As discussed previously, photographing the shoes we have made is important to our business. One of the biggest pieces of feedback we've had is that the shoe designer isn't realistic enough. It would be a significant investment to make the designer more realistic, and that's an investment we'll hold off making for a while, but one improvement we can make is to add photos into our shoe designer of 'shoes similar to the one you've designed'. Design a shoe in red patent leather and we'll show you a photo of a shoe made in red patent leather. Select the 4.5 inch heel with a platform and we'll show you a photo of a shoe made with a 4.5 inch heel with a platform.
To do this properly we need great photos of our shoes. So we've been investing in photography equipment and I've been teaching myself product photography. So far we've purchased:
Canon EOS 500D Camera
Canon 50mm Lens
Home made light box
2 x 70w 5500K lights
1 x 168w 5500K light
One of the great thing about the camera we bought is that you can tether it to your computer and see the shot your going to get on your computer screen before you actually take it (see the image at the top of this post).
Our biggest challenge with the product photography is getting the colours right. The leather colour in the shoe photographs needs to match the leather colour in real life, otherwise we're going to have disappointed customers. To give you an example of how much the colour can vary take a look at these two photos of a gold soft leather shoe:
This photo is with the white balance on the camera set properly. The shoe looks silver.
For this photo I adjusted the white balance and this is the actual colour of the leather. Trouble is now the background is an ugly orange. We could cut out the image of the shoe and photoshop the background white, or alternatively make the adjustments to the silver looking shoe to make it gold, but that's difficult to do properly and when we're photographing multiple pairs of shoes each day we want to be able to get the image right first time.
The photos above were done with our old lights and since then we've bought 5500 Kelvin (the same as sunlight) professional photography lights. Check this light out!
The new lights have improved the colour issues, but we're still having problems matching blues without using photoshop.
Any suggestions are most welcome!