Image Credit: Nick Jones London
Should you use images with cut out backgrounds?
I often get asked whether it's best to have images switch the backgrounds cut out, or whether you should keep the backgrounds, or use lifestyle / styled images. So I thought a great article to write would be one breaking this down for you all.
What’s the difference?
This is where you completely cut out the background of the image so it’s just white or a block colour. SO it would appear that the object in the image is floating
These images are simply just the ones you take normally and don’t remove any background. It may be that you take the images in front of a white screen or specific background or simply that they’re just on display in your store or warehouse.
These types of images are where you would typically see an item displayed in a room setting. For example, you may see a dining table, set out with the chairs with the table laid and some other dining room furniture around it. So you can get a feel of how the item looks in a setting.
Pros and Cons
Images with the backgrounds removed
- Getting your backgrounds removed from a photo means that you don’t really need to pay too much attention to how your item is sat, or what it is near as will all be chopped out. As long as the image is good quality, this is an easy way to get good looking images to put onto your website.
- You can rest assured that there will be consistency through all of your images on your website
- It can give your images a professional look
- It looks very clean
- Photos don't look "busy"
- If you get the wrong person to remove the image backgrounds for you, it can look bad quality and make your stock look cheaper
- It’s not social media ready. Especially Instagram, people want stunning imagery that’s eye catching and worthy of sharing but having the back grounds cut out of your images on Instagram, make for a bland browsing experience.
- It's not good for cross selling and can remove the "feel" of the item and make it look too commercial
- It takes extra time to use the photo as you have to spend the time having the background removed (or wait whilst you pay someone to do it for you)
- If you take your picture with a busy background behind it, it can be hard to have the background removed or result in a poor quality image
Images with backgrounds intact
- Keeping your backgrounds intact on your photos can create a really nice effect, especially if you’ve curated a specific background for your item photos. It can also give the viewer an insight into your shop or premises
- If you use the same background then again it can create consistency throughout your images
- If you haven’t got an allocated space to take pictures, for example if you don’t have a shop and keep your stock at home or stored somewhere it going to be difficult to get a backdrop that is nice, resulting in messy photos
- The prettiest of the bunch is the lifestyle image. These images not only look great if you’ve got a fabulous setting, but can give the viewer a bit more of an indication of how the item would look in their space. It gives them an idea of the size of the item also and is great because humans are very visual creatures!
- It can be great to cross sell items. For example, if somebody clicks to view a picture of a table but sees a nice mirror in the background then they might end up buying the mirror as well
- Again with lifestyle images, you can get a good amount of consistency running through all of your images giving you a really professional look.
- They can sometimes look a little "busy" or cluttered
Other things you can do to improve your photography
It’s your lucky day! We’ve written a bunch of articles on product photography already so click on the links below and dive into our other articles.
There is no right or wrong when it comes which of the three image types above that you choose, it’s mostly down to personal preference, budget and space. Some people prefer the cut out backgrounds because they may feel that a lifestyle image is too busy for their liking, but I hope you found the above information useful!
Our websites are image focused and really bring out the best in your beautiful items and photography. Get in touch with us today, if you’d like to discuss how we can help you sell online with a gorgeous easy to use website.