White on White: Shooting White Objects on a White Background

If your product is white, there are a few things to consider when photographing your product. A white product against a white background is not a dynamic image. Think of pearls as an example. Often pearls are pure white. The edges of the pearls will fade into the white background if the pearl is all white. For photographing pearls, we will add black cards to reflect onto the white pearls so that the edges of the pearls aren’t lost against the white background. Also, black cards reflecting onto the pearls help add dimension to the pearls so you can see better the shape/texture.


Another tricky category is white containers often used for beauty products. If the entire container was white, it certainly wouldn’t look interesting against a white background. One solution for this is to create shadows on the white containers. In this beauty image below, we chose to create a shadow on the right side of the container. Also, we chose to add a reflection in this image so that the bottle isn’t left floating in space and is grounded.

White clothing is another example where you need to be careful about your lighting. Too much one directional lighting will make the apparel look flat and have it blend in with the white background once retouched. A good white clothing shot has more shades of grey than white. Multiple lights at different angles helps create shadows. These shadows work to create a multi-dimensional image. Just like jewelry, you need dark and light highlights when photographing white apparel. And although this blog is about white product, it is important to ensure your retoucher cleans the background of the product to a pure white RGB 255. If you have a white background on your website, you won’t need your retoucher to do clipping paths around your product if they make the background of the product pure white.

StyleExpo Photography has 20 years of experience servicing the fashion, jewelry, beauty and homegoods industry. Studios in NYC and LA offer services ranging from one-hour table-top jewelry shoots to a full-day lifestyle model shoot on location. Rates are per-shot for send-in work, though we do offer hourly rates for clients wanting to participate at the shoot. Turnaround is 3-4 business days and all images can be resized and cropped ready to populate your website or linesheet. Call us today to discuss your shoot. 213.394.6307 or contact megan@styleexpo.com 

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