How to photograph sandals on a tabletop

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to style and shoot a pair of women’s sandals from a variety of angles


The section on sandals starts at 4:58

Equipment used: StyleShoots Vertical. Click here to learn more

Photographing sandals can be tricky and time consuming because they often lack a rigid structure. In this product photography tutorial, we will give you an overview of how to style and photograph a pair of women’s sandals from multiple angles for your web store, lookbook or catalogue.

When styling sandals for packshots, there's a few techniques you can use to get them looking as good as you can - such as using fishing line to hold the straps upright. The angle you photograph them from is also important to give a full impression. 

 

Here’s the equipment you'll need

  • Camera - Any camera will suffice but a Canon EOS 5D Mk III is recommended as a standard for professional product photography
  • Studio lighting - Continuous cool LED lamps are recommended to ensure exposure, shadows and contrast are kept consistent
  • Your sandals
  • Compressed air - Spraying canned air invaluable in getting rid of pesky dust particles without marking the leather
  • Fishing line - Or any nylon string that is thin and translucent enough to not appear in shot
  • Regular tape - In lieu of an overlay, any variety of tape will do. Use it to mark positions and maintain consistency when shooting multiple items.
  • Double sided tape - Double sided tape is useful for keeping straps, buckles and laces in place
 

Taking a 3/4 shot

 

1. Set the position of your sandals

Making sure that the sandals are clean, place the left sandal parallel to the back of the tabletop and the right sandal at 3/4
angle.

When photographing footwear, you need to keep it consistent across your whole website.

To do so, use tape to mark where the heels and toes of the sandals are on your tabletop or use overlays to ensure the perspective remains the same.

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2. Secure straps with fishing line

Sandals often tend to want to collapse. To level things out and give them a more pleasing shape, use fishing line or clear nylon thread.

This helps to keep the sandals upright and also creates a floating effect for the straps.

Anchor the lines above and connect them to any drooping leathers, straps or buckles.

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3. Style any laces, straps, or hardware

Once the sandal is in place, tie any laces into tidy, rounded bows. You will want to drape or curve the length of any visible excess lace to your liking.

For the back sandal, try to conceal excess laces or straps.

If necessary, use small pieces of double sided tape to delicately position any buckles, straps or other hardware.

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And shoot...

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Taking a back shot

 

1. Set the position of your sandals

Turn the sandals around so that you’re now shooting them from the back.

Place the left sandal parallel to the left edge of the tabletop and the right sandal pointing out slightly, just as it was in your 3/4 angle shot.

 

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2. Adjust fishing line

As you move the sandals, you may need to reposition the anchor points of your supporting nylon threads.

vlcsnap-2017-08-10-18h37m43s213.png
 

3. Maintain the styling

You’ll want to keep your laces, straps and other adornments nicely arranged as you shoot the sandals in various positions.

 

And shoot...

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Taking a profile shot

 

1. Position one of your sandals

Place the right sandal so that it is parallel to the front edge of the tabletop.

The full length of the outside of the sandal should be visible.

 

 
 

2. Style the details

Just like above, be sure to maintain consistent shape and styling.

 
 

3. Anchor supporting lines

Position the threads according to the new angle of the sandal.

 

And shoot...

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What we'd really appreciate is...

Thanks for reading our tutorial on photographing sandals for fashion eCommerce — part of our ongoing series of tutorials on product photography, styling and lighting. If you found it useful, why don’t you head on over to our YouTube channel and subscribe?

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flatStephen Warr