indoor white background photography (need lots-a-help)


TPF Noob!
Aug 18, 2003
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Toronto, Canada... EH?
Hi all,
I've always liked photography but never really had the time to treat it seriously. But now I'm starting a new ecommerce website selling designer clothing.
I've looked through some websites like and and they managed to get very accurate colors along with a plain white background on their product listings.
I've tried everything and can't seem to get the same results as those big brandname sites, so now I'm looking for free professional help.

I need something along the lines of this:
very color accurate foreground with a almost 100% pure white background.

From what I can logically deduce, I need a VERY white non-reflective, non textured background, right? How do I accomplish this?

Lighting: I have no idea where to start. I've tried different kinds of flood lights in different positions with little progress. Just can't seem to make it look quite as professional. The background lighting isn't evenly distributed and the foreground colors aren't consistent with every shot.
I'll be taking these pictures indoors.

Camera: Right now I'm using an amateur Fuji Finepix 6800 without too many manual options. If I can get quality results with this camera, then I'll stick with it. If my camera will never get results even similar to those displayed on other fashion websites, I'll pay for a new camera.
Note that I prefer to use digital because these pictures will be posted on the net. Color will be priority #1, picture quality isn't quite as important because, after all, images will be for web use and limited to 480x480 res.

Objects in photograph: Will be a combination of clothing hanging from a hanger in front of a white background, and people actually modelling the clothes in front of white background.

The material you are looking for is called Muslin. Pretty cheap at the fabric store. The key is going to be in the lighting. I would recommend a strobe system with a softbox and a reflector umbrella. With shots like this, the key is going to be soft light.

this is the setup also recommended by doxx.

You'll need a camera that you can control the f-stop to seperate the model from the background.
i shoot a few things on a white background as well ... we have some type of muslim but its so thin, u can see straight through it :lol: (plus we have light green walls) ... here's what i do ... i place a white sheet on the wall, then the white muslim on top ...

after that .. i head to photoshop .. take the magic wand and touch the white or carefully select the "object" ... inverse it, feather it .. brighten with the curves or use the levels to make it more white ...

but after all that "professional" equipment ... a plain old white bed sheet works best for me :lol:
I need something along the lines of this:


Don't We All...
is that ebay link you sent me a good deal?

I can probably fabricate something like that myself with a little time and effort but I'm not exactly sure of the specs. So it might be a good idea just to buy the quote 'professional' stuff off the bat and not waste time making mistakes.

I just picked that picture because it was the first item listed on their website. Didn't notice how hot she was until you guys mentioned it! Now I'm drooling :p
Well that's a strobe system... I don't think you'd be able to put something like that together for cheaper.
we have a system like that and it seems to be a good "multi-purpose" piece .. if u want softer light, just use the softbox ... if u need something like "fashion" stuff, u might want to use box and umbrella flashes with the softbox in the front .. u have to be careful about putting the umbrella flashes to close, because the light is very bright, so u have to move them around a little to get the proper lighting...

are u on digital or film? ... im on digital, what i usually do is about 10 test shots to get the color of the models skin and the flash positioned correctly.. those flashes can be your worst enemy if their too close :lol: (coming from a "flash too close" pro :roll: )

i would invest the money ... u gotta spend money to make money :eek:
okay, I've decided to buy the strobe and softbox stuff from that guy on ebay.
Now the harder question is whether I can take adequate pictures with the camera equipment I currently have.

I have 2 digital cameras.
one is Fuji Finepix 6800, second one I think is a canon S50.
both are mid-range consumer cameras I believe.

Also have access to 2 film cameras.
Don't have them with me right now but one was purchased 3 years ago and approx. $750cad, the other one was like $500cad purchased 10+years ago. They look really professional though :p.

I'm siding towards digital because all the work will be posted online and it'll be much easier and probably much cheaper than film. Not exactly sure whether my mid-range consumer cameras will hold up to the challenge.
i dont know about the cameras, i'll leave that one to someone more experienced :p

but keep in mind, nowadays ... a lot of stuff u see in magazine representations and the like have been touched up in photoshop to make them "perfect" ... but a good lighting system should get u pretty close ... depending on your camera.

i know my hubby's camera (Canon 10D) ... the "unaltered data" looks pretty good, straight out the camera *drool* ... but some of us have to work on it a little bit :lol:

u didnt mention your photography expertise? .. amateur? ... advanced?
no formal expertise in photography.

Don't even own my own camera *sob* (my friends usually lend me their cameras). But my friends who are into photography say I take amazing pictures with whatever point and click cameras I can get my hands on.

btw, the cameras I've listed are not even in the same ballpark as a canon 10D. In fact, if the 10D and my cameras came to life and started a boxing match, the canon 10D would KO my cameras within 9seconds of the first round.

I would get a 10D if I had the money though... Maybe when I win the lottery
these companies hire someone for the sole purpose to utilize photoshop to get those results...ive been "friendly" once or twice with the gap girls at the local mall...they give me the scoop!


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