Picture Perfect
Picture Perfect

6 fabulous, free backgrounds

Even the most beautiful crafts won't sell online without great photography to showcase them. How do you shoot like a pro? In addition to mastering technical basics like lighting, focus and contrast, you can make your product shots pop with the right background.

Makers often stick to white, seamless paper backdrops, but you can put a unique spin on your shots at no cost by using interesting surfaces around your home. Choose surfaces that won't clash with your crafts (sleek, homespun, whimsical, etc.) or compete with the products for attention. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Wood

Wood offers lots of variety in terms of color and texture. Worn, weathered planks evoke a rustic farmhouse vibe, while smooth, sun-bleached woods create a beachy backdrop. Anything from a cutting board to a picnic table with flaking paint can work, depending on what suits your crafting style.

Photo courtesy of Lilium Pixel and Minted Strawberry

Fabric

Any fabric, from burlap to velvet to leather, can provide a striking backdrop for your shots. Choose a color palette, pattern and texture that harmonize with your sense of design. Placemats can double as backdrops for small crafts. Smooth out wrinkles and trim loose threads before your shoot.

Photo courtesy of Hi Tree

Paper

Options range from construction paper in bright, solid colors to patterned wrapping paper and from a plain, brown paper bag to a decorative scrapbooking page. Choose paper stock that’s heavy enough not to rip or wrinkle easily, so it won’t get damaged when you place crafts on it.

Photo courtesy of Noshkins

Stone

Stone is an eye-catching, no-cost surface that lets you evoke anything from a rocky coastline to showcase products with nautical themes to an enchanted forest for displaying items inspired by fairytales. A large rock, a low, stone wall or even a floor with marble tiles might fit the bill.

Photo courtesy of Enchanted Leaves

Books

Give your shots a memorable twist by pairing small products with books that reflect your inspiration for them or echo their general aesthetic. Any volume, from an antique atlas to an illustrated collection of folklore, can work, as long as the images don’t overpower your products.

Photo courtesy of Enchanted Leaves

Gardens

It's a quirky approach, but for the right items, grass, flower petals, redwood chips or even plain old dirt, can make an effective backdrop. If your item has a botanical theme, you can even put it in context by making it look like part of a plant or tree.

Photo courtesy of Noshkins


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