Setting up a Backdrop for Product Photography

Product photography involves taking photographs of products that someone will be putting up either on a website or will display in catalogs for sale. Developing the right set of photographs for products is essential in the overall success of the sale of the products. This type of photography takes patience and skill. In addition, one key element in this type of photography is the use of the right backdrop. Discussed below, you will find a how to on how to appropriately setup for a backdrop for your product photography shoot.

Step 1 - Set up the Backdrop

In product photography, the most common backdrops are solid colors. The two most frequently used colors are white and black. Generally a backdrop consists of a screen, a sheet or a piece of fabric that has one solid color. White is used most often because it gives the photographer an ability to emphasize the product.

Step 2 - Set up the Product

A product can either be placed on a tabletop surface or it can be suspended in the air against the backdrop. This choice is up to you. If it is being displayed on a tabletop, you will need to cover the table with the same color sheet or background. This creates a uniform look and feel for your product. In addition, if your product is small enough, you may want to take a cardboard box and push it underneath the sheet or tabletop covering to prop the product up further. This will help to create emphasis on your product rather than on the other elements in the background or in the photograph. Make sure you position the product so that it is in the middle of your backdrop. You want to take the photographs so that they are centered nicely.

Step 3 - Set up the Lighting

First, setup the lighting for your photography. Many backdrops depend heavily on the lighting chosen to display the product. One of the biggest problems faced in product photography is the development of shadows. You are looking to feature the product and  display a shadow in your picture. In order to remove shadows, you will need to focus some of your time and energy on the lighting. It usually takes three to four lights to remove the shadow from the backdrop. The first light will be used to light up the area. The second and third lights will be used to remove the shadow effect. The last light (3rd or 4th) will be used to point directly at the shadow. It should be enough to remove the dark spot from the photograph you take, depending on the exposure setting.

Step 4 - Set up the Props

Very rarely does a product photo shoot include the use of other props. If yours does, now is the time to finish off your backdrop by adding in the additional props. 

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