The product shot on a white background is a staple of product photography, but it isn’t the easiest shot to get. In this video you’ll find some key tips for what you need to do to get those shots, as well as how to light them properly.
When I started in product photography I didn’t want to take shots of products on white backgrounds, often known as “packshots.” I had already decided they were dull, uncreative, and easy. Looking back I now know I was wrong on most counts. Firstly, they needn’t be dull or uncreative. Secondly, they are not the easiest shot to take. You will often walk a thin line of exposure which is easy to fall off of and product photography is a discipline of fine margins, so that will not stand. It is in part for this reason, I think every product photographer ought to learn how to take these shots.
Packshots are, for the most part, becoming a little outdated. Many brands use CGI images instead as they can get the perfect image of their product on a white background easily, and cheaper. That doesn’t detract from the fact that you ought to learn how to take them, however. Shots of products on white backgrounds can take extra effort to get both the background completely white without being blown out, and the subject pleasingly lit and not flaring. You can, of course, blend two exposures together, but in my experience, it rarely yields a realistic result and you’re significantly better off getting it correct in camera, wherever possible.
If you’re interested in photographing products, this sort of shot (and therefore, this video) is a strong place to start.