With all sorts of photography trends coming and going, the tabletop genre remains a favourite among product photographers. It’s no wonder why — not only does it offer a clean, aesthetically pleasing way of portraying subjects, but it also gives the photographer complete control over every aspect of the picture. It’s a lucrative niche perfect for product and food photography.

If you’re an eCommerce business owner planning your next product shoot, consider tabletop to enhance your visual storytelling. Here are some creative tabletop photography ideas that you can use for your upcoming photo shoot.


Tabletop Photography Ideas to Try


Flat lay

Given its clean, usually minimalist approach, flat lay tabletop photography is one of the most popular image aesthetics for marketing and commercial purposes.

Its technique involves taking photos from above or at a 90-degree angle. While you can shoot virtually any object in this style, it’s especially perfect for flat subjects. Things like a pizza, for example, have contents and details that can’t be portrayed in a traditional shot from the side.


Stylised tabletop photography involves immersing the subject in its natural environment to create an authentic atmosphere — say, a book in a library, a cup of coffee in a coffee shop, or nutty cookies surrounded by almonds and such. Styled shots like these tell compelling visual stories and artfully incorporate your brand personality into the image.

White Background

White background tabletop photography is primarily geared for commercial applications. The plain backdrop and lack of props help keep the viewer’s focus on the subject, giving them the chance to examine the product thoroughly. This style is ideal for showcasing small items and finer details, like jewellery and accessories.

Following the merits of consistency, several online marketplaces have guidelines for sellers to use white backgrounds for product photos.

Coloured & Textured Backgrounds

While eCommerce product shoots have a trend of using white backdrops, don’t hesitate to experiment with backgrounds of varying textures and colours if you’re allowed more creative freedom. For example, while a white background helps make colours pop, a black one softens them instead. Black also works well with baking and food photography, as flour, sugar, and confectionary contrast the dark backdrop. Wood, marble, vintage paper, old maps and chalkboards are other prime examples of backgrounds that could lend your pictures a more accurate feel of the story you’re trying to tell.

You can also use different textured fabrics and clothes to give your visual narration more personal significance. For example, thick wool sweaters and jumpers symbolise certain occasions, holidays and seasons.


Tips to Pull Off Great Tabletop Photos

Besides the tabletop photography ideas listed, here are more tips to help you create eye-catching still life pictures:

  • Keep it clean — even messy-looking setups are intricately planned and staged to look visually pleasing.
  • Since tabletop is a branch of still life photography, taking a minimalistic approach is ideal.
  • Hire professional product photographers. They can help you elevate your vision for your brand and produce high-quality imagery that can encourage higher sales for your shop.

Our team at JAM Photographic will be more than glad to discuss your next project with you. Call +61 (0)488 993 245 or send us a message today.