We bought following background paper roll carton for product photography and we are very pleased with our setup and results, especially after post processing.

Background super-white: http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-tetenal-super-white-background-paper-roll-1-35-x-11m/p1538844

We compared this super-white to basic printer paper, which is a little whiter and slightly noticable on screen before post-production.

To get the best white results without post-production we are thinking about buying a large cheaper din a0 printer paper roll, and using that on top of the carton.

Are there any disadvantages using printer paper, since it is chemically enhanced to get pure white, reflecting more of uv-light?

Our photo table and lightning setup is like following (just with paper carton background instead of plastic):

enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ I can't say anything definitive - your own testing will decide the issue for you - but I would think that the sizing (the goop that's used to prevent inks from absorbing too deeply and bleeding) would be your enemy. It would make the printer paper split the difference between what you have now and a vinyl in terms of glossiness/specularity. That all depends on lighting angles, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 10:15

2 Answers 2


Actually, printer paper is not true white. It's produced to fool our eyes in thinking it is, which sounds weird I know but it is. You are probably getting more transmitted light/reflection from the printer paper as it at has a small amount of gloss on it. Photographic background paper is completely matte so it will give you a slight exposure change vs printer paper.

I've used cheaper papers before, especially when first starting out. Those $120.00 rolls can be expensive at times. It can work, but I found that it often would result in uneven tones and the texture did not produce a smooth effect compared to the photographic stuff. Also basic printer paper is no where near as durable as the photographic paper. It will wrinkle and tear far easier and you end up going through a lot more. Also, there is no guarantee that two rolls printer paper will be the same color temp. So if your shooting catalogues you could end up doing a lot more post to balance the backgrounds.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer. Yes for background system the wrinkleing and thin paper is less durable and could be problematic. We are new to product photography and did a lot of research and most light boxes or tents are completely closed and white or black inside. We bought some basic round white reflectors for the sides. What do you think about wrapping the printer paper or any other reflective white (reflectors, styrofoam boards) around the table, so that more light is in the box and not outside enlightning the room? \$\endgroup\$
    – djmj
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 10:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ You could if you wanted. It's usually better to use fill cards and reflectors depending on the product and where you want the light to be. It really depends on each item you are photographing. Keep in mind you will usually want some shadow to really give the product depth and Pop (if you will). When you start playing around with your light and fill placement you will start to see the difference from different scenarios. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 4:45

You can work with it unless it doesn’t disturb you by tearing, because it tears easily than seamless paper. It is semi-transparent, wrinkles easily, etc. If you're careful it should work, if you backlight it you might get a pulpy-looking texture coming through. Should probably be fine though.


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