How to Guide: Mobile Photography for Footwear 

How to Guide: Mobile Photography for Footwear 

You’ve got an amazing catalogue of footwear that you want to showcase online, and just your mobile phone for help, so what is next? How do you get the best eCommerce images of shoes by just using your trusted mobile phone and some ingenuity? Take it from us, it is a snap! Shooting footwear and taking great product photographs is no longer a hard task. Read on to find out the best mobile photography tips and tricks to get outstanding images for your online store.


All it takes is a decent mobile Camera

So if you have been flaunting that phone of yours because of the amazing selfies you get out the camera, now is the time to be truly proud of your purchase!  Yes- mobile photography is all about ensuring you have the right camera on your device. So before you do anything else, make sure you have a mobile phone that has a decent camera for product photography (at least 8MP) and an advanced capture application. Spend a bit of money and upgrade your camera app to the cost-effective “Camera+” or a similar application that will give you full control of your  product photo shoot. There are a lot of great mobile devices out there, and with a bit of research you should be able to find the best phone for your requirements. 


White Backgrounds are your Best Bet

The first thing to keep in mind is to make sure the shoe looks clean. Ensure you clean it well by removing any dust or stains  before embarking on the photo shoot so when it goes up online, the customer can truly appreciate all its features like material and colour.

 For eCommerce images, white backgrounds work best so invest in a white chart paper or backdrop against which you can shoot the footwear. White also ensures that the colour of the shoe really is showcased, and no other colour distracts from that. On your phone ensure your white balance is set to auto (AWB) for an easier shoot experience. Make sure you choose the right settings as per the environment you are clicking in. 

Make sure the background of the images, if not white, is clean and free of clutter. If you are shooting on a coloured background, make sure the shoe does not match the background as this will distract focus from your product. Clutter in the background only distracts people from your main goal: selling the shoe through great product photography. 

Lights, Camera, Action!

Make sure you are taking the images in an area with a lot of natural light. However, avoid direct sunlight as it can be harsh and can hamper the capture of details. If natural light is not present, then invest in a spotlight so that the image you capture is well lit. This is a requisite of eCommerce images as customers want to be able to view a product with clarity. Even taking a normal desk light or lamp can help you add a much-needed boost of light to your image. Experiment using your flash and leaving it off, so you get a sense of what works best in a final product shot. Avoid overexposed shots as these can look amateur. 

Making your Shoe the Perfect Model

Making your Shoe the Perfect Model

Make sure you choose whether you want to shoot the footwear together or one shoe at a time. Many times posing one shoe makes for better product photography as it is easier to capture it from multiple angles. Another trick is to stuff your shoe with toilet paper or rolled paper so that it has a worn look and gives a more natural feel to the product . Else, if you have someone willing to model for you, ask them to wear the shoe- nothing looks better than the real thing, after all!

Size matters! Even if you have a model or if you do not, the best shoe sizes for product photography is EU size 37 (UK 4, US 6.5) and men’s EU size 42 (UK 8, US 8.5). If you are using a model, try and pick one with slender legs and do not use their whole body. Just focus on their leg and the footwear, preferably in an action shot (like jumping, or kicking a ball). With a model in the image, the product photography takes on a more relatable and contextual story, making it easier for someone to imagine themselves in the footwear. 

Post Shoot Choices

Once you shoot the image on the white background, provide natural shadows. Crop the image wisely, for this you can consult several websites on how-tos, so your product image looks polished. Make sure you take images of the shoe from several angles, as most customers want to get a feel of the product completely. Top shots, side shots and bottom shots are all essential. Retouch the images if need be but be careful to be subtle about the same as you do not want it to look artificial.  When choosing the angles of the shoe when you shoot it, keep in mind the type of footwear it is.  For instance, if you are shooting high heels, you will want to also shoot it from the back to show the heel off.


Consistency is the Way to Go

Consistency is the Way to Go

When doing mobile photography of  footwear for a listing or as eCommerce images, one of the main mobile photography tips and tricks to keep in mind is a consistent style. Whatever setting you choose on your mobile phone for one image, should remain the same for all images.  Keep the lighting consistent, the AWB and the flash settings.  If capturing one shoe from four different angles, capture the next one from these angles as well. Always ensure you capture every interesting detail of the footwear as this will help your customer make a better decision when purchasing.  Veer away from using blur effects or soft focus.  This will only take away from the clarity of your product images and is better suited to more artsy photo shoots than for product shoots.  Rather use a higher aperture or an app that allows for higher aperture abilities, so the details of the footwear are highlighted.

Never Lay Shoes Flat!

Another tip when shooting footwear is never lay the shoes flat! This makes for very unflattering and lifeless images. If you want to shoot shoes without someone wearing them, try to centre them on something – preferably a podium of some sort. This allows the customer to really get a sense of the product from the eCommerce images. Think of the way shoes are presented in retail stores- upright and usually stuffed with paper. This is done with a purpose in mind- to give the customer the best sense of what they will look like when worn. 

Once you have shot your shoe images, make sure the cropping is on point. Do not crop too tightly or loosely on the product. Rather keep a template that you use for consistency throughout so all your images flow well together. Templatizing the process will also make it more efficient and rapid when you do shoot your images. 

In short, it is not that hard to take some amazing mobile images for listing your footwear online. There are a plethora of apps available to help out, and insightful tutorials online to make the process as easy as 1,2,3. 


Summary: Showcasing a catalogue of shoes as ecommerce images by taking a mobile shoot is not as hard as it looks. Just read for the best mobile photography tips and tricks to achieve professional results. #mobilephotography #shoes #footwear #whitebackground #consistency #templates 

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