Shooting Joseph Kigonya’s New Shoe Collection

Joseph Kigonya designs and sells beautifully crafted men’s shoes and we’ve been lucky enough to shoot his collections with a relatively open brief, allowing us to flex a little creative muscle in the studio. Test shots and client feedback give us our framework, but it’s great to have the opportunity to try a few different things and hopefully surprise and delight a client. As with any product photography, it’s imperative we represent our subjects in a flattering, but accurate light, so colour checking and proper light metering are essential (aren’t they always?!). It’s great to stylize and add a little drama in some shots, but it’s best for e-commerce to also represent the items faithfully if potential customers and stockists are to truly know what they’ll be ordering.

This week, we found ourselves working on Joseph’s brand new collection. We kept things relatively simple, relying on one overhead strobe light with softbox (and a couple of bounce cards to fill shadows), freeing us up to concentrate on our product compositions and backdrops. We wanted to convey both the premium elegance and durability of Kigonya’s creations, so we married high-key, glossy shots with some more industrial creations, raiding our extensive props stores for brushed aluminium and embossed steel plate settings. Having already shot what we thought the client was after, we let loose a little, using some huge blue painted backdrops and a single, honeycombed bulb to achieve a little ostentatious theatricality. By shooting so the frame fades to black at all edges, we’ll easily be able to have a little fun in photoshop later, comping together several shots for banner images and the like. As with any job, a little retouching is involved, but after years specialising in commercial photography, we’ve learned that a few minutes spent with a dusting cloth in the studio can save hours with a mouse in the editing suite, so these shots have had minimal post-production. Enjoy.