How to photograph sneakers on a tabletop

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


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Equipment used: StyleShoots Vertical. Click here to learn more.

Sneakers are relatively easy to photograph as long as you’ve prepared them so that they look especially neat and tidy. In this product photography tutorial, we will give you an overview of several ways to style and photograph a pair of sneakers.

Because sneakers can vary greatly from one style to the next, it’s important to pick out the right angles and all the details that customers want to see.

 

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 sneakers
  • Compressed air - Spraying canned air invaluable in getting rid of pesky dust particles without marking the leather
  • Tissue paper - Depending on the type of sneaker, stuffing them with tissue helps keep shape and structure
  • 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 buckles and laces in place
 

Taking a 3/4 shot

 

1. Prepare the sneakers

Using a cloth or canned air, make sure any leather is clean and brush any suede.

The placement of the tongues should be consistent.

You’ll also want the lacing to be neat and tidy.

 
 

2. Set the position of your sneakers

Place the left sneaker parallel to the back of the tabletop and the right sneaker at 3/4 angle.

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

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

 
 

3. Style any details

If necessary, you can stuff the sneakers with a bit of tissue paper to maintain structure.

 
 

And shoot...

sneakers1.jpg
 

Taking a back shot

 

1. Set the position of your sneakers

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

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

 

 
 

2. Style the details

To maintain consistency, arrange the structure of the sneakers as you have done previously - using tissue paper where needed. 

 
 

And shoot...

shoe2.jpg
 

Taking a profile shot

 

1. Position one of your sneakers

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

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

 

 
 

2. Style the details

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

 
 

And shoot...

sneakers1.jpg
 

Taking detail shots

 

1. Position one of your sneakers

For your detail shots, you will be working with only one sneaker.

You’ll need to identify the relevant details and adjust positions accordingly.

For example, in order to photograph the sole of the sneaker, prop it upright or on its side and zoom in for the closeup.

 
 

2. Spray with canned air to remove dust

Give the sneaker a few sprays with some canned air to make sure it isn't marked or blemished with any unwanted dust particles.

 

And shoot...

sneaker4.jpg
sneaker5.jpg

What we'd really appreciate is...

Thanks for reading our tutorial on photographing sneakers 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