How product background defines your online business.

What product background means for your e-commerce business?

E-commerce is the unstoppable trend, and it has driven photography business as well. In a world flooded with numerous products and choices, a good picture worth a thousand sales. 

Recently I asked my friend Alex, an experienced photographer, to share his experiences on how to make product photos stand out, hoping that I could learn a few tricks from him to help my aunt set up her store online. Alex told me that your product photo has to have a very simple, clear background. I know he is a minimalist,  and he told me being a minimalist will only help with photography.

Less is more

He told me to look at some of most successful e-commerce websites. These websites almost unanimously used white or single color background, the most popular way of displaying  products.  A clear background means less distraction and more focus on the product. 

There are some great e-commerce businesses which I think quite stand out from the crowd.

The background does not have to be all white. It can be any color and can allow simple patterns as long as the product always grab people’s attention first rather than anything else.

Choose a highly contrasting background to show shining jewelry.
Use light to make ordinary products stand out.

The following two pics are using different colors but these colors belong to the same tint, tone or shade. It is a clever strategy to spruce up a little while avoiding being too chaotic.

If you compare the following two photos, you might have guessed the second photo is the original one, which is quite artistic and has a natural vibe. But it may take so much time and effort to shoot every product photo like this one, especially for e-commerce beginners and small business owners . Also ensuring the same style for every product photo might be challenging too. In this case, the first photo might be the best choice for startups with limited resources at hand for quick and batch photo processing, at the minimum cost too.

How to create a simple product photo with professional background?

I do not have sophisticated photoshop skills, but Alex told me to use certain online tools to remove the background first. The outcome can be quite ideal given the current AI technology development. As long as you take photos of your product against a single color background, it’s easy for artificial intelligence algorithms to recognize the main object. AI is revolutionizing everything nowadays, and graphics design is no exception.

Let me use one example to illustrate.

Below is the original photo taken against a sheet of white paper, and the product have some imperfections cause it is just natural stone. Also you can notice the photo background is not pure white at all.

I tried a service called to remove its original background first and change it to a pure white one or any other color online.

You can also create some pattern background by uploading a new background photo . 

It looks much more clean and professional isn’t it?
However, imperfections have to be edited away as well.

To remove stains or any imperfect spots, you don’t have to open photoshop to use brush or stamp feature, Photo Retouch can do this job pretty well.

Final Look

Then your product photo is ready to be launched on your website. If you are using Shopify to launch , there is also a plugin which allows you to edit numerous product photos in bulk, plus the shadow adding feature. API for fully automatic bulk background removal is also available there.

Since AI is so developed right now, I kind of wondering whether Alex will be replaced someday by it as well. But luckily in the field of visual arts, algorithms can only get you so far at the moment. If you want more sophisticated features, you still have to hire an experienced photographer like him.

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