How to Edit Product Images for a Clean, White Look in Under 10 Minutes

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

When I first started editing photos I spent countless hours attempting to figure out how to edit like my favorite Pinterest and Instagram accounts. I would watch Youtube videos, read blogs, and occasionally even caved into buying presets, crossing my fingers that I would finally find one that turned my photos into that dreamy look I was trying to achieve.

Presets and filters are definitely not a one-size fits all approach, so I wanted to share what's worked for me as I edit certain styles of photos. Presets are just a starting place and way to find consistency. It's important to recognize that the light and color in every image is different, so of course a preset isn't going to transform your image in the click of a button.

When I take product images for my blog, I enjoy creating a crisp and minimal image that allows the branding and color of the product to pop. There's something about it that just feels calming, yet professional and fun all at the same time.

Good news, I created this image WITHOUT a preset, and I'm going to show you how to recreate this exact look. You'll need:

  • Natural light

  • Neutral surface (white, tan, marble, light wood grain, etc)

  • Photo editing App (I prefer Lightroom!)

  • Camera (iPhone, DSLR, etc.)

[ Step 1: Setup ] The very first thing I do is try to find natural light. It was about 11am when I took this picture. I used a white metal chair as the surface and snapped this picture on my back patio with my iPhone 7.

[Step 2: Brighten] Next I open up the Lightroom App and import the image. Really you can use any photo editing app, but I prefer Adobe products! I start by brightening the overall image by bumping up the exposure slightly. As a result, this muted the orange colors in the packaging so next I updated the Contract to +3 to bring back some color.

[Step 3: Background] At this point the photo is a bit brighter, but the background doesn't have that clean white look I'm going for. I increase the Whites to +66 and Shadows to +84 to turn the background into a crisp white surface.

Step 3

[Step 4: Pop of Color] Now the background is brighter but the packaging no longer has that vibrant color. I decrease the highlights and increase the vibrance and saturation to bring pack the warm colors, and voila! That's it!

Step 4

And there you have it. A high-quality image taken without fancy lighting or photography gear that you can replicate in under 10 minutes. Here's some similar images edited with the same approach. The Lo&Sons purse picture was featured on the Lo&Sons Instagram account after I shared my blog post with them.

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