Snapping a “perfectly laid-back, styled but not too” shoe shot does take a little bit of work, but it’s never been more worth it. Post yours for a chance to win a $2,000 Madewell shopping spree plus everything you need for a perfect day of strolling: two pairs of Madewell boots (your choice), Grado headphones, one year of Spotify Premium, a Mizu water bottle and snacks from Baked.* Now, to make sure you nail those photos, we gathered up five tried-and-true tips. Let’s get snapping.
1. Turn on your camera’s grid.
Overhead shoe shots aren’t just easy to take—they’re actually more pleasing to our aesthetic senses, so long as there’s some symmetry (i.e., your shoes are smack in the middle). Most camera apps come with a nine-square grid feature so you can make sure your feet are in the very center. (Here’s how to enable grids with an iPhone camera or in Instagram.)
2. Stick your behind out just a bit.
The most flattering angle for your legs from above is when you’re leaning back into your heels with your butt out just a bit. If you think we’re nuts, try it. Your legs will look longer, and it’s easier to squeeze the hem of your top in the frame.
3. Turn your phone upside down.
Try a different type of overhead shot if you’re strolling solo: fake a straight-on ground-level picture. Most phones’ cameras are at the top, right? Turn your phone upside down so the camera’s at the bottom and hold it out in front of your feet. Snap a couple straight on and then a few from the side. Review, repeat. Once you’re happy with it, flip the photo upside down on your screen so it looks like someone else took it.
4. Climb some stairs, take a walk.
Shoes are, as they say, made for walking, so have a friend capture you in action. Find a staircase and have him or her take a few pictures as you pass through the frame. It may feel cheesy, but play around a little: lift one toe up, cross your legs, widen your stance.
5. Take off your shoes.
It’s been said that shoes are little sculptures we can wear. Treat them like a work of art and pose them on contrasting (and clean) surfaces—think graphic tiles, eye-catching furniture, leafy piles. But don’t photograph them straight on—you’ll get more of their angles, curves and textures if you shoot from above or just a little below.
To make sure we see those works of art—and so you have a chance to win—make sure to tag them #wellheeled and #contest.
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*Open to legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.), 18 years or older. Enter Contest by 11/14/16. For Official Rules, including prize descriptions, visit www.madewell.com/wellheeledrules. Void where prohibited.