I’m so overwhelmed by the amount of love I’ve received from you guys over the last two days and I want to thank you all so much! I’m so glad that you’re loving these posts! As the “photography week” continues, today I will talk about few ways of creating beautiful backgrounds for your product shots.
Background ideas for product photography
Creating a nice, clean and interesting background can be challenging. Here are few ways to make it easier:
I have a whole bunch of cardboards that I bought at Michael’s Arts & Crafts store for only a few bucks and they have served me so well! I already showed you how I use my white one right here:
My other favorite has got to be this black one that I often use to photograph my recipes. I honestly feel that it took my food photography to a whole different level. This is how I use it:
So sorry for the crappy picture but it’s been raining here for the last couple of hours and I couldn’t get a good shot, but still wanted to show you what it looks like “behind the scenes”.
I use these tiny clips to keep the board in place. Can’t tell you how many times it fell over on the food I was photographing :).
I place my food (or product) on a small wood palette that my husband helped me make and I put this huge piece of black cardboard behind my subject. When my lens focuses on the presented food, the background is softened and loses a bit of focus, which makes it look like I’m taking my photos against a black wall. Cool thing about this is that I can use any color that I want, making it different and interesting each time. For some reason, I really like black; I think that it creates a nice contrast between the food and the background.
This is yet another easy and essentially free way for creating unique setting. Just change your wallpaper on your computer to anything that you want, place it behind your products (stacking them up on books or something else that you find handy) and take your pictures. I love using this technique for my nail swatches. I can literally pick anything I want for my background. For instance, when I was taking pictures of the “Taboo” polish by Chanel, I used galaxy wallpaper.
Few of my nail swatches using my desktop wallpaper:
This is my set up when taking pictures using a desktop wallpaper (you could do the same thing with a laptop). I place my products in front of the monitor, I have my tripod and my ring light in front and I snap away. Again, I’d prefer natural light, but just see how dark my room is.
I have tons of different placemats (not gonna lie, I’m a bit obsessed with them) and sometimes I use them for non-food photography as well. Here I was taking a picture of a hair product that came in white/pink packaging. At first I took it against white background and just “wasn’t feeling it”. I looked around the kitchen thinking of something to use and then I noticed my pink placemats. I leaned one against my laptop, placed my products in front of it, added some flowers in the back and it looked 10 times better.
The day when these were taken was a very gloomy one and I really struggled with these photos. It was so difficult to get my background to look pure white or even close to white. I really don’t like the dull, sad gray color that I kept getting. I can’t tell you how many times I’d spend hours trying to get a nice picture only to find that once imported into my computer they all look like crap. At the beginning of my blogging adventure I didn’t let that bother me too much and I thought that as long as I have a picture to go with the post, I’m good. After a while that started to bother me a little bit and I decided to put more effort into it and go for quality over quantity. That was when my love for photography was born. I can spend hours taking pictures, but if I’m not completely satisfied with the finished product, I won’t publish them and try to do it all over again the next day. I realize that some may think “it’s just a blog, it’s just a picture, who cares?” The truth is, right now my blog is a huge part of my life. I never had a hobby, never had passion in my life. Once you find that thing that you love doing so much, you only want to do your best and this is exactly what I’m trying to do.
Last year I came across Rae’s blog when searching for inspiration for photography. She had this cool tutorial for an “infinity effect” backdrop. To create one all you need is a stapler, a fairly large box and a piece of white paper. This set up is great for product photography; it creates crease-less, uniform background and looks clean and bright. I do have to mention, however, that this works the best with natural light.
This was taken using my white “backdrop” box.
This was taken using the same method, but I also edited it in Photoshop Elements using the “dodge” tool to create that flawless, white background.
Also, make sure to check out my tutorial for a white/grey marble photography background right here.
This is it for backgrounds. If you guys have any other ideas please share them with me! Once again thank you so, so much for all the kind comments, it’s still a bit surreal but my first photography post is already my most viewed post ever, and it’s only been up for two days! How crazy is that? You guys inspired me so much that I decided to make “Photography” a permanent category on the blog. That way, as I learn more and more about photography, I can share it all with you.