Food Photography for Packaging: how to shoot subject on pure white background

First time doing photoshoot for food packaging. A new food company is going to launch their new line of noodle product. The main difference from shooting food for restaurant is that the photo here need to be on pure white background (255,255,255). So their designer can lay out everything in photoshop.

There are two ways to do it. You put food on white surface, light it and shoot. Then you key out the food from background in photoshop. You can use pen tool to do it. This approach is a bit time consuming in post. but the benefit is that you have shadow information. so the designer can extract the shadow area. He can place both food and shadow at whatever background he wants.

The second approach is to shoot the subject on pure white background at first place. So no need to do photoshop. The benefit is time saving. The drawback is no shadow information there. If the designer need shadow later on, he need to create it from scratch in photoshop.

Since they told me exactly that they what pure white background without shadow. So I prepared to use second approach.

The basic principle is that you use transparent glass as surface. We call it Plexiglas glass, Acrylic Sheets or Lexan Sheet. Maybe it has other names. You put the subject on it. And then you lay white background on ground. You use light just for lighting this white background. Since your shooting surface is transparent, it will become pure white and you still have your subject exposed correctly.

One light for pure white background. The other light for lighting the subject. You can see my Plexiglas glass has undergo a lot of abuse……

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Since my shooting surface is kind small. The light stand will be in the frame. As long as it does not touch the subject. It is a simple fix. Next time if you need to shoot larger subject, remember to bring a much bigger surface. Mine is definitely only good for very small subject.

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The lighting is a bit flat to my taste. But I intend to shoot them like this becuase I know this is the kind of look that fit their purpose. We do not want very dramatic looking. This is not for editorial style.

The last step is to shoot the real background for the design to composite in photoshop. To be honest since all the shots are from top down. They can simply purchase background image online. This way they have more choice and save money. Now they went to rental shop to rent a specific surface. Anyway I just photographed this. Job took 3.5 hours to finish.

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I have no idea what they are going to do with the photo. How they going to design the package. I just played around in photoshop. Again this approach just save so much time in post.

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