject but your ability to pass on information is why I watch everything you post. I am still involved in a training position myself but not photography hence why I appreciate your tecnique & skill. ie well explained in a language all can understand.

  15. Lina Abu Khadra

    Am a beginner and I learned a lot from your videos which painstakingly details step by step procedures, although I can’t afford the many Picos beams u are using. Maybe, if u have the time, u could show us how to improvise some lighting techiniques!!! That would help tremendously.
    Also before I finish, I must stress how your passion of photography is transmitted to us through your videos. I just love it and thank you.

  16. Ted Eggs

    Hi Karl,

    Another great tutorial crammed with high quality inspiration and information.
    Of course you use expensive equipment. Your clients expect that of you to deliver the high end product they require. The end result is wonderful. That’s what you do.
    However, I would like to challenge you to reproduce this shot (or similar) with mono and speedlights using your experience and demonstrating making DIY modifiers.

  17. Steve Sieling

    Inspiring as usual and it was interesting to see how the build up of lights all had their individual purpose in producing the final image collectively. I would certainly welcome a tutorial on home made equipment when you get time. Keep them coming. All the best.

  18. Joe Amato

    Hey Karl,

    Excellent tutorial on controlling light!
    Having done this type of work myself can you please explain to your viewers how you control and deal with dust throughout the shoot .

    Thank you,

  19. Kevin

    I particularly enjoyed the way you explained building the light field and then showing the contribution of each light. The concrete example solidifies the explanation of your vision which is far more important than the tools. Have enjoyed your evolution in teaching. The control you have must have eliminated the need for flags and scrims. Enlightening as always.

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  20. Brian Moore

    Karl…Love the video…pity I am too old to go back and start over as a product photographer. Would be very interested in any info on making things to produce very small spot pools of light using continuous/flash light rather than just flash.
    Don’t apologise for using the right tools for the job.

  21. Sandra Morgan

    Great video, thank you!

    I’m not a professional photographer, but would love to try some of these techniques. It would be very useful if you could do a video using low-budget or home-made kit for those of us who are just starting out.

    Thanks again!

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  22. John Styles

    Karl you are a master at what you do. You also have such a great way of showing your skills in a simple way. A master is someone who can make what they do seem so simple as to make the person watching think they to could achieve the same results.
    Thank you for sharing your skills.
    I enjoy watching your work. And when the history books are written you will be described as a great giver of knowledge.

  23. Lily

    Thank you very much for making your set ups available for us!
    You have given me so much information on tricks & different techniques to add to my set ups. I use soft boxes in my work set up & I am so excited to try my new homemade scrims both for work & personal studio.
    I shoot hair products all day long & have recently been asked to explore different lighting set ups . So I am excited to show my colleagues that Karl’s techniques have given me more ideas to incorporate into our boring old shots taken over th years.. I really appreciate you sharing all that you do.
    Thank. You for your incredible creative outlook in product photography. Your volume has been th best that I have purchased within a the past few years! Lily Sanz

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