en English

7 Tips You Need to Know When Photographing a White Background


Content Directory

If you are running an e-commerce business, then high-quality product photography is the secret to improving your sales. Using a white background means your product will be the focus while keeping the image clutter-free. The best part is that you can take DIY photos without compromising your budget.

For DIY photos with white background, you will need the right tools, set up the equipment, take pictures, process them, and optimize them for your website. Of course, the process is much more extensive and requires your commitment. Once you understand this, photography will become a breeze.

So, if you want to learn how to take photos for your e-commerce store with white background, you have come to the right place. Here is what you must know.

(Click to learn What Is White Background Product Photography?

(Click to learn How to Take DIY Photos with White Background At Home

1. Create A List Of What You Must Shoot

Staying organized is one of the best ways to get the most out of your product shoot. You must create a list of everything you need to shoot before it begins. You can create a spreadsheet with all the products and photos you will require.

Shooting list

For example, you can decide which products will need close-ups and which products you will shoot from every angle. When you write it all down, it will help you guarantee that you don’t miss out on anything during the shoot. A pro tip here is to group similar size pictures so that you don’t have to keep changing the studio setup.

2. Keep Useful Items On Hand

It is always better to prepare for the shoot and have everything useful on hand. These include spare batteries, chargers, tape, paper and pencil, clamps, scissors, fishing line, glue dots, hooks, coat hanger, iron, safety pin, and pegs. The last few items are important if you are shooting clothing products.

3. Check The Suitability Of Camera To Photography Needs

Of course, the right camera will make all the difference to the white background photography. That is why you must ensure that your camera is suitable for the shoot. Here is a small checklist that will help you understand if you have an appropriate camera:

Manual Mode

It will allow you to adjust the setting depending on what you are shooting. For example, it will help you adjust the white balance, shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. You can adjust the mode as you change the products.


Another important thing for your camera is the megapixel count. If you have a high megapixel count, it will ensure that you are creating high-quality product photos that the consumer can zoom into. Your camera must be at least 12MP or higher as a general rule of thumb.

Low Light Capabilities

The low-light capabilities in a camera will adapt to the setting you want to keep your camera at. That is because when you have limited access to natural light, your camera still must perform well. The key to choosing a camera with low light capabilities is to look for one that creates the least noise at a high ISO level.

Excellent Color Quality

The color quality can make all the difference to the accuracy of the image. After all, you don’t want your customers to see a major color difference as it can affect their buying decision. You must opt for a camera that ensures the integrity of your product color stays intact so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time editing later.


The feature is useful if you need to save time during the shoot. However, you must not use it for all photography sessions. Instead, it is a good feature that comes in handy when you need it to.

Mobile Vs. DSLR Camera

The best part about DIY white background photography is that you don’t need a fancy camera. You can also use your smartphone or DSLR to get the best results. If you want a high-resolution image from a smartphone, then you must opt for models such as:

  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Google Pixel 4
  • iPhone 11 and up
  • And many others

If you don’t have a high budget and you don’t know a lot of technical details about photography, then opt for a great smartphone. However, if you want more customization and control, then a DSLR camera is ideal. That is because it will allow you to control settings to achieve the photography result you need.

4. White Sweep And Table

The two most important things you need apart from the camera are the sweep and the table. The white sweep is the white background that will flow flawlessly from the vertical to the horizontal surface. Of course, your budget and product size will determine the right table and sweep for your needs.

Here are some of the photography setups you can choose from:

Professional Shooting Table Setup

This setup is for people who have a high budget and can opt for professional shooting tables for their photography. There are many portable and professional shooting tables that are available on Amazon and other such marketplaces. Such a table setup is ideal for businesses selling shoes, crockery, accessories, and more.

DIY Table Setup

Of course, if you don’t have a high budget, you can opt for a DIY table setup. Such a setup is also perfect if you are shooting small products. That is because it will give you control and flexibility for the light sources while ensuring you have a complete sweep solution.

If you want to opt for this DIY table setup, you will need:

  • A large white paper
  • Spring clamps
  • Two scrap wood pieces
  • A small table

Depending on your preferences, you can replace the wooden pieces with a wooden chair. However, one thing you must ensure is that the white paper is big enough to cover the chair’s back.

The Sweep Setup

If you are shooting large products for your store, you will need a big white sweep that must be larger than your products. That is because the white sweep should fit the entire frame when you look at it from the camera lens. The best part is that if you want a professional setup, you can buy a white sweep from a professional photography store.

The great thing about a sweep is that it will typically come with a stand. Because of this, you can have a studio-like setup anywhere you like. On the other hand, you can create your own sweep if you have a tight budget.

5. Figure Out The Light Source

The light source is everything because it can make or break your photography efforts. You mostly have two choices in this aspect: artificial and natural lighting. Here is a detailed explanation of the two to ensure you make the right choice:

orange photo

Natural Lighting

If you are taking part in DIY white background photography, we recommend that you opt for natural light sources. You can use the sun as an indirect source of light. If you opt for this, you will have to create a small setup near the window for the best results.

An important thing to note is that if you use natural lighting, it can lead to unexpected contrasts and colors in the shoot. All of this happens because of natural elements, such as weather, time, season, and other factors. A great way to solve these issues is to purchase a reflector or foam board.

These objects will ensure that you can manipulate the shadows and distribute the light as evenly as possible. Even if you are using artificial lighting for your shoot, these objects can still prove useful.

Artificial Lighting

Of course, if you don’t want to use natural light or you have a high budget, you can opt for artificial lighting for the shoot. We recommend that you don’t invest in artificial lighting unless you are planning on having a permanent studio. That is because these light sources are technical and fiddly, and you must know what you are doing if you want them to work in the best way.

However, once you understand what you are doing, then you will have a smooth experience with using an artificial light source. If you can’t shoot during the daytime, this is the best option for you as you don’t need to revolve your shoot time around the sun. Many people using artificial lighting are also on a budget.

If you also have a tight budget, you can use light bulbs available for daily use. These include the 60-watt incandescent light bulbs and the 15-watt fluorescent light bulbs. However, incandescent light bulbs are not that energy-efficient, and you will still have to adjust the balance.

6. Setup The Products

Now that you have all the basics down for your setup, it is time to create a setup for your white background photography. The first thing you can do is arrange the products on the table. Be sure to use a stable and smooth surface that will create evenness in the photo.

Remember that if you are shooting small products, sometimes they move during the shoot. That is why it is best you tape or glue such products to the table, so they don’t move while shooting. Besides that, you must position such products in the middle of the table.

Another important point to remember is that the light source should not be directly on the product. You must position the products in such a manner that they receive the right lighting amount with no shadows or very little.

7. Take Test Shots

Before you take hours to do your white background photography, it is important to take some test shots. These shots will help you understand if you have the right camera setting and lighting. Of course, if you don’t, then you can make adjustments accordingly to reach the perfect settings.

If you like the test shots, you can begin the proper shoot. Remember that you should not turn on the cameral flash, regardless of the lighting source. The key is to ensure that there is enough lighting, so you don’t have to use the flash.

Besides that, you must keep your product in the frame’s center, and it should take at least 80% of the space in the picture. If you want your product to look closer, you can use the optical zoom feature, or you can move the tripod closer to the product. We recommend that you don’t use the digital zoom available on your camera.

That is because using digital zoom will lower the quality of your product images, and customers will not get a clear idea of the product. Because of this, it is important to take test shots so that you can understand the camera settings and setup. After that, you can proceed with the shoot.

Top Tips To Improve Your White Background Product Photography

Now that you understand how to do a complete white background shoot, it is important to know some tips and tricks that will take your shoot to the next level. Here are some professional tips you can apply to make your photographs look stunning:

lipstick photo

1. Utilize A Fishing Wire For Lifting Small Products

If you have done photography before, you probably know that a fishing wire can come in handy many times. The best part about this wire is the material, which is fluorocarbon or transparent nylon. In simple terms, it means that the wire will not ruin your photograph.

These wires are strong, durable, and readily available in many places. You can use it to lift small products and give the look of suspending products from various places and angles. Remember that the wire may be a little visible in the image, which is why it is best to use photography software to edit it out.

2. Use The Right Photography Editing Software

An image is not about the right shot but also the editing effort you put into it to create a complete image. That is why it is crucial for you to have the right photo editing software. You can use it to clean the background, add text, correct white balancing problems, and much more.

There are many such applications in the market that will allow you to make such changes. You can use Photoshop, GIMP, and many other such applications. The key is to do your research and check which one will suit your product photography needs in the best way possible.

3. Use A Turntable For A 360 Product Shot

A 360 product shot is one of the best things you can do that will allow your customers to look at the product from every angle. There are many commercial turntables you can utilize for this purpose that turn at specific intervals. However, they are costly, and you need to have a high budget for them.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a cheaper option that achieves the same aim, then there are endless turntables you will find on Amazon. Most of them are ideal for distributing food, but you can also use them for photography. Once you get the hang of using this product, you can take images of the product from every angle possible.

4. Create A Lightbox

If your products are small and you don’t want to invest in a white sweep for the background, then you can create a lightbox. It will allow you to light your products in the best way possible while creating a clean and clutter-free shot. You can create a lightbox by using white paper, a white poster board, a cardboard box, and a plexiglass sheet.

You can take a roll of white paper and use the white poster board to attach it to the cardboard box. After that, you must take a small plexiglass sheet and use it as a surface to create great reflective floor shadows.

5. Know How To Use The Manual Mode On Your DSLR

Are you using your DSLR in manual mode? If you are, then you must understand how to create the right settings. Of course, if you are using this for the first time, then understanding the settings can feel overwhelming.

However, some of the top things you must understand are the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. Let’s look at them in detail so that you can efficiently use the manual mode:


The ISO will determine the light sensitivity of the camera. As you opt for a higher ISO, your image will look incredibly grainy. That is because this is known as camera noise, which is why it is important to keep the ISO low.

The key is to keep the ISO as low as your lighting conditions will allow you to do so. As a general rule of thumb, it is best that you don’t exceed the 400 mark. Any higher will make the image grainy, and your customers will not be able to zoom in on the image to understand your product better.

Shutter Speed

Another setting you must manually adjust is the shutter speed. It is the speed at which the aperture will open and close. Shutter speed is usually measured in fractions of a second.

Remember that if you use a small aperture setting, it will mean that your camera takes in less light. That means your shutter will have to open to produce a product image that is well-lit. You can experiment with a unique shutter speed combination to understand what will work best for you.

We recommend that you use a small aperture with a slow shutter speed. Opting for this setting will create some of the most high-quality product images you will find.


The aperture is the hole inside the lens that will determine how much light travel to your camera. The hole size is measured through f-stops. If you increase the f-stop, you will be making the aperture smaller.

That means you will be letting in less light, and your image will look darker than it is. Besides that, the aperture setting will also determine how much of your shot is in focus. This is also known as field depth in technical jargon.

For example, a large f-stop number means a small aperture, which will capture everything inside the frame. On the other hand, a small f-stop number means a large aperture, which will blur the background and make the image clear. The secret is to opt for an aperture setting that will clearly capture the complete product.

6. Retouch The Images

If you have a final product photograph you are happy with, then it is time to retouch the image. Remember that the retouching process can be extensive and technical. If you have no idea how to start the retouching process, then it is best that you opt for a professional.

A professional will help you improve the image, and some of them don’t even charge much. Most affordable professionals will charge less than $5 per image so that you can have the perfect setting in no time.

7. Image Optimization

Finally, you must optimize the image for your website. You must resize the width and height so that it can easily fit and upload to your webpage. If you have an image that has a large size, it will take longer to load on your website and can result in potential customers going away.

Besides that, you must also use the right descriptions and tags inside the image. All of this will improve the SEO of the image and ensure you get more traffic to your website.

Final Words

That was your complete guide on how to take DIY photos with a white background. Using the right guidelines is crucial if you want to take the best product images that will help you to increase sales and customer loyalty. Once you get the hang of it, your product shoots will take less time, and your images will look fantastic.

So, follow our guidelines and opt for great white background photography. Once you do, your website will look excellent, and customers will completely understand what you have to offer them.

Joey Lou
Joey Lou
Hi, I'm the author of this post and I've been in the e-commerce marketplace since 2012, so I understands the visual presentation needed to attract buyers. If you want to take product photos or videos, please feel free to ask me any questions.
Want to get quality photos from the Chinese photography studio?
Professional e-commerce product photography studio, fast response, only 30% of the cost of the same studio in the US.

0 experience needed!

Fast Booking

We will contact you within 12 hours, please check your email. Only call if we are unable to reach you.

join the family

Subscribe to our mailing list and get a special surprise