What Backgrounds to use for Product Photography

6 background tips to style your product so it looks beautiful and stands out.

This post will help you know what backgrounds to use for product photography.

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One of the hardest  parts of styling a flay lay photo, is deciding what background to use. Often, we choose whatever service area we have: a dark wood kitchen table, a cute patterned scarf, or the brown vinyl counter top. Although these surfaces are what we have on hand, they may not be the best if we are wanting to promote a product or have our product stand out. In this post, I am going to give you 6 different backgrounds you can use in your flat lay product photos. Of course, there are MANY more. These are just to get you started. 

If you haven’t checked out my blog How to Style a Flat lay, this blog will give you tips on how to style your product photos.

Before we begin talking about the tips, I want to share a caution. I have seen many product photos where the background is so busy, that the product itself melts into the background and it is hard to see. Your goal is to make the background subtle and the product POP.

A person shopping for an item online usually only spends about 2-3 seconds looking at the image before they decide to buy or move on to the next image. 

The tips I am going to share with you are all ways to get your product to pop off the screen, but you also may need to do some trial and error. This is okay and normal. 

If you want to use more busy patterns, I always suggest layering items in your photos. This creates depth and visual appeal.

Product Photography Background Tip #1: White poster board

I am a huge fan of plain what backgrounds. In order to get a crisp, clean background, I use a white poster board. They are only a could bucks, but they work beautifully. You may need to replace it occasionally, if it gets dirty. 

Caution: If your product is white or light colored, you will need to add some layering effect to help the product stand out more. 


Product Photography Background Tip #2: Textured blankets

If your goal is to have a cozy feel or you need some texture to add to your photo, textured blankets are a great way to subtly bring in texture. I would suggest a white, cream, or gray blanket. Again, I suggest adding other items in the photo to give a layering effect.


Product Photography Background Tip #3: Colored Paper

Try a variety of colored paper with your product backgrounds. I found this light brown paper roll, and absolutely fell in love with it. Some other ideas are:


Brown Paper is a great option for layering. It is a neutral ton that goes with many brands. You can also use a variety of different colors.

If you are in the travel industry, a map is a great background to layer with. In Lightroom, the tons of the map can be lowered, so it is not so bright.

Gift wrapping paper can be great for adding textured and layers. Again, be sure you are using a color to compliment your product and not take away from it. 

Just try it out. Make sure the paper color is on brand and on theme with your needs, and just try it.


Product Photography Background Tip #4: Use Vinyl for different effects

Along with the white background, vinyl backgrounds are my second favorite. You can find vinyl backgrounds in so many different styles: wood, marble, whitewashed wood, and more. 

Here is a list of vinyls that will add a subtle background or backdrop to your photo:


Wood Vinyl is a great way to add a texture effect to your image without taking away from it. Etsy and Pinterest uses use this quite often.

Shiplap Decal is also a wonderful texture. It is beautiful and rustic.

Marble Vinyl adds an elegant touch to product photos. This beautiful background can go with almost any product. 

Vinyls are easy to pack up and store as well.

Product Photography Background Tip #5: Scarves and Clothing

Using scarves and clothing as a photo background is similar to my tip about the blankets.

Make sure the scarves and clothing are not clashing with your product. I would choose solid colors over patterns. If you are using your scarve or clothing to layer in a small section, it is okay to layer it.

If you are using a pattern on the entire background of the image, I would caution to be aware of the background being too busy for the product itself.

Remember, people only spend 2-3 seconds on an image before deciding to purchase or move on.

Product Photography Background Tip #6: Experiment

My last tip is to experiment with backgrounds. Try it and if it works, great; if it doesn’t, keep it for another possibility, and try another background. 


If you are overwhelmed with the time, editing, styling, and stress of “how to” contact me to see how I can take beautifully branded photos for your website and social media, consistently.

Other posts you might like:

How to style a Flat Lay

Best Equipment for Product Photography [coming soon]


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