Photo Critique – Product Images 1

*This class was recorded live & now available for replay.*

This is the second part of our first mega member’s photo critique, where Karl viewed and gave his feedback on more than 250 of our members’ pictures.

Continuing from the previous section, where he examined all the ANIMAL, LANDSCAPE & PORTRAIT images, the second part of the show focussed on Karl’s area of speciality – product photography.

Here he focussed on the fundamentals of product photography, the importance of light, composition and color. Pointing out the strengths and possible improvements of each image, Karl also demonstrated a number of useful post production techniques that could be used to enhance an image.

Watch Part 1 of our ‘Mega Members Photo Critique’ here.

Note: All the photos are in alphabetical order by the photographers first name.

For Karl’s simple tips to take better photos, read our blog post here.


  1. I applaud these photos because they are certainly better than what I have done but I don’t get why so many black backgrounds. I understand that the photographer is trying to make the product look appealing but I feel like I’m having to look very hard to see the product. My eyes are working hard to see the complete product. Maybe more soft rim light would make my eyes work less to see the product. I usually will not buy anything that makes me work hard to see it. I just think that black backgrounds are being over used. In the everyday world I’ve seen the same thing on backgrounds. Too much black.

  2. I am loving these critiques. I feel like I’ve learned so much already but I also feel very overwhelmed by how good these photos are compared to mine. How is one supposed to get experience with these shots when they don’t have a place or the light to do a shoot at this level and it’s this level I want to create.

    1. Hi Gina, maybe take note of our food shoots in the ‘product photography’ section. This shows you what can be achieved with often a very simple setup but careful preparation.

  3. Karl – I must congratulate you on an excellent live show with the marathon critique. Although I did not submit an image I certainly found it had a lot of personal relevance to me in that your excellent criticism (blunt but fair and honest) as well as your well trained eye for detail caused me to look at myself and my photography afresh. As a retiree and getting on in years one gets into the trap of “it’s good enough” . Your constant reference to refinement and tiny detail and the examples of your own work you used as illustration, kicked my butt into promising myself that in future “it’s good enough” will just not be good enough.

    There were some excellent images submitted but I was also surprised at the amount of photoshopping some submitters had done to their images. My only criticism, which is purely personal is that I found the three hours rather long to be sat on an office chair watching it on my desktop. I do admire your stamina in talking for that length of time while keeping up your energy, good humour and giving the same focused attention to each image as it came up. As a man getting on in years I will say, i hope without offending you, that I did admire the capacity of your bladder as I was desperately waiting for Ben’s “We are taking a short break” message to appear,

    Great show – Thanks . Dai Bragg

    1. Ha Ha brilliant thank you David, I made sure I didn’t drink too much coffee! Glad you enjoyed the show. 🙂

  4. Hi Karl, I just had time to watch your critics on my photos and thank you so much! All points are make sense, thanks for pointing out. I know there is a lot to work, your feedback gave me indication how to improve it. Thank you and for your team! Cheers, Viktor

  5. Amazing show, Karl! It is extremely helpful as here you show our mistakes and you are firm but right on 100% . I believe that’s what we need sometimes – to learn on our mistakes rather than watching perfect pictures as when we watching them we start thinking that it’s easy to make this perfect image. I mean we need that kicks from time to time)) It would be great if you do such critique once a month since it is very difficult to assess your own work especially if you are not professional. Thank you and your team! Guys you are the best!

    1. Thank you for the feedback Anna, we will definitely look at increasing the frequency of critiques.

  6. a great two days truly enjoyed it all , lots of tips at seeing other people work
    very fine show
    thanks again Karl & your team

  7. Thanks Karl for the critique. The details you pointed out will be taken care. Thanks a lot …

  8. Hi Karl, thanks for the critique, glad you liked the shot. I’ll definitely be taking your comments on board 🙂

  9. Thx Karl for the review….. so appreciated, i will retake the picture and summit it again for the next photo critique

  10. This has been the first time to attend a critique session. Unfortunately I could only attend the first one live due to work, I’ll watch the second one during the rest of the weekend. What I’ve seen and heard never gave me the impression Karl said something to harm or demotivate the photographer, instead to me his intention was clearly the opposite – helping the photographer to learn ind improve.
    Of course I was waiting impatiently for the review of my own picture, I couldn’t even leave the computer for a single moment. I was so interested and fascinated by all the pictures and Karl’s critique and comments, a lot of things in the picture I only realised due to Karl.
    So from my point of view this session was extremely interesting and helpful – I learned a ton. And even if I probably won’t remember all the things Karl mentioned when I go out next time, I will learn step by step. To sum it up – a massive thanks to Karl and the team!!!
    Cheers, Ralf

  11. Karl, one of the most important things I learnt from the critique shows, was that it took you over one thousand two hundred clicks of the shutter to capture what it was you were looking for!
    That puts truth to the old adage, “Patience is a virtue.”
    I hope you could do critique shows, maybe say bi-monthly, to see how we students are progressing.
    From a subscriber for life, or till the money runs out.

    1. Thank you Doug for your feedback we will certainly look at increasing the number of critique shows.

  12. Karl, Thanks for the constructive critique of my image. I did the suggested tweaks and agree that it is better. Looking forward to the next one. Cheers.

  13. A mammoth undertaking, Karl. Both parts are enormously informative. Many thanks for critiquing my image in Part 1 (TT cyclist). I was surprised but delighted that you referenced it in Part 2! I have been wary of panning, but am now encouraged and resolved to try more shots.

  14. Thank you very much for the useful critique , Sir one thing I want to know that, how to determine the right size of soft box, like it should be vertical , square rectangle for product photography.

  15. Many thanks for you and you team, I realize that is a giant job to do this, so we apreciate it a lot. Please keep teaching us. Cheers!

  16. Thanks for the critique Karl, I think you were spot on the critique of my shot and I agree (it was a macro shot of a Heineken bottle). Will apply what I learned in this live show in the future. Looking forward to more of this!

  17. Thank you very much Karl for your awesome feedback and for taking the time to go through so many entries! Completely agree with your critique and did my best with what I had available at the location. Will keep watching more of your product videos to see if I can pickup more tips for product photography and try again next time 🙂

  18. You asked for feedback on your critiquing. I think your views are right-on, often exposing those points that were causing me to , for some reason, not like the photo.
    I feel that, after getting to know Karl and the team through all the training, the critiquing is not motivated from a jealous ego or condescending spirit, but from a conscientious desire to lift up the amateurs and pros to the next level.
    Anyone disagreeing with the critiques may need to consider that a certain amount of Karl’s judgement will come from his personal taste and artistic expression and that portion needs to remain subjective. Otherwise we could just copy his work and be done. How sad.
    The bigger picture is that we are all lucky to have this help.

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