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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Russell

BLACK VERSES WHITE BACKGROUND PHOTOGRAPHY

Product images shot on white are by far the most common requests from my clients.  Products look clean, can be ‘cut out’ and placed on most other light coloured (and styled) backgrounds, they usually match most website designs, fitting well in their online store listings, and their lighting matches other products in 'all-white' collages for advertising and magazine spreads.   

 

Sometimes clients wonder how their product will look photographed on a black background.  

In this blog article I provide image examples of same jewellery pieces, shot on both white and black backgrounds, as well as discuss the pros and cons of using them.


Apart from all the advantages listed in the first paragraph, use of white background, very importantly, reduces the harsh reflections and shadows seen on the photographed product.  You can easily see this difference when looking at images of two rings below.  The image on white has no harsh dark reflections because it is reflecting the white background underneath.  The image on black does have these dark reflections, making the band appear very dark and loosing detail in these areas of the ring.


Yellow gold ring shot on white background

Yellow gold ring shot on black background


The disadvantages of shooting product on white all come down to lack of contrast and the tendency for some light, clear or white products to look ‘washed out’.  Silver, white gold or platinum jewellery in particular can look very ‘flat’ shot on a white background.  High contrast in white diamonds, which makes the stones ‘sparkle’, is highly sought after by clients.  To combat this, a professional photographer will either ‘add’ enough dark parts during the shoot or add these parts on later, digitally.  Both of these options however, extend the work and therefore increase the cost of the job.  When shooting on black, the stones in particular will look much more sparkly and stand out from the page more, than when shot on white, as you can see in these examples below.



White gold bracelet shot on white background

White gold bracelet shot on black background

White gold stud earrings shot on white background

White gold stud earrings shot on black background

When discussing upcoming photoshoots, it is very important to figure out what is most important to my clients.  Is it the ability of the product to stand out and catch attention?  Is it the detail in all parts of the pieces, including the band?  Is it the ability of all images to look uniform and match well to their website design?  Or is it the look of the stones and their ability sparkle in a 2D image?  Thorough discussion with clients will reveal the most appropriate background to choose for the needs of their business.  



White gold necklace shot on white background

White gold necklace shot on black background



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