Shoe Photography Guide

If you want your shoes to sell fast and to sell at your desired sale price then you should set a bit of time aside to prepare before taking the photos you will use in your ad. A little effort beforehand can make a massive difference to the end result. Remember you should be aiming to catch the buyer's attention and to do this your photos need to make your shoes look good.

We have put together a useful shoe photography guide to help you achieve this:

Prepare your shoes
If your shoes have been worn make sure you clean them (take care not to damage them during this process as designer shoes can be quite delicate and often made with multiple materials that may need special cleaning liquids). For some shoe types or shapes you may also need to stuff them, for example boots may need padding out etc. (you could use some socks or old newspaper for this).

Find a good shooting place and position
Find and arrange the best place to photograph your shoes on and the best place to position yourself so you can take photos at the same level as shoes. For example as it is best to take photos of shoes at direct level i.e. looking straight at them and NOT looking down or up at them you should choose a surface to place shoes where it is easy for you to position yourself so you are able to do this. Perhaps place them on a table that is against a wall and use a chair to sit on whilst shooting or put them on a chair and find a position where you can kneel down to be able to shoot them at direct level etc.

Try and take the photos against a white background if possible. Most houses or offices should have at least one white wall or you could even arrange a few pages of white paper or a white sheet behind and underneath shoes if necessary. Products are usually shot against white backgrounds as this takes any distractions away, so the only thing to look at is the actual product.

Check lighting & camera
Check your lighting - stick to softer natural light (avoid harsh, bright lights but if you need a lamp then point in the general direction around the shoes and not directly at them). You should aim for your shoes to be fairly evenly lit to avoid unnecessary shadows. Most high spec cameras have very good flash settings so in this case you may not even need to worry about lighting.

A digital camera  with at least 10 megapixels would be good but not essential.  Also check your camera to make sure it is on the highest mega pixel setting and that check the flash is switched on.

Recommended type of photos to take and how many
You should take a good selection of photos to entice the buyer and reduce the amount of questions each potential buyer will ask have to ask you.  We recommend taking at least 4 different photos but 8 photos would be even better. We also recommend taking your photos in landscape format i.e. keep your camera at the widest view.

Recommended essential 4 photos:
1. Both shoes with toes pointing forward diagonally right (a standard main image for most shoe selling sites)
2. Back of the pair of shoes
3. Shoe side view
4. Shoe inside view

Extra 4 photos to improve selling chances and show authenticity:
5. Close up of detail (buckle, bow, snakeskin etc.)
6. Bottom soles
7. Label close up
8. Shoe bag/box

It would help if you kept this page open when taking your photos so you can look at our 8 example photos below and try your best to copy these. It should be fairly easy to place your shoes in the same positions we have so you are able to take the same shots. You may want to take a couple of each position to make sure you have a few to pick from just in case one turns out blurry or dark etc.

Remember to take your photos in normal landscape view (for example if you turned your camera around it would take a portrait shaped photo which would not look as nice in your online Ad). Also you will see from our examples below that we have cropped each image to the same square shaped size, this is not essential but it will make your shoe ad look better. You will see further information about editing images below.

Shoe Photography Examples

Taking photos
Make sure you are in a comfortable position at direct level to the shoes so that there is no distortion due to perspective.
Keep your hand sturdy as even a slight move could cause the images to be blurry. You could stand the camera on a box/stool or even use a tripod if you have one.

Checking photos
Use your digital camera viewing screen to click through the images and compare to our examples to make sure you have taken the 4 - 8 photos we have recommended. If you feel some can be improved or if you have missed a particular position then re-take any required.

Processing & preparing photos
Editing your images afterwards can be beneficial because you can fix anything that wasn't quite right, for example lighting can be fixed to a certain extent using brightness & contrast tool settings. You could also tweak the white balance colours if necessary.

After editing you can resize and crop your photos to a square shape of at least 500px height and width, try and keep a small but equal amount of white space around.  Most computers come with a free photo editing program like Microsoft Picture Manager, however you could also use free online photo editing sites like

Congratulations you are done - happy selling!