High-end Headphones Product Shoot

In this photography workshop Karl undertakes a product shoot of a pair of headphones on a white background.

This technically challenging advertising-style shot presented a myriad of challenges, including positioning the product to find the best composition, creating a white background without introducing flare, lighting both matte and reflective surfaces, controlling shadows and balancing multiple lights.

Karl details the step-by-step process of creating this shot, explaining his creative decisions, how he plans to overcome each challenge and the lighting setup. He also shares the post production work required to reach the final image so that members can see the complete start to finish process.

In this product photography workshop we cover the following:

  • How to photograph a pair of headphones
  • Photographing products on a white background
  • How to light and photograph matte and reflective surfaces
  • How to create gradient lighting
  • Using ND and polarising gels for product photography
  • Controlling shadows

If you have any questions about this show, please use the comment section below.


  1. “If you walk away just with that, you have spent your money well” hahaha I LOVE these little statements! And I agree with them, there was a lot to learn as usual! Thanks. Matteo

  2. HI Karl, I love these product shots. The lighting/flash – you have them on during the process – obviously to see what going on, would the image still be the same without being an actual ‘flash’ and just use the lights on constantly? Or is the intensity of the flash (going up and down f stops) where the details come in? Just wondering how much difference the ‘flash’ or constant light would change the style?

  3. Simply wonderful. The technique of polarizing the light source is simply wonderful. I have used the polarizing filter on camera a lot but if I polarize one part, the other looks bright.

  4. I saw some products on the table next to the headphones, presumably to treat and clean the headphones. It would be amazing to hear how you would treat different surfaces to look bit more lively on camera.

  5. Hi Karl what is the value of ND gel? 0.3 or 0.6 or 0.9? any advices where to buy ND gel and polarizing gel on internet web site that ship to europe? thanks indeed

  6. Karl, another great tutorial! The idea of using a mirror to reflect a gradient is be huge.

    I have one question which may be more of a marketing question than photography: the headphones product name were “beat” as spelled out along the head band but you can’t see the name in the final photo. I understand the ‘b’ is probably a trademark and is important but I would think most clients would want the name visible as well.

    1. Hi Bob, thank you and in many cases that would be true but only if it would enhance the image and shooting down on this product it would not. Also keep in mind that a clean advert with lots of space around the image like this would most likely have the brand name in words on the advert. Apple owns this brand so it was shot in that ‘clean’ apple style.

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