As a shoe hoarder, I can tell you one thing: it is the first glance that gets us sold. Professional e-commerce and online sellers also know that and ensure they have photographed or displayed the photos in the best way possible.
But that can be a challenging thing to do if you are a beginner in the business. It is the pretty same case for newbie product photographers. So what you need to capture the best shoe photographs and increase sales are the right ideas.
My profession has helped me understand the tips and tricks of photography well. That is why today, I will share the shoe photography tips to help you change the game.
The Best Shoe Photography Ideas
When you think of shoe photography, what things come to your mind first? Obviously, most of us would think of what angle or style would make the shoes attractive to the audience. But unfortunately, that is not the way to perfect shoe photography.
A professional photographer always plans ahead of time. And the first thing they plan is what you require for the project. They have a plan and idea regarding everything from devices, backgrounds, and lights to angles, photography props or locations, etc. And then there are things you should avoid when doing shoe photography.
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Since the best shoe photography ideas involve several things, the following parts of the article explain all the essential things you need to know.
Shoe Photography Preparation Ideas
You can take excellent shoe photographs without being a professional photographer. The best way to ensure quality work mostly involves proper planning and execution of the plan. Now the problem with non-professional or beginner photographers is that they do not always have the luxury of getting top-notch equipment.
This article aims to help you figure out what you can do with your available resources. Here are the things you need to have and do for shoe photography.
Plan And Research
Every work requires pre-planning to ensure the best and most accurate execution. The same goes for shoe photography, whether it is a simple personal shoot or for business purposes. And here, planning does not mean you sit down with a notepad and paper and think for hours.
Planning requires heavy research, and you will have to do plenty of it. Get knowledge of all the tools, equipment, backgrounds, and lighting you need. You must also plan how you will shoot them and from which angle.
You also need to plan the following matters:
- What type of shoe will you be shooting?
- Will it be an indoor or outdoor shoot?
- What color of shoes will you shoot?
- Will the background go with the shoe color?
- Which angle will work best for the shoe type?
- How long will it take to complete the shoot/
You can think of endless things before you get ready to shoot photos. But the more you research and plan, the better result you will get.
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Select The Right Location
Shoe photography location is the most crucial to decide and yet the most satisfying one when you find the right place. While most e-commerce and online business owners choose a studio or indoor photography, outdoor photography can be the best way to express the vibe.
Shoe photography requires adequate and accurate lighting, and outdoor photography can ensure plenty. Not only do you get the natural light source, but it also helps you present the photo realistically rather than going through background setup trouble. On the other hand, indoor photography gives you the liberty to set up everything as you want. Nowadays, photographers choose clever backdrops and props to make the photo more catching. So whether you choose an indoor or outdoor location, the best outcome largely depends on the ideas.
Plan Product Placement
How you place your product in the image is vital for you and your audience. The customers need to see what they will get or, at least, are likely to get. So when placing your product for photography, you need to keep a few things in mind.
The most commonly used background color for product photography and e-commerce business is white. That is because white is the most suitable and effective background color for any photography. It does not just give you a cleaner and more organized background, but it also enhances the product’s beauty. And if not white, you can use any plain color that does not overshadow the shoe color.
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If you need natural backgrounds, outdoor photography is your best option. However, there are some dos and don’ts you must maintain for such photography.
Since your photography focus should be entirely on the shoes, it is best not to choose a location where there are many unnecessary things in the background. Also, avoid shooting in a dirty location because it will only make things and the shoes worse.
The light position plays a vital role in studio or indoor photography. For that, you can use various sources like light boxes with tents or umbrellas, reflectors, flashes, etc. You should experiment with the positions of the light and angle the shoes in various positions to find a good shot.
And if you are doing shoe photography, I would suggest going for a shoot on a sunny day. But make sure it is not too sunny because the light will be overpowering. If you need a gloomy environment, you can change it with post-production editing tools.
- Product Preparation
The product you are about to photograph needs some prep work as well. The first thing you need to ensure about the shoes is that they are clean and well-polished.
Yes, you can always get it fixed during the post-production editing work. But ensuring the shoes are clean and shiny during the shoot brings a good vibe and reduces editing hassle.
Setting Up The Gears And Equipment
I have already discussed several gears and equipment you will need for indoor photography, such as the light boxes, umbrellas, flashes, etc. But professional or any product photography requires more gear and equipment to ensure high-quality shots. Moreover, you must ensure you are using the right camera lens and setting.
- Shoe Stand And Tripod
Product photography is challenging when you cannot find a way to make the product stay upright when needed. As for shoes, getting the right angle is not challenging, but it can be if you lack resources.
But the good thing is you can use various items as shoe stands. And the most common way to shoot shoe photographs is using dolls or leg mannequins, shoe stands, pins or clips, etc.
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And then the next important thing you need is a tripod. Even if you are a professional photographer, click fantastic photographs without one. But a tripod is beneficial for creative shoe photography. Moreover, it will help you get clearer and more focused photographs without risking unexpected movements.
- Camera And Camera Lens
Cameras and lenses play the most crucial role in photography as the most important parts depend on them. Can you take the best shoe photographs with your android or iPhone camera?
Of course, you can. But it is highly unlikely they will give you the same outcome as a DSLR camera. As for the camera lenses, you can choose from the three different types based on your photography requirement.
Prime lenses are the most suitable for high-quality and sharp images. And wide-angle lenses are preferred for outdoor photography as they offer higher aperture ranges. On the other hand, macro lenses will help you get more close-up and detailed shots of the shoes.
- Camera Positioning And Adjust Settings
The camera should be placed directly at the shoes based on your preferred angle. You must place it in front of the shoes if it is a front shot. And if you are shooting on a flat lay, you must place the camera above the shoes.
For settings, it is best to use manual settings and keep the ISO level low to get a better light. If you prefer a blurred background, you can lower the aperture setting.
Ideas For Taking The Best Shoe Photography
Everything I have mentioned so far will help you set up correctly for taking the best shoe photography. Now here are the best shoe photography ideas that will help you get eye-catching and professional-level shots.
Select The Most Suitable Background
Although I have already explained it, you should remember that the background can change the overall appearance of the shoes. If you want to attract a targeted audience, it is best to use white backgrounds as they are most suitable.
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You can also use the outdoor background as long as it does not distract the audience from the main subject. Also, make sure not to use the same color background as the shoes because it will make them appear dull.
Do Not Lay The Shoes Flat
Never photograph the shoes, making them lie flat and look lifeless. Well, in a sense, they really are lifeless, but you shot photos to create everything livelier, not dull. Laying the shoes flat or sideways fail to show shoe designs and details.
What you can do is keep a pair in the frame and lay one flat while keeping the other one upright. In this way, customers can see the shoes from both angles.
Capture From Different Angles
If you are shooting for e-commerce or an online business, it is essential to capture shoe photos from all angles is essential. Since the customers rely on pictures, offering them different angled views will help them see the designs and details more clearly.
You can capture the photographs from different angles here:
- Top view
- Bottom view
- Front view
- Back view
- Side (both) views
Having multiple angle shots is suitable for creating online catalogs. Besides, it can help you create 360° view shots.
Use Live Models
People prefer seeing how something will look when they wear them. Even if it is a pair of shoes, showing your audience how they look when worn is essential for giving them a reliable visual.
Having a real person in the photo gives the photos a more realistic vibe and brings more life. So you can hire one or more models to pose wearing the shoes. And using a suitable background is also recommended here.
Get Creative With Props
Don’t just take too formal images where the product is the main and only focus. Add various props and get creative with them to make things more meaningful. For example, if you are shooting a pair of vibrant red ladies’ heels, you can add red lipsticks, a red purse, or other makeup kits to add more similar colors.
But when using props, make sure not to overdo anything to ensure the shoes stay as the main attraction. It is also recommended not to use something that distracts the audience or makes the image look overcrowded.
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Keep The Best Product Ahead
If you are taking shots of multiple pairs of shoes, you should prioritize the best one. When looking to purchase something, customers always check out the first items more carefully. That is why keeping the best pair at the front of the shot is essential.
Focus On The Shoes
In shoe photographs, the shoes are more important than what you have around them. Of course, the background, props, and locations matter to create a better presentation. But when taking the shot, your and the camera’s sole focus should be on the pair of shoes.
Tell A Story/Use Context
Stand out with your shoe photography by ensuring it is unique and more creative. Use a way to add context or tell a story with your visual presentation. The story you tell should be meaningful and represent the pair of shoes well.
If you photograph running or workout shoes, you can take the shot with a model running on a trail or in the gym. If it is a pair of bridal shoes, you can use a model in a white gown and take a shot of the shoes like they are stepping out. And if you are shooting newborn or baby shoes, you can add some toys and baby items to create your context.
Add Mirror Reflection
Make the pair of shoes more aesthetic by adding a reflection effect. You can get it done in the post-production editing, but nothing beats the original prop game. So what you can do is place a mirror behind the shoes or places the shoes on the mirror.
Shooting with placing the mirror behind can be challenging as other things will be visible, and removing them later can be challenging. On the other hand, placing the shoes over the flat mirror is more aesthetic and trendy.
Floating Shoe Photography
You can add endless creative ideas to shoe photography. Among the trendiest and head-turning ones are the floating shoe photographs. Let it create a magical yet thought-evoking effect in the image and gain more audience.
Taking floating shoe photographs involves hanging the shoes by thread or using something to hang them mid-air. Once you remove those during the post-production process, the final result will be worth all your efforts.
Crop, Resize And Retouch
Best shoe photography ideas do not just involve ideas of taking photographs. Once you are done taking the shots, the raw images will require editing and retouching. And the first step to beginning the post-production process is cropping and resizing the image correctly.
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Make sure you do not crop too much or too little of the image. The subject should be presented as the center of everyone’s focus. The images will also require color and shadow correction and another necessary retouching.
Frequently Asked Questions
Photographing things is not everyone’s cup of tea. But with the right gears, equipment, and ideas, you can take the best shots without many issues. And I believe the best shoe photography ideas I provided today will help you get the job done.
Once you get the hang of it, you can experiment with lights, props, and angles as much as you want. Remember that the presentation is more important, and you must shoot with confidence as though nothing can go wrong.