Working to a Brief: Assignment 6 REVIEW

Live On: Wednesday 10th November 2021 – 15:00 GMT / 10:00 EST


In this live show (replay now available), Karl reviews the images submitted in response to our sixth 'Working to a Brief' assignment.

You can check out all the images we received in our Members' Gallery: Flat-Lay Pie Ingredients blog.


  1. Hi Karl, thank you so much for the feedbacks. I was wondering if you have some tips to avoid “clinical” or “contrived” looks and make a shot look “organic.” I guess there’s no simple answer to that, but I would very much appreciate if you could share some tricks that might be helpful in some scenarios.

    Looking forward to the next next live show. Thank you.

    1. Hi, that is a tricky one to answer, it does take experience or a good artistic eye to create effective composition. Often it’s a good idea to walk away for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes. I always find that some items should be touching or overlapping rather that spaced apart.

      1. Thank you so much, Karl.
        I will take another look at the review and see how the successful ones dealt with the placement of items. (For the next shoot, I think I will set aside time for a 5 minute coffee break.) Much appreciated.

  2. Hi Karl, were some images submitted not reviewed? Cos I submitted mine and I didn’t get to see it being reviewed on the live show. I look forward to the feedback from the reviews cos as a newbie photographer, it help me know where to work on as I progress on my photography journey. Thanks!

    1. Hi Moaj, all the images that were submitted were passed on to me by the customer support team. If you contact customer support through your home page they can check for you, I’m afraid I don’t deal with the entries I just get provided them in a folder transfer.

  3. Stephan Jarvis

    Hi Karl. Sorry to hear you had Covid but glad you’ve recovered. I got it back in 2020 but unfortunately have struggled to get back to full health. Anyway, thanks for the feedback! I had trouble substituting the cherries so had to go with grapes but couldn’t find red ones. Was just wondering if I had gone for red, would my shot have got bumped up to the “good but minor issues” folder, or were the other issues too great?

    1. Hi Stephan, sorry to hear you haven’t fully recovered yet but hopefully it will come. Your shot was mostly good, the lighting was on point and the overall mood it was just the overwhelming greens, so yes it would have been bumped up it may have even made it higher.

  4. Hi Karl,
    Thank you for taking the time to review each submission of the flat-lay pie ingredients, it was hugely helpful. My current main challenge seems to be issues related to ‘flatness’. What would you suggest I focus on to vastly improve my images so that they don’t appear to be flat? Is it essentially about managing shadows and gradient light much better, with more contrast? How can I really get over this hurdle?
    I very much enjoyed this challenge, in spite of my final result, which was literally my best attempt at the time. However, once I heard your comments, I realised it was exactly as you said!
    I’m loving learning!
    Best wishes,
    Mark Scott

    1. Hi Mark, it would appear from the photo that you either have a very large light source that or that it is being used with fill light bouncing around a white room which is reducing the contrast or maybe you were using two lights but with too much light from the fill light. It is hard to say exactly as it could be a number of things, but it is clear from the photo that your key light is coming from the right direction but the shadows have too much light going into them which can only be from light bouncing around the room or from light coming in the other direction. If you are getting to much ‘fill’ lighting from a small white room then try using ‘negative fill’ – you will learn more about that here:

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