Cosmetics Product Shoot Using TV Background

Discover how to create a stunning ‘on location’-style shot – without leaving the studio.

In this class, you’ll use a TV displaying a stock image, two continuous LED lights and some basic modifiers and accessories (plus a bag of sand), to produce a professional-quality ad-style image of a fragrance bottle. As you follow Karl step by step through the shoot, you’ll pick up a host of useful tips and techniques to help you achieve the best possible results.

You’ll learn how to adjust your camera settings, tweak your lighting setup, alter the colour temperature of the LED lights, experiment with coloured gels, and more. As you do so, you’ll gather a collection of images that you can then bring together in post-production to create the striking final image.

You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to recreate that ‘on location’ vibe without all the hassle of shooting in the great outdoors! And once you’ve mastered these techniques, you’ll be able to use them again and again for many different products and backgrounds.

In this class:

  • Product photography with continuous LED lights
  • Using a TV as a photography background
  • Working with stock images in photography
  • Using coloured gels in product photography
  • How to change colour temperature
  • Using reflectors to bounce light into shadows

To edit and retouch the final image, watch Cosmetics Product Shoot Using TV Background | Post-Production.

If you enjoy this class, be sure to check out Pros and Cons of Using LED Lighting for Studio Photography and Sunlit Shadows Cosmetics Shoot.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.

© Karl Taylor


  1. Karl,
    How far off would it throw us to mix flash with cont light in lieu of the overhead light you are using? I am trying to see if using a strobe bare bulb with a correction CTB gel not visible from the subject’s POV to create the bluish hue sky illumination as a fill light would be feasible and possibly provide a more uniform general illumination simulating the one coming from the sky. Always appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

    1. Hi, you could definitely replace flash instead of LED lighting here for any of the lights if you wanted, the only requirement would be that you maintain a long shutter speed for the TV to expose correctly and you have this is a darkened room to avoid any other ambient light pollution, secondly you may need to adjust the colour balance setting on your TV to ensure that it was cooler to match flash and not too warm. This is usually available of most TVs.


    Why did you use continuous light on this ; I understand you had to expose for background so you needed a much slower shutter speed for the tv but you could have lower intensity of flash instead of a continuous led??

    1. Hi, only to service the requirements of our members who wanted to see something with continuous light. Flash could have been used instead of the LED lights. Back in the day before high definition TV’s we would make large transparencies from a stock image and then put a softbox behind it to light through it and that would be our ‘tv’ background and then everything was flash.

  3. Hi Karl, in a shoot like this, does the continuous LED light offer significant advantages over studio flash, or could the same results generally be achieved with both systems of lighting with equal effort?

    1. Hi Hannu you could probably do it more easily with studio flash. I just wanted to demonstrate a version with continuous light in this instance.

  4. Hi Karl, how such a TV background like this would compare to a backlit Duratrans printed background? Thank you very much!

    1. Hi, not much different except you can illuminate the duratrans with a softbox and flash so you don’t need a long exposure.

  5. Awesome tutorial Karl! I’m about to do a similar project involving product shoot using sand. This video could not have come an opportune time!

  6. I love the process – this inspires endless creative ideas.

    I might have explored adding a small sand pile/hill with real sand between the background and product line foreground to bridge the depth perception and unify the detail of the grains of sand with the background dunes.

    As always I’m really inspired seeing your attention to the hero in the shot and the extent you go to make it amazing. Another amazing learning opportunity for me. Thanks.

  7. jeahn

    Absolutely beautiful! Can’t wait to try this. The sun light was a genius idea. Do you think it would be a good idea to hook the TV up to the computer as a second monitor and then open the stock image in photoshop so color and light adjustments can be made in real time? I believe photoshop has a full-screen blackout option. Thanks for this lesson!

  8. Nice to see a professional take on what I’ve seen others do on Instagram etc. Who’d have thought an LED table lamp would create such a convincing sun effect!

    I know you’re going to follow this up with a post-production which will probably explain – but did you manage to keep the sun at 255 RGB or was it overblown? If so, is that considered acceptable in a shot like this?

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