Choosing Backgrounds That Perfectly Showcase The Object

When photographing an object, whether it be for a still life or to showcase a product, it’s important to consider the background just as much as the object itself. The background is as important as your focal piece because it plays a big role in how that piece is contextualized and showcased for the viewer. A stellar composition is essential for creating a winning shot and a carefully chosen background is the first step in that direction. In this post, we’ll talk about how to do just that so your backgrounds perfectly showcase the subject of your pictures.


A plain white background may seem boring at first, but the simplicity and timelessness of a light neutral makes it enduringly popular. White backgrounds are ideal when you really want an object to pop out of the frame since white reduces distractions and isolates the object. White backgrounds are a good choice when you want your object or merchandise to be showcased with relative neutrality in a way that will appeal to the widest customer base. To get the best possible effect with a white backdrop, you’ll want to make sure it’s completely free of seems and imperfections. Many photographers use background paper, but white vinyl is also a great option.


The flip-side of the neutral backdrop is to select a plain dark colour such as black, grey, or navy. The neutrality of these colours still keep the focal point on the object itself, but the dark colour creates more of an atmospheric statement than plain white. Dark, neutral backgrounds are a great choice to showcase and offset objects that are already light in colour because the contrast will allow them to pop more than if they were on a white background. Furthermore, the luxurious feeling of rich dark colours is ideal for photographing luxury items like fine jewelry, watches, and antiques.


If you’re looking to photograph your object in a way that showcases your brand aesthetic, textured backgrounds are a great option. Faux fur rugs, wood, marble, leather, and even grass can all make unique and specific statements about the feel of the photograph, the object, and the brand as a whole. For example, placing vintage tea cups against a faux sheepskin rug will emphasize the coziness of sitting down with a cup of Earl Grey on a rainy day, thus creating an image and a story in the mind of a potential customer. Photographing golf equipment against lush green grass will evoke the senses of nature for an outdoor sporting aficionado, making him or her keen to take part in that suggested narrative.


Colour is a great way to make a statement and reinforce a company’s branding while still showcasing a product. Colours come with inherent emotional associations, and thus they also have great story-telling power when it comes to attracting viewers to your product. When working with colour, choose ones that are contrasting but complimentary to your object so that it stands out from the background while still creating a cohesive image. Complimentary colours also create visual vibrations which will draw the eye of the viewer toward your photo. For example, blue’s complimentary colours are orange and yellow which, when combined, create an energy that is both calming and reflective.


If you really want to make a strong statement with your background, consider something with a bold pattern. This can be achieved easily and simply with everything from sheet music, to book pages, to postcards. Once again, this is a great way to make a consistent brand statement, but it also adds a lot more personality than a plain colour or simple texture. For example, you can photograph book-shaped earrings on the pages of an open book, or showcase souvenirs from a recent trip against a postcard from their original home.

Choosing the right background to perfectly showcase your object depends a lot on your goals for the photo and what ultimate effect you’re trying to achieve. In some cases, neutrality can go a long way toward placing the focus on the object itself, while in other situations creative backgrounds can help you reinforce your brand and tell a story to your viewers.

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