The Shoe Snob Blog

January 17, 2014

Written by , Posted in News

Good Photography

Gaziano & Girling Kent

Gaziano & Girling Kent

I think that good photography is crucial to any product business. A photograph can make or break the look of a shoe. The most beautiful shoe in the world can be made ugly through an unflattering angle or bad resolution or whatever it may be. And on the other hand, even some horrible shoes can be made to look nice with good photography. It’s amazing how popular photography has become in the men’s style industry. Maybe we should thank The Sartorialist or Ethan Desu for this as they were among the first pioneers to take charge in this new trend of normal people (i.e. people who did not study photography) becoming great photographers. Now everyone is a photographer and the web is flooded with beautiful photography. I have been late to hop on the train, first and foremost because I can’t afford a +£3000 camera but also because my life for the past 3 years has been confined to a little desk at Gieves & Hawkes. But alas my time is going to be freed up and I think that investing in a good camera is pertinent, so I will be trying to follow the trend and up my photography game!

Gaziano & Girling Nice

Gaziano & Girling Nice, photo for Skoaktiabolaget by Charlie Bennett

Gaziano & Girling Wigmore, photo courtesy of Ethan Desu

Gaziano & Girling Wigmore, photo courtesy of Ethan Desu

 

  • RogerP

    Justin – as a professional photographer friend has told me more than once – it’s more about the lighting than the camera. You’d be amazed at the high quality product photos that can be taken with a $300 point-and-shoot, if you have proper lighting. And the good news is that you don’t need to spend sveral thousand dollars on good lighting gear.
    But to your main point, with the spectacular ascension of e-commerce, quality photography is a competitive neccessity.

    • TheShoeSnob

      yea I know and have been told the same…lighting is the key…natural light is best….will have to put my £300 camera to the test! I just hate carrying it everywhere….

  • RogerP is correct about cameras and lighting. A thousand dollars will get you a camera system that is better than your photographic talents will ever be — given that most of your effort should go towards making shoes. My pet peeve is shoes photographed with wide-angle lenses such as on an iPhone (eqv35mm); is there actually is a market for high-end clown shoes?!

    • TheShoeSnob

      duly noted!

  • Laurence

    “Now everyone is a photographer and the web is flooded with beautiful photography.”

    As a professional photographer and cinematographer I must take exception to this. Everyone is not a photographer, and the web is flooded with what is often, quite mediocre photography.

    Does this website make everyone a shoe designer?
    http://www.itailor.com/designshoes/#/menu-main-type

    Yes, the digital “revolution” has brought what were previously quite complex things into the hands of anyone with a few hundred pounds to spend, but as another poster has said, it really is all about the lighting, and knowing what to do with it. One doesn’t need a £3000 camera. One just needs to know how to exploit the camera you’ve got to the best advantage.

    On the subject of shoes and photography, I really wish that manufacturers and retailers would should photos of their shoes in the real world. On the street as well as in the studio on a white cyc.

    • TheShoeSnob

      awww Laurence, I did not mean to insult you and other proper photographers. You guys could never be replaced! My statement was more of a facetious generalization as it really has become a trend for all bloggers to buy expensive cameras, carry them wherever they go and take “good” photos….not that they are really all good photographers…and all I was saying was that I need to get on the bandwagon as opposed to using my crummy phone camera….

      As per shoe brands taking real life photos of shoes, well I definitely agree with that and will plan to do that for my upcoming ecommerce site as a shoe to me looks better on a foot in a real life situation than on a boring white background

      • Cyril

        The difficulty I see in most advertising / editorial photography when it comes to men’s shoes is that if it involves a person wearing it, the focus is rarely on the shoe. Usually the campaign revolves around conveying a message that they’re trying to sell a certain lifestyle linked to the shoes; so the ENTIRE outfit comes into play. Which takes focus away from the shoes, which goes back to square one.

        It’s a lot like cosmetics IMO. It’d probably be better photographed as a still life piece with a styled setting instead of being shot being worn. Plus it gives you more options to play with artistically for the photo

  • giorgio

    Why is there such a strong resemblance between your “Wedgwood – Burgundy Calf” and the “Gaziano & Girling Wigmore” you show here. I am a bit surprised, because it gives me the impression that you took the motivation from such a near source, or didn´t you?

    • TheShoeSnob

      it always seems that you want to challenge me when you comment. but fine, I don’t mind. But if you want to basically say that I copied them, just do it and don’t try to be diplomatic about it. Okay well first and foremost, I can maybe see how to the untrained eye that they could be similar but in reality they are very different. I have attached a picture of the Wigmore in the actual color that it has always come in by G&G. The boot you see in this picture (in the post) was either a special make up for The Armoury or an MTO. And I had just found that picture the day that I wrote the post. I had designed my Wedgwood in Burgundy about 7 months ago and then the model altogether before I even met G&G in person….You can see that the pattern is very different, where I have a separate heel counter (they don’t), a very different last shape (round versus chisel) and no medallion on my toe. There are only so many ways that you can actually design a balmoral boot without trying to reinvent it. And my burgundy is way more red than their’s is so in reality, I don’t see what you are talking about…. But even if I did take inspiration, what’s your point? Should I not make a black cap toe since everyone else has one? Give me a break, please. I don’t need to copy to succeed.

      • Sharper Living

        Even to the fairly-untrained eye, they’re not that similar (personally, I prefer the look of yours with the rounded toe).

        Don’t try and make any black cap-toe oxfords either, Justin. You’ll only be copying everyone.

        • TheShoeSnob

          🙂

      • Giorgio

        I AM just sorry, if I offended you. It was not my intention at all. Really not! I do feel free to ask, if i am interested. It is nothing more than that. I was interested to ask you. Keep in mind, that we never sat face to face, and if I ask you something in a post, It may feel offending, and it is never meant like that.
        I am an art historian, and so, as you are, I am very much into my themes. Hope you do not mind if I keep on asking. I like you. But that would never mean to pamper you.
        Yours very truly, Giorgio

  • Patrik

    Just FYI, that photo of the G&G Nice is courtesy of Skoaktiebolaget and photographed by Charlie Bennett. 🙂

    • TheShoeSnob

      Thanks for that Patrik, tried to search for the credit on Google but could find it…will adjust it as soon as I get home.

  • TheShoeSnob

    done! Everyone credited. Good chatting today. Look forward to May!

    • Patrik

      Yup, me to, it will be a great event and good fun!

  • I hope I’m not replying to a too-old post but I felt moved to enter this discussion because seriously, that third photo is bad. The shoes blend in with the background and the whole picture is too busy. It lacks a focal point. The reason this upsets me is that the title and main point of the article are about good photography being indispensable. That third photo wouldn’t cut it for me, and I’m just an amateur photographer.

    Criticism aside, I really appreciate this blog, which has been very inspiring. I’ve always loved shoes, but only recently have I realized I love really nice shoes.

    • TheShoeSnob

      Thanks for sharing Mark and am happy to hear that you enjoy the site. I can see your point for criticism of the photo itself, but what I was really referring to is how the shoes look in good photography, not necessarily the photograph itself, if that makes any sense. The shoes, for me, look nice in that photo, although I do agree that the background stuff was not necessary…