Instagram Crash Course:  Day 1 | Day 2  |  Day 3  |  Day 4  |  Day 5  |  Day 6


How to get good backgrounds and avoiding the infamous bathroom -selfie

Vanessa Raphael’s amazing Instagram Crash Course – Day 2:


When you publish images, especially product images on Instagram -remember to use good backgrounds. White/grey/light backgrounds are always good to make the focus on the product(s).  Instagram was originally created to host beautiful images. Let your business be one of those who publish great images!

Photo credits @TobiasMichel for The Butterflyshow
Photo credits @TobiasMichel for @thebutterflyshow

 You can also use a light grey background to enhance your products like it is done to the image above of the jewellery I designed for @thebutterflyshow – here we simply placed the jewellery on a big A3-size sheet of white paper. However without proper studio lights and editing it will be light grey not white. We decided that it looks great the way it is and didn’t spend too much time on it. It is a classic example of “less is more”.


This image from @songsofjewellery is great! The necklace is standing out and that also looks good in their feed when looking through their Instagram account.

Jewellery with good background
Photo credits: @songofjewellery

Dark backgrounds can also work. This example however is using a rather advanced method with the purse placed on a glass-plate (to get the stylish reflection) on a dark fabric background and colorful lights. This image is made by the prestigious Christian Loboutin team.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 12.08.08
Photo credits @loboutinworld

Use what you got, or get something cheap and simple for your background!

Sometimes all you need is something you have in your cupboards, like a white plate. And your photo studio doesn’t have to be more advanced than your living room. See the images below.

Heart snacks

Fancy chocolate image taken in the simple surroundings in my living room.

DIY home photo studio

For bigger objects i just use my white coffee table as white background (ok, really it’s light grey) – using natural sunlight or even turning up all the lights in the room helps to make everything bright – most often I try to not let any strong light shine directly on the objects to avoid harsh shadows. Indirect light (= all round bright room) gives a nicer result than pointing a spot or other light directly at the table.

Taking some tulips to make quotes in

Here are some tulips I photographed on my coffee table. I used an app to enhance the photo and put I it into Canva.plain tulips

I added a quote and my logo and here is the result:

Canva quote tulips

Avoid the infamous bathroom selfies!

If you take selfies, which you should do if you are part of your branding- do not take them with a messy bathroom background. People are not wanting to see your dirty clothes, toilet and toilet papers or washing machine. It gives a messy impression – even if you have a cool filter that I have on this bathroom selfie.

Bathrooms are usually NOT good backgrounds.Who needs to see your dirty laundry, toilet paper or washing machine?


Some suggestions for cheap or selfmade backgrounds:


  Foam Board  (e.g you can spray paint them)

  Small Backdrops – Google Etsy shops etc

  Hand dyed fabric

  Wrapping paper

  Small posters 

  White table/desk

Your task is now to practice taking good images with good backgrounds. Tomorrow you will learn how to edit your images with your phone, on the Instagram app and in one of my favourite apps.

Until then, tada!

 Vanessa Raphael xoxox