Debate is raging in our house on what is the best background to use for my felt items and I’d like to enlist your help. Take a look at the four photos below and please let me know which background you prefer and why.

I want my site to look professional and inviting and for people to see the items well. Does the background matter or is it just the quality of the photos? My husband thinks the white looks most professional and I tend to agree yet keep finding myself drawn to natural backgrounds. Are they good or distracting? Remember, the aim is to sell these items.

P.S. Wow, great response thank you! I think what I’ve learnt from this is to trust my instincts. The differing backgrounds are fine I just need to concentrate on good photos so you can see what it is and interesting photos so you want to see more.

22 Replies to “Help!”

  1. I think you should use a mixture if backgrounds so they all stand out otherwise it could get boring. The White, the grey stones and the brown stones are my favourites though.

  2. Thanks Hailey and Fiona. I too like the wood but the gaps don’t look too great do they? I’m not sure about the brown stones but the single colour ones don’t look too bad.

  3. I like the wood background. The gaps don’t bother me, they help me with the scale of the item. But no matter the background, they are all VERY pretty!

  4. Can’t make up my mind between yellow ‘starfish’ on pebbles and the floorboards. Both draw me to them probably because the backgrounds somehow make the colours more vibrant. The shale looks too washed out somehow and less natural. Plain white background allows you to see the product clearly but doesnt differentiate the product enough. A natural looking background seems sympathetic to the natural materials used and seems to ‘say’ the right things about the product that its made from natural materials and is hand crafted.

  5. Go natural AND use white!

    Use what ever back ground offsets your work is the best one for that photo-shoot, white has it’s good points but it does drain out colour and some times flatten out an image. My personal favourite is a wooden back ground, be it pine table or rough fence post. Uniformity may come across as less eye catching!

  6. I prefer the bottom 2, especially the white – less fussy and they dont detract from the product.

  7. I like the purity of the white, it shows the vibrance of the colours off to perfection. A close second is the grey but overall the white wins for me! x

  8. I like the wood and grey stones best. Gaps in wood no problem to me.
    Think the White a bit boring, sorry Simon

  9. I know you are probably into ‘standardising’ the photos, but I feel that different backgrounds are needed – whatever is sympathetic to that particular item and shows it off best. Of these 4, the mixed pebbles work for me. They provide a neutral background without being too cold and clinical. Sorry Simon!

  10. Trying to decide between the wood and the white.
    White looks professional and is a uniform background,but a bit harsh. The wood is more sympathetic, warmer and works with the felt. It also gives a sense of scale which I think has already been mentioned – I don’t mind the gaps either. So on reflection its the wood for me.
    As to which will sell most I have no idea!

  11. I think the 2 stones looks best, makes the website look more professional. The white does show the product better, so maybe use that for a pop up view, if you can click for a larger image, or Zoomed in view.
    The wood makes it look less professional, which may be a good thing, shows that these are handmade items you’ve photographed yourself.

  12. I like the rocks on the right, the texture of the felt shows the best against the dark, uneven background.

  13. Sorry my response is late but I definately say the white background is best. It stood out most as soon as I opened the page and that is the most important thing for newcomers to your website. It takes the least attention away from the beautiful flowers and really makes them stand out. Even though I see what you mean about being drawn to use the natural backgrounds, the white still looks best and the most professional. Also it works with any colour of flower and won’t disguise it. 🙂

  14. Hi Angela, I am a graphic designer by profession and also a felt maker and photographer. If I was doing a photo shoot of your work (which is fabulous, by the way) I would use a background that complements but does not detract from the felt. The slate and gravel are a bit too fussy, but it will depend on the scale and the colour of the piece. The wood is subtle and natural (have a look at Lizzie Houghton’s website for a similar use of a wooden background) and so is the most successful of the decorative backgrounds. The white is a bit stark but I suspect that you photographed the piece indoors using flash which will be rather harsh for the delicate work. You could try photographing the pieces on a white piece of card out of doors or by a window using natural light. If you get the direction of the lighting right you should be able to get a nice shadow on the white card. When I was a book designer in London we photographed most items on a white background with a subtle shadow. I also once worked on a gardening book where we photographed flowers laid out on old wooden boards. If there was some nice old peeling paint, so much the better! It was called ‘A Garden for all Seasons’, published by the Reader’s Digest. If you can find a copy to have a look at, you will see what I mean.

  15. if i can add my two penneth too … i think the white looks very clean and professional but agree with pam’s comments above that it can look quite harsh depending on the lighting.

    i tend to prefer ‘natural’ backgrounds so i think the wood works perfectly, it’s a warm, organic background and fits well with the work that you’ve photographed on it.

    also agree with comments above that a mixture of backgrounds will work well when viewed together on your site. i’m trying to find about half-a-dozen textured backgrounds that i like so that i can vary my pics but still have a coherent feel to the images if they’re viewed together.

    i’m really sorry to sound a negative note but the gravel doesn’t really work for me. i know that you’re using clean gravel, but if i saw this on the site of someone i didn’t know i would wonder if they’d been using a gravel path and it might put me off a bit (probably just me being a bit ocd about ‘dirt’!).

    however, i have seen large pebbles on a white background used to good effect, the item you’re photographing can be draped across it or laid on top of it.

    look forward to seeing your next set of pics 🙂

  16. I think both work depending on the piece that you are displaying.. some need a simple white background to let them shine, while others look fab on a natural background. I love the wood background & dont think the gaps matter.. Natural weathered surfaces work well for me.
    best wishes Deborah

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