Shadowless Backgrounds for Catalogue-Style Images

Whether you’re photographing products with matte surfaces or shiny surfaces, white products, coloured products, or black products, this class details how to create shadowless lighting for photographing products on a white background.

In this class, Karl builds on the techniques covered in our ‘Shadowless Lighting For Photographing Products On White’ live show as he demonstrates a versatile setup for shooting from a lower angle.

Photographing multiple items throughout this class, including a handbag, sneaker and women’s boots, Karl shows just how versatile the setup is and how it can easily be adjusted using simple accessories such as reflectors as well as flags.

At the end of the class Karl shows an alternative one-light, space-saving setup that could be used to create white backgrounds — an ideal solution for those photographing catalogue and e-commerce work in a small space!

Class objectives:

  • Setups for e-commerce and catalogue-style photography
  • How to create white backgrounds for product photography
  • Simple lighting setups for product photography
  • Using reflectors and flags to control light
  • Creating separation when shooting white products on white backgrounds
  • Product photography tips

For further examples of how to photograph products on a white background with shadowless light, take a look at our shadowless lighting class or packshot product photography class.

If you have any questions about this class please post in the comment section below.


  1. Hello Karl

    Lately I have seen a change in packshoot product photography, seems like big brands are going away from pure white and showing their products in clear gray background , in my opinion products look much better in this way…I am about to opent my own packshoot/ecommerce photography studio and in my portfolio I thing I am going to include most of my pictures in a subtle gray background…what do you think about it?

    1. Hi Victor, yes it’s becoming more common for a 10% grey background which for your information means the white wall would need to read R236, G236, B236 in the colour channels.

  2. Hi Karl,
    I noticed the glass you used did not have a “finish” along the sides. the edges are still sharp. Is that for a reason or could I also use a piece of glass with polished edges? Or would this leave a visible horizon.
    And does the thickness of the glass have any influence?
    Thanks for your reply.

    1. Hi Polished edges would be just fine you wouldn’t notice them. If the glass is very thick it takes on a slight green tinge but up to 1cm is usually OK for this.

  3. Hello Carl, Great job!

    One question please,
    may I use this specific effortless (for post production) set up keeping the reflection?
    If I decrease the power of background lights I will lose the pure white. The only solution is the double exposure? I could use my Hensel freemask system but If the result is the same, with one exposure is preferable.
    My client needs 3 shots of the shoe at the same camera position and 1 shot from the camera position 45 degrees from above, so this technique looks very convinient.

    Thank you for your time,

    1. Hi Gregory did you look at our ‘packshot section’ where we keep the reflection by using white gloss acrylic?

  4. Hello Carl.

    If you have more questions while practicing, please leave a comment.

    My previous comment… I haven’t received a reply yet.

    If you reply, it will be a great help to me.

    In the case of pack shots, shadows are synthesized after complete shooting, but can’t we shoot with shadows in the first place?

    It’s like a pack shot on the ssense site.

  5. Hello Karl,
    The video is very good!

    The softbox size of the video is 90×120, is there any difference if I use a 120×180 softbox?

      1. Karl, one last question… haha,,

        Would the color of the box supporting the glass plate have any effect on the picture?

  6. That was a particularly useful and succinct class, Karl. Many thanks.

    If the subject was particularly reflective, would switching to a scrim be better for the key light?

    Also, if a client commissioned, say, a collection of boots/shoes in various finishes, would you supply them with a few different versions of each? I’m thinking of the different feels you were achieving with the glossy black/white boot. I’m guessing the nuances that could be achieved would not be realised until the shooting started – well, ‘guessing’ at my level, not yours, of course!

    1. Hi Barry, thank you. Yes absolutely the product lighting can take any form whatsoever that is best suited to the product, that wouldn’t affect the technique applied for the shadowless background. I wouldn’t expect though to supply a client with multiple lighting versions for this type of photography though, it would be a case of going with what is overall best for a batch of similar products and then changing it if the next batch of products were different, more reflective etc.

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