Using Cheap Wallpaper As Backgrounds For Professional Looking Product Shots
The backgrounds we use for our shots make a big difference in the final photo. I have covered quite a few options before, all are pretty accessible and today I want to share another quick and budget minded technique – using wall paper or colored paper for your background. (See these if you need some backdrop inspiration: illustration board, white background & gel & DIY wooden table).
I first saw this being done on flickr and wanted to give it a try. Here are a few ideas on using different paper backgrounds plus few tricks on lighting.
Yellow Colored Background
For te first demo I am showing my girlfriends sunglasses. I got some yellow construction paper as it provides some great contrast with the shades. Plus yellow means summer, right?
1. I knew that I wanted the shades to be floating so the first thing I did was hang the sunglasses between two lightstands using tape.
2. For the gradient look in the background, I placed a speedlight below the sunglasses with a DIY Honeycomb pointing at the yellow background.
3. The hard part (as with any reflective surface) is getting the reflection on the sunglasses just right. I first tried using a softbox pointing directly at the sunglasses so it reflected the softbox, but I didn’t quite like the results.
4. For a more gradient effect on the glass I moved my whole setup to a place wherer the shades reflected a much bigger surface – my white seamless background (lucky, amazon did not patent using a seamless white as a reflector yet). I then pointed a studio strobe towards the white seamless paper to get the gradient reflection on the sunglasses. (I am going to talk about this technique in an article coming up).
Light blue Background
1. I wanted a really light colored shot for this so I went with a light blue colored background.
2. I used two strings to hang a watch under a boom stand and I placed an additional string below the watch so that I can control its position and rotation.
Wood Wallpaper background
1.This is another technique I saw on flickr a long time ago (can’t find the photo now) and I wanted to give it a try.
2. I used a wood patterned wallpaper for the background and created a mini seamless setup.
There you have it, working with $2 of paper to create great product shots.
Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!