Last weekend I had a crazy marathong of weddings (4 back to back) and if I didn't have my very precise idea of how to do what I would have been lost. Each and every wedding is unique, and so are the details and the people and the events, but when it comes down to certain styled shots (like rings, invitations, shoes, etc..), besides the creative part of styling, if you don't have an idea of what is going to look good and what is going to give you the best results afterall, than you're going to waste a lot of time trying.
So here are my advice to photograph the wedding shoes like a pro, and it will only require you a few minutes of your precious time on the wedding timeline ;)
1. Natural light
Ok Ok, You've heard me saying this many times ..but that is actually the first rule! If you want a pretty natural feel, feminine and delicate you need to look for the light, literally. Place your shoes next to a window, and if there is not window in the bridal room (for whatever reason.. and it happens sometimes..), you can watch this video in which I tell you how I recreate window light.
If you can find a place where there is a lot of natural bouncing light, due to the walls or the ground use it at your advantage to create beautiful, darling shots like this one.
I generally prefere to have the light his the shoes on their side, or from the back for a nice backlighting, I don't recommend to place the point of the shoes towards the light unless you're taking care of the heels of the shoes that maybe have some pretty unbelievable details.
2. Try to style the shot
I understand that the most immediate way to take the wedding shoes photo is just to merely place the shoes next to each other but try instead to style the composition of the photo in a different way and you'll be surprised by the result!
3. Add a personal touch to the image
Each wedding as a color theme, and most of all each bride has an unmistakable style that speak for itself, so why don't you let that style shine on?! Overall you're there to capture memories and to tell a story, that is as unique as your clients are.
Try to add the wedding color to the photo, try to make it more personal and not just a detail photo of a mere cold object.
This is pretty but we are talking to be like pros here, so be picky! I think this is too impersonal, doesn't tell me anything about the bride, the wedding, the love story. Is just a cold object on top of a chair. I don't know how to explain it, but it feels kind of like: "I didn't have time or any idea at all, so the shoes were pretty and I shot them just like that..")..
Try this instead:
I used a piece of fabric of the same color of the bridesmaids dresses and I place the shoes on it, now suddenly we have a feminine, elegant and "warm" shot that feels more personal and styled other than just placed casually somewhere.
Last but not least, remember to take some shot of the details of the shoes. Some of them are real pieces of art and your brides spend weekes looking for the perfect ones, so..
Use your 100mm Macro Lense to capture the marvellous details and gift your bride with a beautiful shot that she will cherish forever.