Shooting modern athletic sneakers is actually a complex art. Studio 3, Inc. has shot a variety of footwear over the many decades we’ve been in business – in fact, shoe photography is one of our specialties!
The colors in modern sneakers pose many issues for post-processing and retouching work. Why? Because the 80’s are back to stay – and the eye-searing bright neons, pops of complimentary color, and swaths of new textures can fight for dominance in the photograph. Placed side-by-side the different colors and textures are a major selling point for the discerning consumer…but for the photographer they can be a real challenge to shoot in a way so they appear true-to-life and inviting. Also, the product itself may have certain areas that are less than perfect as-is. Enter the essential Digital Artist, who in post-processing gives all those design details the Studio 3 treatment to make them cohesive and the product a total stand-out.
The Before photo: color looks a little “flat” in areas; adjacent color bleeds; seams need smoothing; small surface imperfections; reflective areas too reflective; logo appears not to as a solid color.
Even with our photography professionals’ extensive lighting and shooting experience, straight out of camera the sneaker presents some issues that a skilled retoucher must address before the photo can truly be called “finished.”
First the minor surface imperfections need to be addressed, including glue in the seams, divots in plastic areas, seams not appearing smooth, stitches being askew, and texture not “reading” when on a reflective part. Then the major color-correction work begins: blacks are darkened to appear “true;” color is mixed with complementary colors to tone down the brightness in some areas. Colors bleeding into areas they shouldn’t are smoothed out and toned down. Any colors that appear washed-out or with other underlying color tones are saturated more to appear more vivid.
The After: the sneaker appears bright and perfect, just as the brand envisioned.
Then finally the entire sneaker was “knocked-out” (i.e., isolated from its surroundings) in order to be placed onto a clean black background for the client.
Do you see the difference? Which sneaker looks nicer, more vibrant, cooler? Which one do you think a shopper would be more drawn to? Don’t let your images fall prey to the “oh, it looks good enough” syndrome…make sure they POP with Studio 3’s retouching capabilities. Give us a ring to see how we can make your footwear FLY.
Brooks running sneakers shot by Jonny Brandt. Post-processing retouching work by Digital Artist Carl Beery.