Don’t Overlook the Background in Your Product Photography


Whilst some e-commerce sites place restrictions on the backgrounds of product photos – those guys at Amazon sure do love a nice white cutout !! – potential customers are more likely to be engaged in your business if they respond positively to the images, so sometimes it’s necessary to work a little harder at making them pop.

Over the years shooting commercial commissions in our studios alongside personal projects, we’ve amassed a huge collection of materials, props and backdrops, as well as techniques for capturing our subjects in the best light. Whilst you’ll generally want the product itself to be the star of the show in any shot, the background you choose can go a long way to enhancing its aesthetic appeal and contextualising it for a viewer. We subconsciously make associations when we look at images, so use that fact to sell those qualities of a product you’re most proud of. When shooting high end cosmetics, we frequently use white perspex to create a cool, clinical, glossily reflective look to our images. Conversely, black perspex creates a chic, sleek and darkly sexy backdrop. A marble tile can be used as a setting for small items such as jewellery, lending its inherent decadence and old-world glam to proceedings whilst hessian or wood typically suggest rustic goodness, home-spun craft and natural health. We frequently use coloured card, readily available as it is in myriad varieties.

If the colours and tones in your product match those of your backdrop, a satisfying aesthetic cohesion can gently caress a customers eyeballs. If you opt for sharply contrasting hues you can make your product pop off the page or screen. A backdrop needn’t be restricted to a single plane of focus. We populate our lifestyle shots with props and associated items which not only enhance the customer’s understanding of a given product but create compositionally and tonally pleasing tableaus whose positive associations can carry over to the subjects themselves. Think not only about colours and tones, but textures and positions of the various components. Remember who your star is but don’t necessarily make the backdrop take a back seat in every shot.


For a look at more of our white background product photography, visit our gallery here.

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