Ever since my scanner broke a couple of years ago and I had to start learning to take my online photos using a camera, I have struggled with what looks good. Generally I take a photo on a white background, and then photoshop it until it looks better. That takes a lot of finagling- I have to sharpen it (my photos always look a little blurry to me), cut it to the right size and shape for my online shop- I use 300 dpi, and cut it to 3x3 inches, though that doesn't work with everything, and then I have to lighten, brighten and adjust the color to make it look right- especially the stupid white background. It's really more energy than I want to put into each picture I take. The white background is a real bear, and black just doesn't seem to work at all for me. Maybe because I don't have any kind of official setup to use, like a light tent or proper lighting.
Oh, that's another thing- taking the photo itself- I use a rather high powered halogen lamp, lighten the exposure by a couple of clicks and shoot a closeup without a flash. My old garage-sale camera actually worked better as the flash wasn't so harsh, so I could actually use it. The flash on my present camera is covered with a little piece of paper as it washes everything out, no matter how far away it is. The scanner was really easier, and I might even go back to that if I could!
So get to the point already!!! Well, I have, by necessity, taken to using different backrounds with my photos, and I am kind of liking them. The autumn leaf background is cool- no messing with trying to get it just right- I can just concentrate on the item I am trying to feature- I like that a lot! And the newest map background, though I still often correct the 'level' to make it whiter, is kind of fun, and it is not very noticeable if it's not all bright white. And it has the advantage that I might just see a word I like and use it to name the piece. Woohoo- a twofer!
I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for more fun backgrounds in the future.