Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Comparing Backdrops

Thank you Melanie of Violet's Buds for another installment in a series of Improving Photography.

Not all products are created the same, and neither are backdrops for photographing your items. It is important to experiment with various backgrounds to find what works for you.

GipsonWands photographed this series of his hoop art on a variety of backgrounds as an example of what works, and what doesn't. Some of the backgrounds distract from the product, while others make the piece stand out.
Plain white felt gives a seamless look. It doesn't distract from the subject, but does not add any personality either.
Two white boards, which creates a seam that may be distracting, especially if it is uneven.
Distressed wood is an interesting background and unique.
Depending on your subject matter this backdrop may or may not be flattering.
Like the distressed wood, a hardwood floor backdrop may look nice
depending on your subject, as long as it is evenly lit and the product is
balanced above the floor.
White board with striped tablecloth creates a seam, and is distracting
from the subject. If you use a cloth, its better to make a seamless look.
The plaid fabric is too busy, but more importantly it doesn't make sense with the subject.
Additionally, the fabric is wrinkled which makes the photo look amateur.
Yellow chevron fabric is bright and eye-catching, but doesn't necessarily
fit with this particular piece. The main issues with this background is the fabric
is wrinkled, crooked, and not evenly lit.

The standard seamless white background is a good place to start with product photography, but it is not always the best way to catch your customer's attention. Here are a few examples of successful product photos that are unique and flatter the subject.

HangUps in KC

A Single Dream

Remember that no matter the background you decide to go with, certain things like wrinkles, dirt, and stains will generally distract from the subject. Keep experimenting until you find what works with your products. Its a great idea to regularly experiment with changes in your backdrop. It will keep your customers interested, and you may find something that works even better.

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