It took me 10 years to finally find a seamless, easy way to photograph our products for our websites. Photos with clean, well-lit white backgrounds give a very cohesive look to any website. I have paid others to edit my pictures in the past but that's simply not very cost-effective for me. I'd rather buy a new fragrance and launch a new collection with that money. According to Shopify, “50% of online shoppers think that product photos are more important than product information, reviews, and ratings.” Where do you even start? With the plethora of photo and video editing software out there, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which tool you need for your photography needs. You want to be able to edit your photos seamlessly and create stunning visual content, but you don’t know where to start. So how do you photograph your products with a white background? And can you do this for free? How about easily, because you're not a photographer...
What You’ll Need
A clean, even surface to set your product on. A phone with a simple camera app to snap the photos. Snapseed and Pixomatic installed on your phone. These apps serve as your photo editing software and background remover to achieve the highly coveted, white background product photography that works so well on a number of ecommerce websites.
Let's Talk About Cameras
Here's a little secret... All of my website photos have been taken with an iPhone. To be perfectly honest, I have a lovely DSLR Camera that I've used about 10 times. Got frustrated with the upload software and reverted quickly back to my phone. These tips are for the multi-tasking small business owner who doesn't have the budget or the time to deal with hiring a photographer or learning the ins and outs of their DSLR camera. Most camera phones have enough juice for the plain white backdrop products pics that we'll be talking about here.
Easy Lighting Tips For Non-Photographers
First, find a clean, solid wall without a lot of extra clutter about. I like to use my shipping scale as the flat surface to set my product on with the plain white wall behind it as my backdrop. Next, set up your phone on a tripod (if you have one) or other stable surface and make sure that you have plenty of room for your product.
Natural light is best but if you have no other option, natural ambient light works too! If you're using natural light be sure to mark down the time of day and weather for that specific day. For example, a cloudy day at 1pm will look completely different in photos than a sunny day at 8am. Try to take your natural light pictures at the same time of day and in the same weather conditions.
If you're using your room's artificial lighting just be sure to never light the back of the product causing a very shadowy picture that no one will love. Light from above or in front of the product for the best results. These are super general lighting techniques. There are many other talented photographers that could give you more detailed information. They live on the internet somewhere... but for now, you're getting my quick and dirty take. 😉
Free Apps To Make Magical White Background Pictures
If you’re looking for a way to make your products look really good on your website, the answer is easy and free. You can use any of these apps to transform your pictures into professional-looking images with a clean white background that looks like it was taken in a studio.
Snapseed is an amazing app that allows you to edit photos with just a few simple swipes. It’s easy enough for anyone to use this app.. Snapseed has many different filters that you can use for your photos. The application saves your last changes to photos. This will make later photographs appear consistent, giving you one cohesive appearance. There are also many other editing options such as easily adding text, cropping, flipping, rotating, brightness/contrast adjustments, sharpening and blurring effects, color adjustments and more. I always edit my pictures in Snapseed first prior to removing the background. I use the same square crop for each picture using the box reticle to find the center of the photo.
Pixomatic is the app I use to remove the background from my photos. The Ai-Powered Magic Cut Tool removes the background instantly from all of my photos. Found on their website:
"The Magic Cut tool erase everything you don’t want from your pics so you can get to posting. Our AI technology defines, outlines, and automatically erases the background of your picture in seconds.
Say goodbye to manual tracing, and hello to an automatic photo eraser that magically gets rid of unwanted backdrops in any picture." You'll have the option to save the photo with a transparent background, add a color or white background with the app.
Let's Wrap This All Up
There you go! You now know how to photograph your products and how to add a white background. It doesn't take a lot of time, it's easy and free, and the end result is worth it. You'll be able to see your products in the best light with clean backgrounds. You'll attract more customers because your product photos will look amazing on social media and any other marketing channels you’re using. With just a few taps on your phone, you can have a beautiful white background that will make your subject really stand out. So what are you waiting for? Start editing!