Working to a Brief: Assignment 1 LAUNCH

In this live show, Karl presents members with the challenge of interpreting and executing a simple advertising photography brief.

Karl runs through the visual sketch, mood boards and concept of the brief, answering members’ questions, discussing the incentive (a Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fibre tripod for the winner) and why understanding how to work to a brief is such an important skill.

This challenge will be achievable for members of all levels, regardless of whether this is your first brief or your tenth and, as Karl explains, it can be achieved with natural light, studio flash or even speedlights.

The full brief can be viewed here, and you can find the review for the final submissions here.

Other links that you might find useful and informative are our ‘Working to a brief’ business class and interview with product photographer Jonathan Knowles.


  1. I have just send my photo, only think I see challenge to late I couldn’t manage to find a small apple as good as I wanted…

    Let’s see what Karl thing about it tomorrow.

  2. Hi Karl,

    I would like to mention one thing. When it comes to a brief i compare it with a good sales conversation. I have my client and all clients have one thing in common, they have a problem. Otherwise they would not be talking to you. The main thing I learned here was, how to empty your head and fully listen to your client. A lot of people say they are listening but in reality they are not, because in their mind they are thinking of the next question that they are going to ask. Being be able to listen and not form a question is not easy, but once you get the hang of it, it will make your life easy. Listen to your clients first, and just listening and then afterwards you can ask the right questions. This creates a real good interaction with your clients.

    I just felt like mentioning that. Sharing experiences from different industries can shine some new light on situations..


  3. I am so in love in working to a brief ! Pls let more Briefs coming and coming!!!

    Best regards and stay save,

    Phillip Oliver Gordziel

  4. Karl, this brief is an excellent learning tool and really hope they become a regular thing.

    1. I’m hoping so too, I think it will help focus photographers into problem solving rather than just posting random pictures.

  5. I will try to find a smaller apple but it’s difficult where supermarkets want identical size and shape to suit customers buying preferences. They actually grow and grade apples so precisely because people won’t buy anything other than perfect fruit! Many aren’t significantly smaller.

  6. Just seeing this. I didn’t hear this question asked. What about post work? Do we send in the flat shot or we need to do the contrast and color work in post?

    1. Hi, You deliver a finished level image to me whether that requires post or not although I would prefer if the image uses good lighting skills to achieve the brief rather than long cuts. There may be additional post work required for stage 2.

  7. Hello Karl,
    As always I enjoy all your videos. I have a question. I’m a jewelry photographer, mostly gold chains, earrings, etc but very little diamonds. I wonder if you will ever make a video showing how to shoot gold in a white background. I have my techniques to do it but I wonder if I’m using the correct one and if there is a way to do it without post production. I need to use photoshop to clean the background since all my images need to be in pure white (255). Thank you for reading this and making such an amazing site for us photographer to lean from the best. Cheers.

  8. Excited to give this a go, will be a great learning experience for me.
    Still fairly new to photography also a new member to your site and i have already learnt alot from the few videos ive watched so far. Only been shooting for fun but want to up the quality of what I capture now.
    So thank you to you and your team for giving all this knowledge at such a great price.

  9. This is great. I hope you do more of these. Even one every week with a three or four week due date.

    1. Hi Tim, thanks we’ll see how this one goes first, if it goes well then I think one per month along with the existing weekly challenges will give people plenty of options to keep busy. Of course we have to manage our usual other variety of live shows back into the mix, especially our popular live shoots and talk shows which will be back in the studio again soon.

  10. Thanks for this, Karl and team – I could not love this exercise more and will be throwing myself into it wholeheartedly in the weeks coming up. I struggle to find inspiration in creating random images like for the weekly challenge and have been desperate for specific briefs EXACTLY like this. Thanks again!

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