5 tips to style footwear for stills and video


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In this tutorial, Matt Brasier is going to share with you 5 essential tips for styling footwear for stills and videos.  The secret to successful photoshoot lies in preparation and planning in advance.

You need to make sure you have a vision about what you want to shoot, how you see the final outcome (imagery) turning out, and, of course, prepare your products so they can look their best.

Start with the goal of why you’re shooting what you’re shooting and think about where your content is going to live. Then move on to deciding which shots you’d like to take, and equip yourself with all the right tools so you can be prepared.

Tips we cover in this post:

  • Pay attention to the laces

  • Prepare your shoes well

  • Workout the relationship between the two shoes

  • Play with the surfaces

  • Give your set some volume

You will need:


Pay attention to the laces

Any shoes with laces or straps need to be really neatened out. Make sure that you style those laces in an aesthetic way. This is a great opportunity to showcase a key element.

Use the laces as a styling element in your shots and try to do something more artistic and creative. That’s a really nice way to highlight a feature on a shoe. Play with them and see what works best. You could try to tie them in an interesting way so they attract attention or you can simply place them neatly over one side of the shoe. The possibilities are endless. See the examples below for reference.


Prepare your shoes well

Make sure any labels and stickers are removed before you begin shooting. You can get a pair of scissors and cut off any Kimball tags. You might also want to have a Kimball gun so you can put labels back on after a shooting. 

Also, you want to get your shoes nice and clean so prepare in advance and dust them properly with a soft cloth with which you can buff the shoes down a bit. Remove any dust with some canned air. If you do all that, when you put your shoe on the set, it’s going to look the best it possibly can. That’s what you want to show your customers browsing through your e-commerce store. Every shot speaks for your brand.


Workout the relationship between the two shoes

When you’re shooting shoes together, pay attention to the relationship, the space between the two shoes. If you’re shooting from a side profile, you might want to poke out the back shoe a bit so that the visitor can see that this is a pair.

The front shoe may obscure the back shoe a little bit. That’s okay. Similarly, if you have a tall product, you might want to give them a little bit of space, so they have a bit of breeding room. This creates a nice sort of relationship between those two shoes.


Play with the surfaces

You can use two different surfaces to get different looks as well. If you are using a matt surface, you should get a nice little contact shadow underneath the shoe which gives it a placement, it gives it somewhere to live.

You can also use a shiny surface, something that’s going to reflect the shoe into it. This is used to get a more luxurious looking shot. Those are 2 simple ways to add a little bit more interest into your final images or videos when shooting on a white background. Creating a contact shadow or a nice luxurious shiny surface can go a long way.


Give your set some volume

You can also use materials to stack up against your shoes a little bit and prop them up in some angles. You may even want to highlight the sole of the shoe in a shot. To make that happen you can prop it up with something like a sticky Blu Tack, or you could use a piece of wood just to hold that part of the shoe in place. 


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