Photography is a form of art. Product photography is a very integral part of a business. A photographer has to be skillful as well as creative to highlight a single product in a photograph.
Two factors play a major role in helping highlight the product and make the overall picture engaging. One is the lighting, and the other is the backdrop.
Backdrop refers to the material used as the background of the product.
If you are new to product photography, know that the backdrop requires a lot of brainstorming to figure out which background would be the best to highlight a particular product in a photo.
To help you decide on the backdrop of your product, In this article, I will bring necessary information under several topics as follows.
- What background should I use for product photography?
- What is the best material for photography backdrops?
- What do photographers use for backdrops?
- Where do photographers get their backdrops?
I will be sharing here some ideas that work best as the backdrop for product photography. For your easiness, I share those under several sub-topics.
Check it out!
What background should I use for product photography?
Usually, the easiest and simplest background product photographers go for is a plain white background. Many also prefer black for some particular products.
But apart from plain white backgrounds, there is a vast range of colors, textures, and patterns also used for product photography, depending on the type of the product.
Generally, to make a plain white background, photographers use seamless paper. Because it is affordable, easy to use, easily available, and provides an even background with perfect light reflection.
You can try any of the following backgrounds apart from just plain white, black, or any other color that, according to you, will go best with the product which is being photographed.
- Mirrors or metal
- Wrapping paper, wallpaper, or newspaper
- Fabrics or linens
- Contextual backgrounds
Works well for a bit more natural product.
There are several designs and types of tiles, ranging from modern to historic, bright to neutral. It would help if you matched the type with the product type.
Stones like granites work great as the countertop for cooking utensils and products.
- Mirrors or metal:
Reflective or semi-reflective backgrounds or bases provide a different dimension to the product if clicked at the proper angle.
- Wrapping paper, wallpaper, or newspaper:
These can be used to add any preferred texture, color, or pattern artificially to the background of the product.
A very artistic way to incorporate the colors and patterns you desire to see behind the product.
- Fabrics or linens:
Several types of fabrics, including silk, velvet, flannel, and denim, are used as product backdrops. Professional photographers use a thin and delicate fabric named Muslin for a definite effect.
- Contextual backgrounds:
Other than these background ideas, many other contextual backgrounds are also used by product photographers to match the ambiance of the product.
Such type of perfect contextual background is usually prepared in the studio by professional product photographers.
But the beginners can shoot on easily accessible locations such as:
- Nearby lakes or rivers
- Interesting walls around town
- Public parks
- Coffee shops or restaurants
- Hotel lobbies
- Downtown streets
- Coworking spaces
What is the best material for photography backdrops?
The best material as the backdrop for product photography is a canvas or a Muslin fabric.
Canvas is great for adding textures and colors or simply the white textured effect of a blank canvas.
Muslins are great because of their extremely thin and lighter quality. They enhance the lights provided for the photography and create different effects combined with the light.
That is why Muslin is the ultimate choice of most professional photographers. Usually, the fabric you see set as a single-color permanent background in the photo studios is muslin.
Such as the one used in the background for taking passport-sized formal pictures of people in the studio. Another huge advantage of muslin is that it is very light in weight and easy to carry and transport from one place to another.
Though muslin is very affordable, it might not be available everywhere. Thus, alternatives for muslin can be cotton and polyester blended fabric or fleece-like matte fabric.
The best thing about cotton and polyester fusion fabric is that they are super flexible. And so, you loosen them for bolder background and tighten them for thinner background.
Fleece-like materials are popularly used in professional photography for creating green screens behind the product or the prompt.
Hence, this is also one of the best materials for a plain photography backdrop.
What do photographers use for backdrops?
Photographers commonly use materials like paper, cloth, muslin, canvas, and vinyl. Among them, the most and the highly preferred backdrop is muslin.
Muslin’s lightweight and extremely thin quality that can be used both as background and the base of the product makes it the most preferred material by photographers.
Other than that, photographers also widely use seamless paper for plain backgrounds.
However, it is possible to paint or airbrush on the canvas, muslin, and seamless paper to add more color and create the blend you desire to have behind the product.
Where do photographers get their backdrops?
If you are planning to photograph a product for only one time, you can get or buy any backdrop from around you or even make one by yourself.
But if you want to continue product photography for a more extended period or professionally, a single or two to three backdrops will not be enough.
You will need a good collection of different types of photography backdrops.
For that, several sites especially provide backdrops for professional photography. You can collect your backdrop supplies from these sites given below.
They provide several backdrops and textured screens with realistic bricks, woods, and marble prints along with different colors of plain vinyl backgrounds.
Besides, you get the option to customize your backdrop the way you want.
They have different sizes of backdrops made of cloth, seamless paper, vinyl, sequin pattern, plain, and patterned.
They also offer prompts, floor mats, and digital screens that go well with the backdrop.
They have a huge collection of different types of photography and video equipment.
However, they have a comparatively lesser collection of backdrops but provide vinyl, muslin, seamless paper, and canvas.
You get the option of choosing from a vast range of seamless paper, printed designs and patterns, and collapsible backdrops from here.
They offer backdrops matching different occasions and seasons. Moreover, they also offer full-screen backdrops that cover both the background and base floor.
For sure, this list would be incomplete without Amazon. If you are a beginner, indeed this is where you will be going first for plain or common backdrops.
If you are looking for a bit expensive, unique, and higher-quality backdrop for your product photography, this is the place for you.
So, have you decided what type of backdrop you are going with for your product photography? Just keep in mind that the motive of a backdrop is to highlight the product more in the photograph, not the backdrop itself.
That is why it is always wiser to go with as simpler as possible backdrops. I hope I was able to help you.
Justin Parker is a professional photographer and has been in the industry since 2007. He attended the University of Georgia. Justin combines his passion for photography and his interest in writing to give life to this blog which talks about photography in order to help and inspire young photographers.