What’s in Your Background?

No, I’m not going to talk about your personal or business background! So relax. Instead, I want to take a quick look at the backgrounds we choose for photos of our products. Here’s my advice…

Rule #1 - Keep it simple.

Rule #2 - See Rule #1.

You want your product to be the focal point of each of your photos. The more complex the details of your product, the less complex the background should be. Busy, cluttered backgrounds distract from your product and can leave the shopper confused, frustrated or annoyed. Seriously. I’ve viewed product photos where I had to stare for several seconds in order to visually separate the background from the product. In situations like this, it’s difficult to see details of the product. Because a shopper can’t pick the item up and examine it closely, they have to depend on your photos to show the features of the item. Make sure that the details of your items are easily seen.

Solid backgrounds are better for intricately detailed products. Although white is often the best choice, solid colors can also provide visual interest to photos of some items, particularly jewelry. Scrap booking paper is an inexpensive source for providing color as well as texture for backgrounds.

When photographing items outdoors, select your setting carefully. While you can crop distracting objects from the periphery of your images, it’s impossible to remove what photographers refer to as ‘mergers’. A classic example of a merger is a tree that appears to be growing from someone’s head. When looking through the viewfinder, we tend to concentrate on the subject of our photo and not notice many background distractions. Carefully survey the setting before spending time snapping photos!

Photographing products within the environment in which they are normally used is often a good idea and helps provide size comparison information. Staging handmade soap in a soap dish or fresh veggies next to a reusable shopping bag on a kitchen counter are appropriate. Just be sure that the background is free of clutter and keep props to a minimum.

One final tip on backgrounds: Be consistent in your background selection from one product to the next for your main photos. Consistency in your photos lends cohesiveness to the overall appearance of your shop.

What’s your favorite photo background tip?

Best wishes for much success on Zibbet!

Love Child Hand Stamped Flower Necklace by DzignbyJamie on Zibbet.

Vicki is committed to assisting her fellow Zibbeters improve their shops for successful online selling. She is the owner of five Zibbet shops: LOC Design Studio, Denim and Pearls, A Stitch and a Prayer, Black Creek Crossing and Think Like a Fish. You can follow Vicki on Twitter and through her LOC Design Studio blog.

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8 Responses to “What’s in Your Background?”

  1. AllAboutTheButtons

    Great points,Vicki. Thanks for the tips.

  2. DzignbyJamie

    Great advise. I use simple scrapbooking paper with a very subtle pattern. I like just a hint of something behind my images. Like the Love image above, I used a crackle pattern scrapbooking paper for that. I also have a cream colored background with beautiful hand writting on it for larger items.

  3. RosyDaysAprons

    Thank you for the great tips!

  4. LOCDesignStudio

    I have a piece of embossed white scrap booking paper that I like to use as a background. Lately, I’ve been using a piece of white linen (intended for counted cross stitch). I like this because, in addition to the slight texture it provides, it’s also large enough to create an ‘infinity background’. I put a piece of white kid’s art paper behind it when I use it in my light tent so that the black wall of the tent doesn’t show through the linen. Here are some example photos using these two backgrounds:
    http://www.zibbet.com/LOCDesignStudio/artwork?artworkId=116986
    http://www.zibbet.com/LOCDesignStudio/artwork?artworkId=919973

  5. MimiRob

    Hmmm, great ideas and tips! Thanks!

  6. Heavenlyprincess

    One tip is to use a little of each. That is to say, include a “staged” picture as well as plain background images. This is obvious to some, but it wasn’t to me, so I’m saying it here ;)

    Jordan
    http://heavenlyprincess.wordpress.com

  7. HannahsGems

    What are y’all suggestions for something to use as a size comparison?

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Meet Our Columnists

Judy Youngquest
Judy runs the 'Fantastic Five' column where she features her favorite 5 Zibbet items every week. It's a must read!

Vicki Schofield
Vicki runs the 'Success On Zibbet' column where she covers all aspects of selling on Zibbet and having the most successful shop you can.

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