How To Add Shadow To Product Photography In Photoshop

How To Add Shadow To Product Photography In Photoshop

If you are looking to take your e-commerce product images on your website from amateur to professional, then you need to be going the extra mile in terms of their appearance. Simple and understated details like using realistic product shadows can really take your product photos to the next level.

If you take the time and effort on your product images, it will directly translate into your customers feeling more in tune with your brand and willing to spend money with you.

You don’t need a huge budget or a big team to create excellent product photos, it just takes patience and an attention to detail to make your images pop.

So, how do we add shadows to our product photography?

Using Adobe Photoshop we will show you below how to add a realistic shadow to product image – we will be using a shoe to illustrate the method. You will be able to apply these methods to virtually any product you wish.

Step-By-Step Guide To Adding A Shadow To A Product Image In Photoshop

First thing’s first let’s open Adobe Photoshop and load the image we wish to add the shadow too.

 load an image in photoshop

The shoe is on a white background and it doesn’t have any shadow at all, to begin with. As you can see the image looks a little bit flat and also not very realistic.

shoe is on a white background

We are going to create a new layer between the background and shoe layers. We are going to click create a new layer in the bottom right-hand corner (Layer 1).

create a new layer between the background and shoe layers

Click on the colour picker on the left-hand side, then choose black as our foreground colour.

Click on the colour picker on the left-hand side

Select the brush tool on the left-hand toolbar.

Select the brush tool on the left-hand toolbar

Click the brush size button on the top toolbar. Then adjust the hardness so we have a nice feathered brush. Bring it write down to 0%.
(Top Tip: You can use the square brackets button to make the brush bigger or smaller)

Click the brush size button on the top toolbar

Next, we are going to select the ellipse marquee tool on the left-hand toolbar.

select the ellipse marquee tool on the left-hand toolbar

We need to draw a shape roughly the same shape and size as this.

We need to draw a shape roughly the same shape and size as this

With the fill tool, we’ll just fill that with black

With the fill tool

We now position the shape to reflect the angle of the shadow. It does not need to be that accurate at this stage.

 position the shape to reflect the angle of the shadow

We need to adjust the opacity bringing it down slightly. This will be adjusted for the later on. You can also change the layer name from Layer 1 to shadow if you wish.

We need to adjust the opacity bringing it down slightly

Click add a layer mask in the bottom right-hand corner.

Click add a layer mask in the bottom right-hand corner

Make sure black colour is selected and also the mask is selected in the shadow layer.

Make sure black color is selected

We can now gently brush into the ellipse shape. The top right-hand Edge the ellipse is going to be a lot lighter than the bottom end closer to the shoe. As we find in all Shadows, using the mass gives a lot of flexibility in adding and removing the black or white colours.

gently brush into the ellipse shape

We want to end up with something that looks roughly like this.

We want to end up with something that looks roughly like this

The layer selected and not the mask for the shadow layer. We are going to click filter at the top of the screen, down to Blur, then select Gaussian blur.

The layer selected and not the mask for the shadow layer

We are now going to apply the minimum amount of Blur that we require. This is going to be anything around close to the shoe. As you move away from the shoe it is going to get fainter but also more blurred.

We are now going to apply the minimum amount of Blur that we require

You can bring it up or down a bit more if you need to. Adjust as you see fit.

Adjust as you see fit

Now it’s simply a case of adding and removing the Blur, add/remove dark or light colour to the shadow mask and adjusting the opacity until we are happy how everything looks. You can keep adjusting the settings until you find something that looks completely believable.

adding and removing the Blur

So that’s the basic principles behind adding a shadow to a product image. It may take a bit of practice until you are comfortable creating Shadows. But once you have mastered it you will be able to create a number of Shadows very quickly.

the basic principles behind adding a shadow to a product image

Want to see this full tutorial? You can watch the full tutorial of one of our favourite Photoshop Artists Dansky below:

 

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