How to take pictures of shoes: Up your footwear photography game


You only have one chance to make an impression when shopping online. High-quality product photos can help you make that first impression. Your product images will have an impact on whether customers buy. This includes how you style it, what background you use, […]

You only have one chance to make an impression when shopping online. High-quality product photos can help you make that first impression. Your product images will have an impact on whether customers buy. This includes how you style it, what background you use, your camera settings, where you take the shots, and the post-production process.

There are some things you should know about footwear photography. These tips will help you get started with your next photography session.

Style your footwear for product photography

You don’t want your footwear to sag. Shoes that are too flat or lifeless don’t look good and communicate little information. Instead of trying to create a unique arrangement that no one has seen before, make it easy to imagine your shoes. This idea is similar in concept to using a ghost model for clothing photography.

You can create the illusion that the shoe has been worn to ensure the best footwear. This will show the true shape of the item and allow your customer to imagine themselves wearing it. This will communicate the item’s shape to your customer by stuffing it in crumpled paper and tying dental floss to its straps to keep them up in the frame.

 Dental floss lifts the straps and is simple to remove after production.

ILYSM offers unique split-toe vegan shoes that look like a combination of a sneaker and slipper. The footwear is likely to have no form due to its design and material. The brand has taken the steps to fill the shoe and photograph its shape if worn by a person, as shown in the product photos.


Select the right background for footwear photography

For most product photography, clutter is a no-no. Your customers will be distracted by distracting backgrounds that distract from the product you want them to see.


Bold background draws attention away from your product.

Opt for a simple white background instead. To draw maximum attention to your shoes, keep everything in the frame clean and simple. It is always easiest and most convenient to photograph each product with a white background. To create a unique look, you can choose a stark white background, as required by third-party marketplaces such as Amazon. Or, you can opt for a gray or offwhite hue.


Keep the focus on your product with a plain white background.

A background is not necessary for every shoe photo. There are times and places to use backgrounds. Contextual or lifestyle photography will show your shoes on real models. Islenas displays its shoes against white backgrounds and in context to allow shoppers to get an idea of how they would look with an outfit.


Lighting your shoes properly

Lighting is an essential part of product photography. Proper lighting is essential for footwear photography. Without it, your shoes will not look attractive. Direct lighting that casts shadows and is harsh for product photography is not a good choice.

 Bad lighting can bring out imperfections and cause warp colors.

Natural sunlight is the best and most affordable option. If possible, place your photos in front of a large window. You can also diffuse the sunlight using a sheet. Renting a softbox studio setup allows for more control and longer hours. To get the best light, choose a shaded location if you are taking photos outdoors. Shoot in the morning, evening or late at night. Avoid taking photos outdoors during the day.

 Take photos to show your product in the best light.

Adjust your frame and make adjustments

Focus on the right things

While blurry and soft focus are beautiful in some types of photography, it can also be distracting to customers when photographing product. Your customer will not see your product if it is too blurred or out of focus.


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A soft focus makes it difficult to see details in photos.

To get your shoes in focus, make sure you use a larger aperture such as f/11 on your DSLR. A tripod will also be helpful as it reduces camera shake and gives your images crispness.


Show all details in maximum focus

Zoom views require that your shoes are in focus. Customers want to zoom in on product photos to see finer details. These details will not be as apparent in an out-of focus shot. You can see the fine details in this zoomed view of a sneaker.


Set your shadows

Instead of removing shadows after-production, focus on getting it right during shooting. In ecommerce, it is a standard practice to place products on a white background. If you remove all background, including shadows, you will often end up with an image that lacks depth.

Taking out the shadow results in what we refer to as “the fridge magnet effect.”

A little natural shadow can make images of footwear look great. Post-production can be made more professional by retaining the natural shadow.



Use it in conjunction with the bottom alignment to get maximum impact.

Natural shadows are not always possible. Sometimes, it’s necessary to add a drop shadow after-production. This is especially common for photos with white backgrounds.

These CARIUMA product images look like they could have had a dropshadow added in post. The shadows make the white sneakers stand out against a white background and give the frame dimension.


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Make sure you shoot from the right angles

A listing that only shows one angle of a product is a mistake in product photography. Customers want to see all sides and faces of a product before they make a decision to invest. 

Customers can see a small portion of your products from limited angles.

Try to capture as many angles possible. As long as the angles are flattering, take side shots, front shots, back shots, top shots, detail shots and angled shots. Lilith shows some of its footwear products’ bottoms. Although you might not use this technique for your shoes, Lilith customers find the bottoms of their shoes stylish and interesting.