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Product Photography Background Ideas & Guide [Updated 2021]

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

As one of the top Toronto Product Photography studios there is one question we get asked often: what background should I choose for product photography? So we thought to share some ideas and how to choose a product photography background that will work best for your eCommerce website. Contents:

  1. Background Approaches for Product Photography

  2. Requirements-Based Photography

  3. How to Choose Product Photography Background for your eCommerce Store?

  4. Step 1 - Choose Overall Background Style

  5. Step 2 - Decide on Background Colours

  6. Pro Tips

Background Approach

To choose a background for your product photos there are two ways to approach this decision:

  1. Based on Requirements - if you need product photography for marketplaces like Amazon, UberEats, Walmart etc. there is a number of requirements to follow, these usually define what you need and how it should be executed.

  2. Based on Design - decide on background based on the overall style of your brand, website and products you sell. We will go over this approach in more details down below.

Requirements-Based Photography

First, let's cover the requirement for the major marketplaces and retailers. When it comes to selling through Amazon, DoorDash or Uber Eats, these platforms sell products from multiple different vendors and need to maintain their look & feel while not doing the product photography internally. To do this, there is a number of requirements vendors have to follow to be listed on the platforms. We won't go over the requirements in this post, however, if you are looking for background ideas for Amazon product photography or any other marketplace, check out the links below for their requirements.

How to Choose the Best Product Photography Background for eCommerce Website?

If you are looking to make product photos for your new eCommerce website or revamping a design for an existing store, product photography is one of the most important pieces. After all, it's your storefront. Deciding on a background for product photography in your eCommerce website, is a two-step process really:

  1. Choose overall style of your background

  2. Pick design and colours

Step 1 - Choose Overall Style of Your Background

First, you need to decide what is it that you like.

We recommend our clients to go over examples from other eCommerce websites in their industry. These don't have to be your competitors. You can look to other countries to find examples and different styling options.

But there are really three main approaches to product photography styling:

Style 1 - One Colour Backgrounds

This is the most popular approach. Simple and universal having photos on white background or other colour background gives you and opportunity to use the photos for website, catalogues, menus and for background replacement to show your products in a different setting (aka lifestyles photos).

Style 2 - Combined eCommerce Photo Backgrounds

This approach to background styling helps create a premium look and feel for your products. As an increasing amount of brands is transitioning to an eCommerce model, combined backgrounds are getting increasingly more popular.

Style 3 - Shapes and Display Stands Photography

Another popular approach to product photography styling. This option is very similar to combined backgrounds, however, instead of a backdrop and s surface, it uses a photography display stand.

Step 2 - Decide on Background Colours for your Photos

Once you know what style you like, it's time to make it your own. Let's go over choosing the right background colour for eCommerce Product Photography.

How to choose colours for product photography background?

The answer here is - colours you choose need to fit in the overall eCommerce store design. Similar to how enterprises and marketplaces have requirements for product photography, your store should come up with it's own requirements. Here is a couple of tips to help you choose the right background for product photography:

1. Work back from your brand (and website) - account for your brand colours when choosing backgrounds for your product photography. In the future, this will be a great deal of help when choosing styles for Social Media photos etc.

The Sill does a great job with their brand in bold and green accent on the website, neutral images with a distinct oblique background that is easy to use for Social Media content and be familiar to their customers and prospects.

2. Account for design of your products - if your products come in certain colours, take that into account when choosing backgrounds.

Wild North Flowers does a great job job with their background colours - with most arrangements and vases in pink, beige and white. Dark grey with a hint of pink is a perfect colour for product photography background. It fits into their overall brand + allows the arrangements to stand out.

3. Account for product sizes - if your products come in all shapes and sizes, do take it into account. Jomo studio below did a great job for using their initial concept of wooden surface and white background and uses it to tell a story. Larger plants are shown near a stand giving you a feel for the plant size, while fitting into an overall style of the image.

Pro Tip - Actually Try It

No amount of looking can compare to actually trying a photo on your website. We recommend finding an image you like and trying it on a category and product page of your eCommerce store. Choose photos you like and create a couple of category pages to see how they fit into your page design.

Pro Tip - Let it sit

When looking at something too much you get used to it and focus on details, instead of the bigger picture. Upload the photos to your website and leave it for a day or two. Come back and take a look at the category and product pages and decide which option would work the best for your products.

By now:

  • You likely know what style of images you like

  • What background colours will work for your brand

  • What special requirements you have for product photography (e.g. various sizes)

It's time to get a professional product photographer on your project and make some outstanding product photos to help you make that sale. Get in touch!

Still in doubt? Check out our gallery of Product Photography Ideas in this post.

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