Keeping it Simple with On White Seamless Food Photography

On White Seamless Food Photography [ȯnhwītˈsēm-ləs] [fo͞od][fə-tŏgˈrə-fē] Isolated image of a food dish, food ingredient or a food product on a pure white background. Food companies/brands often order on white seamless food images to keep them in their libraries (archives) for graphic design purposes. They are often used in promos, graphics, packaging, and other forms of food advertisements.

Example: The graphic designer used an on white seamless image from the client’s photographic collection as the base for the promotional composite.

Sometimes, it’s best to stick to the basics. Therefore, every food photographer should know how to pull off on white seamless food photography. At a glance, the shots may seem generic or boring. But whether your client sells orange juice or beef jerky, they’ll find a use for a well exposed, neatly styled product shot somewhere.

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This particular project included over 30 menu items from Chinese-style fast food chain. All dishes were photographed in very high resolution on white backgrounds so that creative and marketing departments could use them liberally for many different visual projects.

What makes on white seamless food photography such an appealing option? In short, they’re blank canvases that can be altered in countless different ways at any given time. Clients often keep these base shots tucked away in archives, then enlist graphic artists to totally transform them at a later time.

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Photographing packaged food on seamless white background is considered food product photography and serves food brands in multiple ways.

Take this promotional image, for instance. Believe it or not, this image was likely built around on seamless white food photography. The designers probably searched through the client’s library of product shots and chose the one that featured the most irresistible toppings and gooiest-looking cheese. The eye-catching red gradient featured here could easily replace a white backdrop. Finally, the client plastered on a brand name and a few fun illustrations for good measure.

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An isolated carrot, a single food ingredient photographed on white.

Once you know how on white seamless food photography is utilized, it’s easy to see how it functions. Any sort of composited image for product packaging, social media, or general advertisement relies on these photographs to actually sell the product. Flashy details and brand recognition can only take a company so far. Without something delicious to display, it’s going to be hard to win over new customers and get people excited about a product.

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There may not seem to be a whole lot to this particular Tropicana tear sheet. However, the client likely had their photographer shoot the juice, the carton, and the oranges separately on white backings. Graphic designers then compiled the images into one cohesive piece. ©Tropicana Products, Inc.

It’s true – on seamless white food photography can be bland. However, these building blocks shouldn’t be underestimated. Product popularity often hinges on how well these shots capture texture, color, flavor, and personality.

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For advertisements, a bright color or interesting food texture in macro scale gets consumers to buy or quit scrolling for a second. Graphics based on seamless white images of food and drink items are often more effective than elaborate table settings. © Starbucks Coffee Company
The Food Photographer’s Glossary

Do you find yourself wondering what, exactly, the food photography industry professionals you admire most are talking about? From time to time, all of us get tripped up on industry jargon. The food photographer’s glossary is a “cheat sheet” for food photographers of all experience levels. Aside from providing definitions, we’ll go in depth to explain the purpose of each term in a studio context. Dive in and explore some professional lingo – you may just pick up on a few photo tips along the way! CLICK ON