Packshots: White Background Product Photography

Packshots can be a reliable source of extra income – if you know how to set them up and shoot them to perfection in minutes instead of hours.

In this packshot photography class, Karl discusses his preferred backgrounds for these white-on-white product shots before getting into the simple but effective three-light setup he uses for this type of work.

You’ll see how he achieves white backgrounds for product photography, how he avoids flare and controls excess light, how he prevents overexposing his shot, and how he uses just one light and a reflector to light the product itself.

In this class:

  • How to photograph packshots
  • Creating white backgrounds for product photography
  • Techniques for photographing white products on a white background
  • How to prevent flare
  • Using reflectors

To see Karl’s retouching process for this shot, check out Packshots: White Background Product Photography | Post-Production.

If you enjoy this class, be sure to check out Packshot Product Photography and How To Use Continuous LED Lighting For Packshot Photography.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.

Product Packshots - Bottles on clean white background

Packshots – White background product photography. © Karl Taylor


  1. Hi Karl, thank you for a great video!

    Do you think it’d be possible to change the main lights soft box to a large reflective umbrella??

    1. Hi, thank you. If the umbrella was matt white with an external diffuser and the products were matt. But I’d have to say that doesn’t seem to make any sense when better option would be to just fire your light into a big white board as a reflector instead or through a roll of scrim material. If you watch some of our lighting theory videos you will come to understand the concepts of lighting more clearly, when you know these you can figure out many ways to do things differently and with different tools but it requires the initial understanding of size, diffusion properties and reflectivity of the subject. The introduction to product photography section will also help you.

  2. Hello Karl. You’re great! Great video! I have a question. May I ask what type of cable you use to connect your camera to your computer? What is the program?

  3. kenshi2008

    Great course on using bounce cards and mirrors also. When I get my sample products in the mail. See what I can do with the equipment I have. Helping a friend decide on a camera for some product shots.
    Thank you once again for having a great site.

  4. Hello Karl
    This is more like it.
    All done in camera.
    I think you might be able to do this photography stuff full time!

  5. Hi Karl,
    I have a question regarding the distance between the wall and the subject. (is it correct to say that as more distance you have as less you get flare you get on your subject?) I’m trying to do the same at home where I don’t have that much space as you have. I only have 1-2 meter distance at all and there is nothing I can do about it, because that is the only space I have. As a result I’m dealing with a lot of flare on my products. Do you think I’m doing something wrong with my setup or I’m facing this problem because of not having enough space? If it’s not the setup I would love to have some additional guidance to avoid or reduce flare in really teeny tiny small spaces . Thank you.

    1. Hi, it sounds like you are overlighting your background, try and get your white level down to 253 and see if you still have the flare problem.

  6. Hi Karl, I was wondering if you have a recommendation for where to purchase the white perpex you use in the video. Any help is much appreciated!

    Thank you,

  7. I’d like to know how to shoot same kind bottle with hologram on it. is there any way control the reflections on hologram?

    1. Hi Tamer, a holographic label only appears holographic because we have steroscopic vision (2 eyes) which allows us to see the hologram as a 3d graphic. In photography it is two dimensional and from a fixed point so it will never look the same. The reflections from the material are also extremely bright and may need to be controlled from shooting a separate exposure and comping it in to the final shot.

  8. johnleigh

    This was excellent to see – I dont have a big space and will try backlighting on an A1 size polyboard and check result – I do wondeer about a shot I saw somewhere you did for specsavers it featured some white blocks – I cant seem to locate clean edge white blocks, round blocks and shapes I want to use for cosmetics/jewllery/beeauty product, in wood or EVA foam in UK is there a website or store you might suggest?

    thanks so much!
    john leigh
    London UK

      1. johnleigh

        thanks Karl really appreciate your feedback!
        Coincidentally I had stumbled across the same essential photo props yeesterday – seems high price but I see nothing else like it in UK might have to splash out give one a try if I cant put something together DIY style!

        thanks again

  9. Hi Karl,
    Thanks again for teaching us science and art. My question has absolutely nothing to do with this tutorial.

    As much as the native aperture value for a prime lens does not necessarily give the sharpest result, is there a rule of thumb for focal lengths in a zoom lens as in determining which focal length allows the latter to perform at its best?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi, thank you for your comments. In relation to your question as far as I’m aware the answer would be no. I’ve used some zoom lenses that were superb through the whole range and other less so. The sharpest sweetspot on most lenses is a mid aperture usually f8 or f11.

  10. Hey Karl and friends!
    Huge fan, I love all the classes on KTE! I was wondering are you ever going to do a workshop on how to photograph clothing for e-commerce use. I do a lot of work like that and am looking to make my e commerce clothing shots more systemic, cleaner and tighter. I tend to struggle with sleeves for high end shirts, and how to light to make those tiny details like the buttons and collar stand out. things like making the sleeve look nice and full have always been a struggle, especially with paper stuffing. Let me know if you have any tips. All the best!

  11. Hi Karl,

    Thank you so much for this, i work for me. However the plastic sheet on my end is still not the same pure white as the background. We try to increase the light and the product is clipped. Any advise on solving this issue?

  12. I like to see these old videos, I notice growth in the technique and in the photographic equipment. Greetings from Mexico

    1. Hi Aldo, thanks yes we like to also keep some of our older techniques as reference. For example there are several older ‘high pass’ techniques in our post production section. I don’t use that technique anymore but a lot of people still want to know about it.

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