How to Take Pictures of Shoes: Get Aesthetic Footwear Photography Ideas

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Photography Nov 17, 2023

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How to Take Pictures of Shoes

Product Photography is an interesting photoshoot and also a great way to explore one's creativity. It becomes way more interesting when the product is a shoe. Shoes are important. Just like Seo Min Hyun said, “Good shoes take you good places”. So, shoe photography is also very important. All the product photographers and Instagram influencers have one simple common question, how to take pictures of shoes easily?

7 Simple Steps of How to Take Pictures of Shoes

Taking attractive photos of shoes is not that hard. If you follow some simple steps, you can also do professional shoe photography. So put your foot on your shoe to take these 7 steps, in order to get how to take pics of shoes.

1. Get Proper Lighting

Whenever we are talking about any kind of product photography remember the lighting here is a big factor. Not only with products, but with any kind of photography light matters a lot. Product photography needs a lot of lighting. Especially when you are preparing for an e-commerce-ready product photo. You need a lot of light.

Start with the lightbox. If you have a light box big enough to fit your shoe then your half work is done. Set lights on the both right and left sides. Also, set light on the top. So that the shoe (your product) gets exposure from everywhere.

Proper Lighting

2. Choose a Simple and Light-Colored Background

For the background, you can choose any color or pattern based on the theme of the photoshoot. but I prefer the color white just to be on the safe side. Why? Because white is a sober color and will reflect the light most. To avoid harsh shadows, a white background is best for that.

Light-Colored Background

Also, try to avoid harsh patterns. Patterns and prints can make the image destructive. But here is the catch. If you are trying to follow a theme, suppose you are shooting for a pair of high-tracking boots, and you are shooting in a natural location including rock mud and maybe some flowers, then the case is different. It is also a unique option to present the purpose of an individual pair of shoes.


3. Pay Attention to the Details

While shooting for a product photography, you should focus on the details. Shoes design, style or even the overall look. Details capture a customer’s attention the most. It includes detailed designs, side designs, front back and even the sole of the shoe. It can also include the wear of heels as well. Since shoes are also considered as fashion attire, details are important.

4. Look for Different Angles to Shoot

Now, how to display shoes for pictures? To have a perfect shot you have to take various shots. In the case of shoe product photography, the angles matter a lot. People want to see the front, back, sides, soles, top, and each and every way possible. Let’s see how to position shoes for pictures…

  • Front- This is the most basic. People will see the front look before Taking any further glance at the shoe. So, we all know why it’s important to take the front picture of a shoe. It also gives a short idea of how it will look on your feet after wearing it.

  • Single Shot- This is the type of angle which you can find almost in every shoe shop. It has almost become mandatory for footwear photography. Basically, it is taking one shoe’s flat side shot.

    Single Shot
  • 45° Angle- It’s also common in footwear photography. In this photoshoot, you have to position your shoe in a 45° angle. And you will get a traditional style of

    45° Angle
  • 45° From the Back- This position is just to clarify the details and designs of the back of a shoe. It is 45° from the front. But it would catch more details if you take a close shot of the back 45°.

    45° From the Back

5. Hire a Foot Model

a model makes things more attractive than it looks. It brings a fashion vibe to the table. The model always gives a realistic vibe to the products. In the fashion industry, models have great value for their work. And that is for a reason. People love to have a context while seeing something. Imagine how it would look on them. and models do just the work.

Foot Model

This shoot is even better when the model is skilled. A skillful model will portray your shoe in a very catchy way that the focus will be on the shoe. So, it's also important to have a skillful photographer along with a skillful model. Because it can always get distracted when you include a person in a picture.

6. Try Ghost Mannequin

Just like model shooting with models, ghost mannequin is also very interesting to do. You just have to hire a ghost model instead of a human model here. How? Well, leave it on the photo retoucher of the picture. Basically, you have to take a photo of your shoe. If your shoe looks flat then fill it with some stuff like crumpled paper, empty bottle for boots or even dental floss will become handy to hold any kind of thin belt of the shoe (Mostly in ladies’ shoes). You can edit that floss out at any time. Also, make sure to take pictures without crumbled paper inside. That way it will be easier to edit for the editor.

Ghost Mannequin

7. Do Hire a Professional for Retouching the Photos

It might sound so little but it’s the most important point of all. The end’s well is all well. The final work will be done by the retoucher. Your all-hard work will be put to an end if your editor is not skilled enough in this field. If you want to take my advice I will say, go with Color Clipping Ltd. Since they have both experience and skills. They have already proved their position in the photo editing/ photo post-processing industry. They have the best product photo retouching services on the market. So, what are you doubting for?

Equipment You Need to Photograph Shoes

You will need a good camera, which can be your phone but for more professional results, consider using a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a macro lens. Lighting equipment like softboxes or natural light sources can also be helpful. To hold the shoe in a proper place you might also need something to stuff the shoe like crumpled paper, tissues, or a piece of clothing, also need cloth to wipe any dust from the shoe, brush, and also a chopstick can help to straighten the bent shoe.


Life is all about presentation. The more attractive ways you can present your product the more buyers you will get. The more people will have an interest in your products to buy. Besides that, people also choose varieties and comfort. These days there are a lot of options where people can pick from. So, in order to stand out in a crowd, you have to think out of the box.


Yes. You can use props depending on the photography theme. Simple shots with no props can focus mainly on the shoes. Props can add context or tell a story, so use them thoughtfully.
For a good quality photo camera settings are an unskippable part of the process. To have the camera settings on point lower the border of the aperture value. Aperture value should be around f/11. If needed, raised to f/14. But must keep the upper limit at f/16.
Yes, it can. There are many mobile apps out in the market that offer manual camera controls to help in good editing with some useful tools as well. For example, Adobe Lightroom Mobile, VSCO, Snapseed, can help you with achieving great results.

Anika Wahab Photo
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Anika Wahab

Hello, it's Anika, Content Executive from Color Clipping Ltd with a devotion to contributing my skills and knowledge more simply. Keep learning and growing with us.