benchtop photography workshop

Art of Light + Setting the Scene

A truly unique workshop teaching the fundamentals of lighting and composition when photographing objects from above.

Benchtop Photography Workshop by Karina Sharpe

Overhead photography and flat-lays are now one of the most popular methods of visual storytelling, used across all platforms from blogging; social media; product photography and editorial advertising. This transformative class teaches you the art of flat-lay, from first principles, using techniques that are independent-of-camera, and suitable to all skill levels. Once learned these concepts can be applied to photography from front on and other orientations. If taking photos of everyday objects is your thing, but you are repeatedly bummed-out by flat results, or disappointed by dull images after hours of moving things around and around, this workshop is for you.

Get masterful - and never take an average overhead photo again.

 COST: usually $220 (incl gst)

DURATION: 3.5hrs
Notepad & Pen. Camera’s are not required.


BRISBANE: Sat 29th July 2017.
Hosted by ARTISAN.

GOLD COAST: Sat 10th Sept 2017.
(Tickets Available Soon)

Register your interest for future classes.

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This transformative class teaches you the art of flat-lay, from first principles, through an understanding of the relationship between light, object geometry and composition. This class is different from any other photography or styling workshop – it’s magic lies in its unique image building philosophy, where each step is presented as a series of simple decisions which can be made with purpose – dissolving the overwhelm and panic many people experience when taking photos. These methods bring a new way of thinking, a new way of appreciating light and a new way of seeing the objects you work with. The results are images of objects you could practically pick up off the page. The skills taught in this class are independent of any camera functions, making this teaching relevant regardless of your skillset or equipment, and the learning is applicable even if you upgrade your gear.


The first part of class concentrates on understanding light and how to use it. You will learn the fundamental aspects of overhead object photography with an emphasis on using the natural light in the environment available to you. You will form a strong understanding of how light and objects interact, how to prevent objects from looking ‘flat’ and how-to emphasis (or minimise) material attributes like textures, surfaces, grooves, folds, frills and overlaps. You will learn how to manage shadows and why they are important for today’s audiences. We will discuss how to read and use the natural light in your working environment (home/office/studio) and how to deal with difficult lighting issues that may have been affecting your efforts in the past.


The second part of the class focuses on visual storytelling and how to set the scene for audience love. You will learn how to create a visual conversation through backgrounds and props; how to visually convey your ethos; the concept of styling for substance; and how to build your scene for maximum engagement – effortlessly. I will share the process I use when I am building an image, my top tips for cleverness, and how to integrate your newfound lighting knowledge.


I arrived to a stunning location for Karina’s workshop that was a perfect space to set the mood for a creative day. Karina was warm + welcoming and so calm – you can tell she has a true passion for her conceptual art. Through the first half of the workshop we learnt about lighting + shadow of objects and this was actually quite mind blowing, the way each piece is enhanced + how a whole photograph can be transformed using her tricks is really quite amazing, but so simple. This by far was my favourite part of the day + worth every cent. Although I felt like I already had a good knowledge of flat-lay photography, I definitely learnt a lot that I could take away and use in my business + for this I am very grateful I went along to Karina’s workshop. It was wonderful to watch Karina using her talent + learning her skills along the way. It really was a great day + I would highly recommend it to business owners + creatives or anyone looking for a unique event. // Shyanne Clarke, founder + sparkle chaser at

Karina’s knowledge about light and shadow, and composition is informative and so easy to put into practice. Her insights into what makes an image work visually has had a dramatic impact on how I photograph flat lays. I now look at my subject/s differently (before I even pick up my camera). Karina’s Benchtop Photography workshop rocked my world in a wonderful way. // Leah Deighton, of the beautiful instagram feed @suchwildgrace

After completing both the Benchtop Photography and Poetic Collage workshops, I walked away with more knowledge than I thought possible. Each workshop was informative, visual and hands on. I am now confident in presenting my imagery and my creativity has reached a whole new level! Thanks Karina. // Belinda Saunders, owner of the blog Kindred Spirits and amazing instagram feed of the same name @kindredspirits

Karina’s Benchtop Photography workshop was everything I wanted and more! The fun and informative workshop gave me the knowledge I needed to achieve the perfect benchtop images for my products, website and social media. Karina’s easy to follow guide, fun props and creative atmosphere was a fun day I’d recommend to anyone looking to expand their photography skills. // Carmel Boyd, Interior Designer & Stylist, owner of the blog Carmel Louise and EcoSoy Candle Company Penny Lane Candle Co

I thoroughly enjoyed the creative experience of Karina’s Benchtop Photography class. The atmosphere was relaxed + casual and the group small which ensured no-one got lost in the crowd. Karina is a great teacher, explaining the objectives clearly and simply and there were plenty of ‘light bulb’ moments for me…and I’m pretty sure, for everyone. The class was divided into two sessions with time at the end of each session to put the techniques learned into practice which, I think, is a great way to retain information. I would highly recommend this class to anyone wanting to further develop their skills in lighting and styling for photography. // Lindy Sherwell, Photographer at Seven Seas Photography.

I got so much from Karina’s workshop that I have been able to implement. As a a novice photograper/blogger equipped only with my iPhone, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that I could continue using this device AND make beautiful images. No running out to buy a DSLR the next day! Karina’s delivery was straightforward, inspiring and intuitive. The intimate class size made for a pleasant morning. // Tara Bruin, owner of the inspirational blog One Fine Grain-free Day.