How to Photograph Products With LED Lights and Illuminating Screens

A common challenge that many photographers face these days is how to photograph products with LED lights or illuminating screens. In this live photography workshop Karl guides you through each step of such a product shoot.

Lighting is key when it comes to photographing products like this and this is what Karl focuses on throughout the show. He demonstrates useful lighting setups and also shows how changes in light can influence the shot. Once satisfied with the lighting on the product, he then explains how to capture the illuminations on the product.

Shooting live, he then shows useful retouching techniques to finish off the final shot.

Zoom product image
In this class:

  • How to photography products with LEDs and screens
  • Product photography lighting techniques and tips
  • Determining correct exposures for capturing on-screen illumination
  • Basic retouching techniques for product photography

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Hi Karl, thanks for this very good lesson. I have a question and I already know it’s a stupid one but I can’t find the answer by myself. Sorry in advance. I have to take a very similar shoot for a client and I’ll need the long exposure but… when my trigger is ON to make the flash fire it blocks my shutter speed at 1/250s. How can I reach 4 or more seconds if I can’t go further the 1/250? Thanks you.

    1. Hi Roberto, if you set your camera in full manual mode then there is no reason why your flash trigger should lock your shutter speed at 1/250th. Also see if there is a ‘B’ bulb mode on your camera in the manual settings, this allows you to lock your shutter open for as long as you hold the shutter button down. If your trigger is causing some strange over ride on the selectable shutter speeds then this would be a significant fault of the trigger design.

      1. I knew it was a stupid question and I realized it as soon the message left my computer. I have to low the shutter down and not up. The trigger doesn’t let me go over 1/250th when it’s on but it lets me go down as slow as I want… of course. Sorry Karl and thanks for your (patience) answer. Have a good day!


    Your final shot is not the picture bellow you advertised is there a reason why you didn’t use the picture from the session?

    1. Hi, what is different? The final shot will be the composite of the illuminated screens and the removal of the support holding the product but that was mentioned in the show.


        The main button on the right of device isn’t highlighted on the final shot but during your session your last pictures have this button on which looks a bit nicer so I was surprised you didn’t use it.


    At 1h21min11s Why do you have the top flash on for the screen ; why not shooting it in complete darkness so have only screen light glowing?

    1. Hi, At 1:15:41 all of the lights are off to take the screen exposure? At 1:16:38 Jess even shuts the blinds in our offices to reduce any ambient light further? At 1:19:15 you can see that the studio is still dark? At 1:20:08 I say I’m finished and I’m going to put the lights back on?


        Hi Karl, no you are overseeing it, on none of the pictures you only took the screen, you combined long expo + flash on all of them, so why not not using flash for the screen and ad it afterwards onto the device general shot??

        1. Hi, Yes I combined long exposure with flash, why would I capture only the screen with no flash? If I only took the screen how could I blend that image into the shot of the product without having to do a very detailed cutout of the screen?

  4. Finally someone who shares my clamp fetish!
    The first 4 minutes were almost porn, all those beautiful clamps!

  5. Hey Karl, if I wanted to shoot chocolate at an angle (floating) is there anything you could recommend that I could use to hold it up?

  6. How do you choose between using frosted acrylic or a scrim? Would a big 5in1 reflector work as well with the white translucent fabric?

    1. Hi, I generally go for acrylic on smaller stuff like jewellery because the right size acrylic for this isn’t to big and it’s rigid enough to clamp above or lean etc. When the items get bigger then larger acrylic is too difficult to handle. A well made scrim frame with LEE diff will serve you just as well for the most part unless it’s not well made and you have to may ripples etc which might show up in your lighting reflections. White fabric isn’t any use as it often forms a starburst pattern of light through the fabric because of its weave.

  7. totally agree we register with KARL TAYLOR EDUCATION do learn so much and the best secret to product photography. 😀 😀 😀

    1. LizP

      Me too, I am so grateful to Karl for sharing all his knowledge. I have finally found my resource with the level of expertise I need to continue working and growing as a professional. My next job is to shoot an electronic keyboard with accessories (and lots of LED lights)so I am watching this to see how to light it..
      Thank you Karl

  8. I signed up for your class last night and this is the first video I am watching in full. I am truly grateful for you sharing your years of knowledge! IMO, you can not get this level of detail from the videos I’ve found on YouTube.

    I had to stop the video and tell you this when I heard you yell out “I LOVE GRADIENT LIGHTING” at the 1:08:14 mark in this video. I could feel the love through my computer and I want that feeling too! lol

    Best of luck to you my friend!


  9. Hey Karl, thanks so much for everything!
    Quick question,
    What kind of honey comb are you using? I cannot find one as thick as the one you are using it. I have couple of it but it doesn’t make the same effect as yours. Could you tell me the specifications and where I will be able t find it?
    Thanks a lot

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