‘Seeing is believing ‘ as the saying goes, therefore, so much depends on the product photography in e-commerce. Looking at photos, the customers decide if the product is worth buying. It should look attractive in the photo but, simultaneously, correspond to reality. Photographers use different hints to impress consumers including white background product photography. The principle ‘less is more’ works here well. The removal of unwanted details in the background helps to turn visitors into customers and earn more.
The benefits of a white background in product photos
Why do white backgrounds work so well for product photography? This is the most effective way to attract attention to your product. There is no visual noise in the background, so the image in the photo is perceived easier. Other benefits of a white background for product photography:
- The shots with a white background look more professional.
- A white background helps to preserve consistency and raise the level of trust in consumers.
- Shots created in different styles prevent brand building. Customers ignore brands with inconsistent products.
- Products presented on a white background maintain a genuine appeal.
- This is a perfect way to attain the effect of cleanness. The image doesn’t look neat when photos come with different backgrounds. And on the contrary, the background of the same color, preferably white, helps to evoke positive feelings such as purity and safety making the product more attractive in the eyes of customers.
All these factors taken together help merchants to increase conversion of their online stores.
If you want to create eye-catching product photography that improves sales, start with white background product photography. In accordance with marketers’ figures, such shots are the best for e-commerce.
The guide to creating a white background for a photoshoot
It may seem that it is easy to create a white background in a photo. However, you can run across several difficulties when you try to fulfill this task. It is not a problem for experienced photographers so you just need to practice for that. The creation of white backgrounds requires expensive equipment, therefore, such photos are usually created in professional studios. The problem can also arise with lighting setups that are needed to get the result. Since there are a lot of nuances to consider, the professional approach is the best.
It is important to show the product in all detail so that customers can see what they buy. It is essential to consider if white background helps to attain this goal. You should see if it is easier to highlight the basic features of the product with a white backdrop or not.
At this, a photographer should consider the following factors:
- shooting angle;
- choice of the lens;
- camera settings;
- type of background;
- studio space.
Since the types of products vary, these parameters are chosen correspondingly.
What photographers need for a photoshoot on a white background
The equipment used by the photographers include:
- additional lights for products
- suitable lens
A photographer may also need a light tent and a lightbox. One of these accessories can do a good job but, usually, they are not as effective as the items offered above. It is harder to control the result when using them.
When the photographer shoots packshots, he should work fast and efficiently. There are so many products to capture! In this situation, a suitable and simple lighting setup is required.
How to make a pure white background for product photo
Select a base surface or background correctly if a white background is needed. A white wall can be an excellent option. The photographer can prefer either a glossy or matte wall for a backdrop. The choice is usually made depending on the effect that should be achieved in a photo. Photographers can choose among paper rolls, wooden boards, and MDF sheets. Some photographers create their own backdrops. If you don’t have professional equipment at hand, you can always acquire a piece of plastic or white vinyl in a hardware store nearby and make these things serve as a background. The seamless background can be even created with a thin sheet of flexible paper fixed to a table with a couple of clips or to some surface that is then placed against a wall.
Why studio space matters for product shots
As was mentioned above, such factors as studio space play a big role as well. The distance between the product and the camera, and the distance between the product and the light-matter. You may need enough space between the subject and the camera and the background for placing light. You should consider that closeness of light can affect the quality of image due to incorrect spread of light. It is better to leave more space for it.
Things to pay attention to before a photoshoot:
- The distance between the object and the source of light.
- How you place your lights. Consider the direction, angle, and height of lights.
- The possibility of flare.
- The option of using additional lights and how they affect the background.
The photographer can use, for instance, one or two studio lights modifiers. If the flare from a window light creates the problem, the window mask or flags can be used.
However, even small-sized studios are suitable for product photography. It is important to control the lighting better then. The person can have a limited choice of options in this case but highly qualified photographers can easily fulfill the task.
The choice of lighting modifiers depends on the product and the use of the background. When a small object is captured in a small space, it can be just one light and a reflector. In the conditions of larger space more lights and modifiers are needed, for instance, wide-angle reflectors or small-sized octaboxes, which spread light over a large area evenly.
One of the problems that arise during a photoshoot on a white background is the flare that occurs due to plenty of light. When it occurs, excessive light reflects off the white backdrop bouncing back into the lens. It affects the quality of photos, which is too light, washed out, and less distinctive because of low contrast. To tackle the problem, prepare the boards or window masks to control the light. It is useful to have these items at hand in your photo studio.
The specialists with good background techniques don’t need to worry about the flare. Devoid of studio lights, they can resort to flashlights instead. This surely makes the arrangement more complicated as it is necessary to modify them for an even spread of light. But the result is achievable. The spread can be attained with special diffusion material placed in front of flashlights. The material is used to widen the area of light dispersed in the direction of a product.
Tips for perfect product shots on a white background
It is recommended to take plenty of shots from different angles testing front light, side light, diffusers, and reflectors. When you find the best combination of light location and its intensity looking at the end result you’ve got, keep doing this way. You can get the whole series of product shots with the same outlay for consistent results, which is very important as most products are displayed on the same e-commerce store. It means that the distance between the camera and the object should also be the same. Place items on the same spot and use the same background. The consistency is easily achieved with a tripod that also helps to eliminate such things as blurring.
Here are several tips to follow in product photography:
- You shouldn’t underestimate the background as it makes the product stand out.
- Don’t underestimate lighting in product photography. You should have enough of it but it shouldn’t be excessive.
- The background can make the process of retouching easier thus economizing your time and effort.
- The preparation stage is necessary to eliminate the risk of noise, low resolution, loss of sharpness, etc.
- The use of a tripod for a photoshoot can help you to attain stability in the process. You may also need accessories mentioned above already such as window masks, reflectors, etc.
- The photographer should make a few test shots to arrange the equipment properly. Then shots are made from different angles using a tripod to steady the camera. After he is over with it, the post-production stage begins.
- Use the props only if they give additional value to the product. In all other cases, use a white background.
You should remember that using many props doesn’t contribute to your product. Quite on the contrary, the photo looks cluttered due to the overcrowded composition. The viewers don’t know what to focus on and find it hard to distinguish the product from props. If the props take away the focus of customers, it is not advised to use them for the photo. The goal of props is to help to sell the product and not to compete for attention.
Post-production work to achieve a white background
A pure white background is the best practice for e-commerce. It is easily performed and less expensive. Despite the simplicity, these photos look clean and sophisticated. There is some minimalistic vibe about a pure white background that makes a product page look more consistent and well-organized. Neat, professional photos give the company the air of elegance. Also, customers find it easier to browse through such photos. The true color of products is clearly seen on white background.
Apart from a physical addition of a background and a white base surface, there is another way to get a white background in a photo. You can achieve this effect on the stage of post-production. Special software helps to perform post-production editing. Usually, photographers use Adobe Photoshop.
The post-production stage is necessary regardless of the amount of work that should be performed in the product photography. Sometimes the photographer only needs to correct shadows, for instance. When photographers need to correct the sections of the dark background, they just whiten them using the software, and it’s simple. However, sometimes the whole image should be cut out to replace the whole background. The removal of the background is fulfilled specifically to attain a pure white background. White space has nothing to do with emptiness but helps to avoid the situation when the product is cluttered with irrelevant things that distract the attention of shoppers. The zero background effect is often used by retailers who use it to make the image float on the page.
The work of photo editing is distributed between many members of the team. Each of them is experienced in his own field of expertise to perform the job brilliantly. This is a rather time-consuming process for those who don’t specialize in it. A photo editing stage is necessary to make photos look stunning and professional. The effort is worth taking! Such photos can magnetize customers.
Post-production stage in our studio: how it works
Look how it happens in our studio. When the photographer shoots products in our e-commerce studio, making, for instance, shots for the catalogs of clothes, the visual materials are transferred to the server, where the project manager sorts them out to send them to the clipping path division. Later the editing stage follows when the expert removes all imperfections, dust, scratches, etc. There can be unnecessary details on the photo of the product such as “sell by ” date or other unnecessary things that only distract the attention of consumers. The specialist removes them by applying to retouch. Then cropping and adjustment follow before the additional procedure of retouching. At this stage, the specialist checks the work completed earlier, removes unwanted details, corrects the color, performs color-grading, and adds shadows if needed.
The photo should be clean and crisp therefore sharpening is used to attain the goal. The blurry photo doesn’t sell. Using resizing is necessary to make the product closer to the customers so that they could see all details. The color treatment is also essential to make the product exactly the color it is in reality. Photography can distort the colors, so the task of an editor is to return the natural color to it. It is necessary to use special lens correction profiles that differ depending on the camera you use. They work best when you apply the lens profiles to raw files. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom plugin include multiple lens profiles, which can be used by photographers to correct geometric distortion, lens aberrations, and vignette, which is needed in case the corners of an image are darker than the rest of an image. Brightness and exposure play an important role especially when the lighting wasn’t used fully and substantial post-shoot adjustments required. The removal of the background helps to highlight the product.
White background requirement for e-commerce sites
A white background is a necessary requirement on some e-commerce portals such as Amazon. Most marketplaces require backgrounds to be pure white. What you need to achieve is the white or #FFFFFF white/ background, which is the industry standard accepted in most online stores such as Shopify and Amazon. This is also a way to ensure real product quality as the items are showcased naturally on white background, without enhancements.
This is, actually, convenient to upload such visual content. The file size is minimized so it is easier to comply with the upload standards of numerous marketplaces. Smaller file size increases the loading speed of the product page thus excluding the situation when impatient shoppers leave the online store without waiting for the page to load. If this is a hustle for you, apply for professional assistance to erase the background skillfully. Online marketplaces will not let you upload photos that don’t comply with their rules.
Why apply to a professional photo studio
So, you should decide if the photography session is arranged by professionals or not. You can certainly do the job yourself but it can take so much time and effort that it is easier to hire a team of specialists to concentrate on your work while the photography studio cares about the rest. It has all resources and equipment for smooth and fast performance. Just imagine how much time it will take to organize the whole process? It can prevent your regular activities and hamper usual work in your company. In comparison with a photo studio that performs such work on a daily basis, it will be rather painful and stressful. Photographers can remove this workload off you making products photography and photo editing on a professional level. They offer uncompromised quality and high speed of processing. Consider the following factors as well:
- It is also rather costly to purchase the equipment for a shooting session. Compare it with the efficiency of an expert who has a necessary set-up at his disposal and can do the job faster.
- If you started doing the job yourself, this is risky as you don’t know what will come of it. You started doing something you haven’t performed before. Though it is possible to create a decent shot without professional equipment and years of experience, it becomes a matter of chance, which is not a reliable thing, especially in business, when huge revenues are at stake. Working with professionals, you remove such risks.
- If you want to run your business effectively, you should hire good specialists to do the job for you.
The product images against a white background may look primitive but the products presented in this way are added to a cart most often. It is not expensive to produce them, while the benefits are enormous! If you set the object on a white or transparent background, you can easily change its color later or introduce other changes, for instance, adding shadows to make the product look realistic. Post-production editing helps product images look professional and capture the attention of viewers.
E-commerce stores can’t do without a uniform look of product shots. Therefore, post-production background removal is necessary to get a pure white background. Since almost all e-commerce platforms require that, you have to accept the rule if you want to showcase your products on popular platforms. Take the time to ensure the job is accomplished properly as it improves your sales and helps your business grow.