Here’s how designers found the perfect backdrop for their product shoots


For those shooting smaller products, like towels or tableware, finding the right setting and moving samples probably isn’t as challenging as it is for designers working with large pieces of furniture. But there are still important considerations to make, such as scouting backgrounds.

Ellen Van Dusen, of textile and homeware brand Dusen Dusen, incorporated her pattern-filled home into shoots before the pandemic demanded it.

Even before the pandemic, Ellen Van Dusen’s bustling home, seen here, was an integral part of her product photography.

Courtesy of Dusen Dusen

“I like our images to look real, lived in and reflect our personalities. It’s much easier to do at home than in the studio,” she says. “I tend to create textiles and things I want to live with, so naturally they tie in with the aesthetic of my home. Plus, I like to include all those little tchotchkes and accessories in the photos. I think it helps tell the story. ‘story.

Van Dusen draws from his own collection of books, works of art, furniture and cutlery to present vignettes of different styles. These articles are interspersed with Dusen Dusen products for the shoot: “I think it’s important to show products in multiple spaces, because I think our products appeal to all types of people and settings, not just people who are like me.”

Alex Tieghi-Walker of Tiwa Select has a similar philosophy. “I’ve always chosen to have a gallery in my home rather than a separate, purely commercial space, because I like people to see objects used in a home environment,” he explains. “In terms of simple product shots, I choose a neutral background and let the colors and texture of the artwork speak for itself…I take some basic product shots myself and it’s very, very informal.” And often, he adds, quite frankly: “I spin on a wooden stool against a wall in my office.

Lighting is important for all designers and brands. Barratt-Campbell used a full lighting kit that included white screens, reflective aluminum discs and self-contained lighting. A basic kit can be rented for around $250 per day.

Others have chosen to accentuate natural lighting.

Golden hour light and a camera-ready hardwood floor work together in the home of Alex Tieghi-Walker of Tiwa Select.

Leonard Smith

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