Great Photo Backdrops for Your Etsy Products - dummies

Great Photo Backdrops for Your Etsy Products

By Kate Gatski, Kate Shoup

Although white is the background color of choice for many Etsy sellers — it’s crisp, simple, and neutral — it’s not your only option. When choosing a background for your photo shoot, keep these points in mind:

  • Scout your environment for “everyday” backgrounds. Do you have a garden? If so, consider using a plant or flower as your background. Or maybe your living-room wall is exposed brick, another excellent background. Really, just about anything works — wooden tables, tile floors, stone walkways, wicker baskets, wooden crates, whitewashed fences…the list goes on. These natural backgrounds can serve as excellent complements to your piece.

    [Credit: Photo courtesy of Angela Mahoney]
    Credit: Photo courtesy of Angela Mahoney
  • Reflective surfaces can really shine. This advice is especially true if your items are delicate or finely made. Placing them on a mildly reflective surface, such as a sterling platter or a white ceramic plate, enables you to add interest, as well as improve lighting.

  • Avoid basic black. Although black is indisputably the color of choice if you’re attempting to hide those ten extra pounds, it’s not so great as a background color when you’re photographing goodies destined for your Etsy shop. Why? Because darker pieces get lost. Instead, opt for an almost-black background — charcoal works well — preferably with a bit of texture to add visual interest.

  • Add pop with color. Pieces can really pop with a contrasting-color paper or fabric background. Subtle patterns that complement your piece also work well as backgrounds.

    For inexpensive colorful backgrounds, check out your local craft store’s scrapbook section. There, you’ll find 12-by-12-inch sheets of paper in more colors and patterns than you ever dreamed possible. These papers make perfect backgrounds for smaller pieces. Just steer clear of patterns that are super-busy.

  • Create a seamless background. Tape one end of a long sheet of thick paper — the kind you cut from a roll — to your wall, letting it drape down onto a table, where you can clamp the other end. You’ll get a seamless “runway” effect that’s especially useful for extreme close-ups or times when you don’t want anything distracting from your piece.

    [Credit: Photo courtesy of Mark Poulin]
    Credit: Photo courtesy of Mark Poulin
  • Avoid the “accidental” background. Heavens to Etsy! The last thing you want potential buyers to see is all your dirty dishes or that pile of newspapers you keep forgetting to recycle! Don’t taint your item by photographing it amid all your daily detritus. Make sure that any background you include in your product shots is there on purpose and complements your piece.

  • Don’t give your background star billing. If your background is more noticeable than the piece you slaved over for days, don’t use it.