Black background product photography is all the rage these days. It’s classic, elegant, dramatic, and eye-catching. It’s timeless.
Using a black background for product photography means creating art. It sets the composition, putting the subject into the spotlight—even in black-on-black product photography.
How does that benefit product photography? How can you create captivating images in a studio, outdoors, and with AI? Read on to find out.
In this article
Why Is Black Background Photography Beneficial for Product Photos?
Product photography with a black background can increase interest in your products. Instead of distracting viewers from the primary subject, you put it in the spotlight to emphasize its details. The composition remains clean and elegant, while your products have a dramatic flair.
That especially rings true for black-on-black product photography, as most examples in this article show. It creates a sophisticated look, giving your products a luxurious feel.
A black background can create visually striking photos, whether you use a fabric backdrop in a studio, add texture in an outdoor setting, or implement a textured surface overlay in an image editor. It captures the mood, evokes powerful emotions, and makes viewers want to get their hands on your products.
Let’s see how to achieve these effects.
How To Create a Perfect Black Background
Creating a perfect black background is more straightforward than it seems. The essential considerations include lighting, positioning, and background material. Here’s more about each.
1. Lighting Considerations
Maximizing the light on the subject while minimizing the light reaching your backdrop is the key to picture-perfect black background photos. It’s crucial for black-on-black product photography.
If too much light reaches the background, your camera will pick up minor details on the backdrop, creating imperfections that draw the viewer’s eye away from the subject. After all, you’re not shooting photos in front of a black hole that traps light.
Therefore, adjust light intensity while ensuring a proper distance between the subject and the backdrop. That way, you’ll illuminate your product and ensure less light reaches the background and reflects.
What about flat-lay product photos? You can use rim lighting or a background light to separate the product from the backdrop.
2. Product Position
Experimenting with the direction of your light source is vital for creating stunning compositions where shadows add depth and drama. However, product positioning can also add intrigue—and it’s crucial for proper lighting.
Place the subject farther from the background if you use a reflective surface. That way, the light won’t spill over the backdrop.
Additionally, experiment with different camera angles, from shooting your product in a flat-lay perspective to leveraging a low view. Reflectors can help limit light spills, but the material makes all the difference. Here’s how.
3. Background Material
Product photography with a black background requires proper material. Foam boards, MDFs (medium-density fiberboards), poster boards, paper rolls, V-flats, canvas, and any other black fabric can do the trick. However, velvet might be the best because it absorbs the most light.
Black sand (e.g., aquarium or volcanic) is another fantastic option. Whether using it for black-on-black product photography (see the example above) or to create a mesmerizing contrast, you’ll add texture and depth without distracting viewers from your product.
Excellent Outdoor Black Background Options
You don’t need to stay indoors to create a black background for product photography—you can find many options outdoors.
For instance, shaded areas between objects like trees and buildings are perfect settings for a black background—if you don’t want it to be pitch-black. You can play with natural light or leverage artificial lighting at night to highlight your product.
The key is to place your product in the light so shadows can envelop the rest of the setting, creating a dark background. Of course, you can edit the photos in post-production to get the pitch-black effect—if that’s your goal.
How To Set Exposure for Black Background Product Photography
Exposure settings on your camera are your best friends if you don’t have a black backdrop. Here’s what to do:
- Set the ISO level between 100–125 to lower your camera’s light sensitivity, making the background as dark as possible.
- Narrow the aperture to ensure the least light reaches the lens. However, you don’t want the depth of field to be too shallow, so choose an f-stop between f/1.4 and f/5.6.
- Use negative exposure compensation if the subject is in too-bright light. That way, you’ll underexpose the background and make the product pop.
Exposure and shutter speed go hand in hand, so let’s see how to set the latter for black background product photography.
Shutter Speed for Black Background Product Photography
Your camera’s shutter speed determines how long the shutter will stay open. The longer it does, the more light the camera gets.
Therefore, increase the shutter speed to reduce light exposure and create a black background. Anything between 1/200 and 1/250 of a second will do the trick, but you can experiment with different settings to get the desired result.
However, mastering all these settings and creating a perfect black background takes time. That’s where AI tools for black background product photography come into play. Besides helping you retouch your photos, they can generate unique images, saving you time and money. Here’s how to use them.
How To Use AI for Black Background Product Photography
AI product photography tools require uploading a product image and specifying how you want to enhance it. Their deep learning algorithms help them interpret your text prompt and compare the photo against their training data so their generative AI can realize your vision.
For instance, you can request a photo of your product on a plain black background or any textured surface like volcanic sand or black velvet. Your chosen AI tool will create whatever you describe.
Many AI tools for product photography have editing features to fine-tune your photos. Moreover, many have pre-built background templates, perfect if you need inspiration. Here are some of the best tools to consider.
Best AI Tools for Black Background Product Photos
AI product photography tools keep springing up like mushrooms, with generative AI technology evolving at lightning speed. These are the best for black background product photos.
Wondershare VirtuLook is an online text-to-image AI product photo generator for creating professional-level in-context product images. Its user-friendly interface makes the process a breeze.
This generative AI tool doesn’t have templates because it generates unique 4K photos from text prompts. Describing your vision is all it needs to unleash its creativity and enhance your product shots.
Here’s how to use Wondershare VirtuLook to create a perfect black background for product photography:
- Step 1: Create an account, sign in, and upload sample product photos.
Step 2. Change your background by Using Template/Custom Editing.
Change the style and background by selecting the different template. This option will change the areas of the picture that you don't want to keep to your preferred background.
Alternatively, if the template does not currently have the scene you need, you can try using the Custom Editing feature to generate your own customized photo.
Step 3. Lastly, you can download or bookmark the photos you like. We also appreciate timely feedback from you regarding any issues with image quality or any other concerns you may have.
Custom text prompts, real-life and AI-generated models, product scaling and positioning, an intuitive interface, 4K resolution, PSD file support, and post-processing features like face refinements make Wondershare VirtuLook perfect for ecommerce product photography.
Cutout.Pro is an AI-powered visual design platform with many AI photo and video editing tools. It lets you remove and replace backgrounds, make them blurry, erase and retouch objects, and sharpen and upscale images. Additionally, it can generate and animate pictures and provide face cutouts.
It has many other image design solutions, but you’ll benefit the most from its text-to-image background diffusion. It uses generative AI to create any background and has many customization options, making it ideal for black background product photography.
Cutout.Pro is available as a desktop or mobile app and offers an API and a Shopify plugin.
Fotor is a free online AI photo editor with many AI-powered tools for enhancing your product shots and generating new images. It lets you retouch, upscale, unblur, overlay, sharpen, and merge pictures and experiment with many other editing features.
As for the backgrounds, you can remove or change them, submitting text prompts or choosing a preset (e.g., a solid color, texture, pattern, illustration, nature, landscape, etc.).
Besides an online platform, Fotor offers dedicated Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android apps for a seamless experience across devices.
Picsart is a comprehensive platform of image and video editing and design tools. It lets you remove objects and backgrounds, generate AI images, create collages, add shadows and text, blend colors, and experiment with enhancement features.
As for changing backgrounds, you can leverage customizable templates in various styles, choose a solid color or gradient, or create a unique backdrop with a text-to-image AI background generator.
Picsart is available as a desktop (macOS and Windows) and mobile app (iOS and Android).
Black background product photography is perfect for adding a touch of elegance and mystery to your products. Whether you sell high-end products or want to make them seem luxurious, capturing them against a black backdrop will communicate that visual concept.
Therefore, follow our tips to master product photography with a black background and embrace AI tools like Wondershare VirtuLook to save time and money while getting breathtaking images that sell.