Photos can make or break a blog, especially fashion or beauty ones. You might be creating the best content on the internet, but if your photos are blurry, dark, or just plain ugly, readers won’t want to come back. Today, we’re going to look at the different backgrounds to use for photos of small items (such as jewellery, makeup, etc) to give you some ideas on how to make your image beautiful.
First, and always a good basic to have, foam board (or mount board♦) is reasonably cheap (we picked up 5 x A2 sized mount boards in our local craft shop for £6.20) and will give you a plain background with no creases or bumps.
Another simple background to use is fabric. You can, of course, buy fabric especially for your photos (depending on what sort of things you normally take photos of, you can pick up Cath Kidston fabric quite cheaply – for most make up / close up item shots, a square metre should be sufficient) – make sure that it’s ironed before you take photos though! (Keep the fabric stored rolled up, then you shouldn’t need to iron it every time you need to use it!) Another way to find fabric is to look in your own wardrobe. Remember when big, pashmina type scarves were fashionable (and super cheap in Primark)? They make a great background and give you lots of variety. Even dresses or midi skirts could give you enough fabric for a background for a lipstick, for example.
If you have one near to you, Ikea is a surprisingly useful place to look for backgrounds. Here are a few ideas of items you could pick up – everything in this image is under £15 (and quite a few are under £5!) – click the individual images under the collage to go to the Ikea pages for them.
When the weather is much nicer than it is at the moment, you could use nature as a background – we’ve seen blog posts using grass or even bushes to hang items from! It can be a difficult one to get right.
Finally – and this is going to sound totally outrageous – show the product on you. If it’s a piece of jewellery, wear it – the reader will be able to get a better idea of how the earrings hang or how long the necklace is when it’s on a person, rather than when it’s bunched up on a plate, or hanging from a glass. If you’ve got beautiful nails, then play at being a hand model and hold the blusher to show it off – it’s the cheapest background you can use from this list and the most reliable!
What are your tips and tricks for taking photos of small items?
Such great tips, thankyou! I love some of those Ikea pieces H x
I find using a 50mm lens blurs the background which can ‘smooth out’ noisy images, but as a rule I tend to use the same table/wall to use, as it means any beauty product posts are consistent.
Matt Gibson says
I use plenty of random cheap stuff for photos. Big sheets of paper can give you a nice seamless background, rolled from a tabletop up onto a wall, and most art suppliers or stationers have lots of colours to choose from.
My last purchase was a couple of metres of black velvet from the fabric stall in St. Nick’s Market — great for a solid black background.
And bear in mind that while professional photographers’ finished shots might look pristine and beautiful, behind the scenes it’s all Blu-Tack, gaffer tape, aluminium foil and improvisation :) Don’t be scared to experiment!