How to Shoot a High-End Cosmetics Photo with Cheap Speedlights

If we wrote it once, we’ve written it a thousand times: you don’t need expensive equipment to capture high-quality studio photography. As photographer Dustin Dolby of Workphlo demonstrates in this video, even that expensive cosmetics look is doable with cheap speedlights… and skill.

The most compelling thing about this tutorial isn’t even the final product—which is, admittedly, great—but the methodical step-by-step way Dolby gets you from initial setup to catalog-ready shot.

As you watch, Dolby crafts his shot image-by-image by adding and subtracting light until he has all of the pieces he needs to move into post-production. Then, in post, he makes magic happen by combining exposures to create a towering, 3D looking lipstick image that you could easily mistake for a professional ad in a glossy magazine.

The full video is packed with useful product photography shooting and editing tips—perfect for beginners and even intermediate photographers who are thinking of giving product photography a go. And if you like this, give the WorkPhlo YouTube channel a follow; so far, this is the only tutorial up, but we’re sure more are on the way.