Why White Backgrounds Are Best for Product Photography


Why White Backgrounds Are Best for Product Photography

I’ll call myself out before going any further and just say – yes, it seems really Instagram basic B of me to say everything should be shot on white. I get it. It’s not for everyone. And it may not be your brand. But I’m still going to tell you to do it and here’s why…

PS. if you’re like ew I’m not reading anymore – I’m not suggesting this become your brand style or needs to be the main image of your products. If you have a certain look or do lifestyle shots – keep doing those!! I actually encourage it, just tuck a few of these behind as alternative images.

White Backgrounds in Product Photography - The Shop Files

1. Blog Round Up Friendly

As a former (finally came to my senses) lifestyle blogger, I can tell you I almost never included images in round ups that weren’t shot on a clean white background. And you don’t want to be overlooked just because your image is too difficult to integrate into a blogger’s design.

As the blogger, when you’re including 15 items in a gift guide you want it to look cohesive and pulled together; so having 15 different backgrounds isn’t really an option. Sure, I occasionally used one as the main ‘hero’ or feature image, but for the most part – it was clean white.

There are lots of opportunities with bloggers out there, whether it be gifts guides, ‘how to wear xyz’ or their weekly favorites, so don’t get left out!

Read this post for how to successfully partner with bloggers for your online shop.

2. Magazine / PR Friendly

Hello PR. When you’re pitching a magazine to be included in a new feature or (ahhhh angels singing) they reach out to you… be prepared! Deadlines are SHORT for most magazines and you may have to act quickly or miss out.

At my former company, we’d have a day or two. And sometimes just an afternoon(!) to pull together samples to send that *might* be to their liking for a product pitch. Cue hours of calling vendors asking them to rush ship product, “Yes I know its 3pm but I need this there by 9AM”, pulling samples back from advertising and running around our messy sample room cursing why its not more organized!

You may not have the time or option to send a physical sample, so having a clean shot on white would be necessary to send – and send quickly.

3. Gives your product the focus it deserves

White backgrounds allow your product to be the center of attention. I LOVE a good styled shot and think they can be really important in the overall pitch and presentation of your product. But when you’re online, sometimes you just need one image with the clutter removed so the customer can imagine it in their own life + home.

4. Social Media Friendly

I warned you in the beginning didn’t I? #sorrynotsorry But it’s also supported by research!

Having clean white backgrounds lends itself to some of the image qualities found in a study by Curalate. They looked across 8 MILLION Instagram photos and found 6 key characteristics that contribute to more ‘likes’. Now it doesn’t call out white backgrounds per say but a bright feed with a clean background does align with these findings:

24% more likes: Lighter images > dark

29% more likes: Images with a high amount of background > those without

17% more likes: Images with a single dominant color > images with multiple dominant colors

It should be mentioned for social media that it doesn’t mean your product has to sit all alone in white space. That’s great for a crystal clear product shot and looks awesome on your website when the customer is browsing. But creating a feeling or view into the possible lifestyle is much more important to help your audience envision your product in their own life.

Have I said ‘friendly’ enough?

What are your thoughts on white backgrounds in product photography?

Wondering how to get a white background on your product photos? Check out this super simple tutorial for editing your photos in 30 seconds (or less)!


Images by Rekita Nicole, Text + Overlay by yours truly

Looking to upgrade your camera or invest in a small lighting set? I love this model for beginners and this set for lighting.

Interested in learning more about photography – specifically for makers? Check out this course on Craft Photography Fundamentals.



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