Live Photography Workshop – Floating Cosmetic Product Photography

Live On: Thursday 14th October 2021 - 15:00 BST / 10:00 EDT

Floating-effect cosmetics images create a powerful sense of luxury and ethereal sophistication. In this live photoshoot, watch Karl create just such an image using a bottle of Roberto Cavalli perfume.

In this start-to-finish, step-by-step product photography demonstration, you’ll discover a range of techniques for staging, styling and composing floating-product images.

This includes how to choose the right lens based on the required angle of view, how to create a pool of water in which the bottle appears to float, and how to manipulate the water to create ripples and other interesting effects.

The most important aspect of the shoot is the lighting setup. The goal is to create beautiful gradient lighting on the bottle while also making sure all the key details are illuminated. Watch Karl use a range of lights, modifiers and reflectors to sculpt the light precisely.

As Karl answers members’ questions in real time and takes care to explain the lighting theory behind the challenges he faces and the solutions he finds, you’ll pick up a range of techniques to boost your confidence and capabilities across all types of photography.

In this live show:

  • Techniques for floating product photography
  • Lighting setups for product photography
  • How to use scrims in product photography
  • Creative cosmetics photography techniques
  • How to use DIY reflectors in product photography
  • How to work with water in product photography

If you enjoy this live show, you might also enjoy previous live shoots like ‘Photographing Liquid Art and Motion’ and ‘Photographing Clear Liquid Bottles (Gin/Vodka)'.

Be sure to check out our ‘Cosmetics Photography’ section too. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.


  1. Hi Karl

    Do you think a light with a projection attachment from the front or the back could have solved the logo issue?


    1. Hi, no certainly not from the front and nor from the back because the area visible through the glass is the water behind so it can only come from that area to make a difference.

  2. I like the way Karl explains things. He makes me feel like an idiot, then explains what I need to know to not be one, and so I don’t feel like one anymore. 😀

  3. Wow! This is only the second video I’ve watched. Flying tea was the first… I can’t even describe how much I’ve learned.. The lighting… just wow.. I’m sooooo glad that I subscribed.

  4. Hello Emma, I’m trying to watch the replay, but I can’t see it in full, it cuts out after an hour and 50 minutes.

    1. Hi Daniel, that’s fixed now, we had a power outage during the show but we recorded the whole thing and re-uploaded it.

  5. Apart from the technical aspects, the problem solving parts are the biggest boon for me when learning from these shows. Thanks always, Karl!

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