5 Brilliant Alternatives To The Plain-Old White Backgrounds

E-commerce product photography is becoming more dynamic and creative with the steady rise of social commerce. While classic white backgrounds will never go out of style, they can certainly feel monotonous. So many brands still shoot their products against a white background or add them post-production because of the e-commerce guidelines for different shopping platforms.

Platforms like Amazon, eBay, and many more require sellers to display their products against a white background for easy accessibility. When preparing a photoshoot for your website or product catalogue, think creatively. Various backgrounds, including different colors and textures, can add interest to your e-commerce product photography. 

It can help set your brand’s tone and personality, which is vital if you want to engage with your audience beyond the seller-customer connection. Product photography is a powerful tool to tell your brand’s story. Choosing the right background may seem simple, but it can make a world of difference in your final images. 

Different Shades Of Gray For An Upscale Look

Consider using a grey background if you’re looking for an alternative to the traditional white background for your e-commerce product photography. A grey background can help create a neutral setting that doesn’t distract from the product. It can also help to make the products stand out more and give them a professional and high-end look.

Grey backgrounds also add depth to product photos compared to a classic white background. This is because the contrast between the light colors and the grey is more pronounced. 

Grey backgrounds can also be helpful when shooting close-up shots of products. This is because they provide a neutral backdrop that doesn’t interfere with the details of the product.

When using a grey background, it is essential to ensure that your lighting is set up correctly. You’ll want to avoid harsh shadows, as they can create an unwelcome contrast with the grey background. Instead, soft, diffused lighting will give you the best results.

If you want to add extra interest to your photos, you can try using different shades of grey for your background. For example, you could use a light grey for products that are small or delicate and a dark grey for products that are large or bold. You can also experiment with different textures and patterns to create exciting backgrounds that will make your photos stand out.

Black Background For A Luxurious Appeal

If you want your product photos to be the show’s star, consider using a black background. A black background can make your products look sleek and modern. It can also help to make your photos look more professional and moody.

If you’re selling small or delicate products, a black background can be a great way to make them pop. The stark contrast between the black background and the product directs the viewer’s eye to the product and adds mystery to the photography. If you’re selling jewelry or other small items, a black background can help your customers see the details of your products more clearly.

Black backgrounds also help to disguise any imperfections in the product. If there are any scratches or marks on the product, they will be less visible against a black background. This can be helpful when selling products that are not brand new.

Fashion brands often use black backgrounds to create a feeling of sophistication and luxury. Products photographed against a black background often look more expensive and high-end than those photographed against a white background. This is because black is often associated with wealth and luxury.

Black backgrounds are a great alternative to plain-old white backgrounds for e-commerce product photography. 

Colorful Backgrounds To Make Your Products Pop

A plain white background, while timeless, can sometimes be a little boring. Adding some color can help to make the photo more interesting. A colorful background can also help to set the mood of the picture and add the right amount of drama to your e-commerce product photography. For example, a warm, sunny background might be perfect for a summery dress. In contrast, a dark, rich background could be great for a luxurious item.

If you are unsure what color to choose, try experimenting with different shades and tones until you find something that you like. You might be surprised at how much of a difference a little color can make! A bright-colored background can make the photo look more vibrant and alive.

There are a few things to remember when using a colorful background for product photography. 

  • Make sure the colors complement the product. 
  • Avoid using too many colors, or the photo will look busy and cluttered. 
  • Consider the mood you want to create with the photo. 
  • If you are unsure where to start, try using a solid background that complements your product’s colors.
  • For example, if your product is primarily black and white, you could use a green or blue background.

Textured Backgrounds For Depth And Dimension

Adding texture to your background can give your e-commerce product photography an exciting and unique look. You can use textured fabric, such as burlap, linen, or even textured paper. The key is to choose a background that will complement the model’s skin tone and clothing. 

For example, if you’re photographing a model with fair skin, using a dark background will help to create a pleasing contrast. If you’re photographing a model in dark clothing, using a light or neutral background will help to create depth and dimension in the photo.

You can also use textured backgrounds to create a mood or atmosphere in your photos. For example, suppose you are photographing a product that is meant to be relaxing or calming. In that case, you could use a textured background with soft, muted colors. This would help to set the mood for your photo and make it more inviting for viewers.

Ultimately, the best background for your product will depend on the product itself and the look you’re going for. Textured backgrounds are a great way to add a unique touch to your photos. So don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect one!

Contextual Backgrounds To Fuel Your Audience’s Imagination

A contextual background is a brilliant alternative to the traditional white background for your e-commerce product photography. Contextual backgrounds help tell the product’s story and give it more of a “lifestyle” feel. They also help your audience imagine what they would look like while wearing your brand. 

Contextual backgrounds set a scene by complementing the product in focus. For example, if you sell jewelry, you could take photos of the jewelry against a backdrop of flowers or other natural scenes. This gives the images a more organic and atmospheric feel and helps potential customers understand what the product is used for.

Contextual backgrounds are perfect for products with an interesting history or story. For example, if you’re selling a vintage watch, using a background that shows the watch in its original context (such as an old advertisement or photograph) can be very effective. This background helps give the product more meaning and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Of course, not all product photography needs to have a contextual background. Sometimes, a simple white background can be the best option. It depends on the product and what you try to achieve with the photo. However, if you’re looking for a way to make your product photos more interesting and engaging, using a contextual background is worth considering.

Wrapping Up – Thinking Beyond White Backgrounds

An analysis of over seven million edited images shows that 76% of all the images feature a white background. This shows how omnipresent white backgrounds are regarding e-commerce product photography. While they help you sell your product on multiple platforms, white-background images can be tedious and easy to ignore.

Hence, brands with bold personalities must create exciting compositions and product catalogs that tell their story. Using different backgrounds can add appeal to your product photography while attracting the attention of the right audience. Patterns, textures, and strategic choices of colors can be impactful in building an attention-worthy product catalog.
Modern product photography solutions and services are adept at helping brands create stunning e-commerce product photography. With AI-driven imagery and excellent post-production services, brands can produce striking images that convert and delight. Platforms like FlixStudio are helping eCommerce businesses do this with their end-to-end AI-enabled photography studio. FlixStudio uses AI-generated imagery to create ecommerce-ready, on-model, high-quality, fast, and diverse images.


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Arunava Acharjee

(Product Marketing Manager)