Leather Photography Tips for Beginners

leather photography tips

Leather material has different characteristics than other fabric materials. Its texture and how its surface reflects the lights, folded-line, and other elements make it stand out. Therefore, it will be quite challenging to capture it in a photo. Thus, leather photography became one of the most difficult parts of this art that not anyone could do it perfectly, especially a beginner photographer.

But, you don’t have to worry anymore. Here, we have leather photography tips for you who want to challenge this tricky photography art. In this case, upon reading this article, we hope you can start your journey to create a masterpiece with the leather item as its main object. Let’s check them out!

Decide the Lighting Setup First

Lighting is the core of photography. A proper adjustment of lighting could bring out the beauty of the object you capture through your camera lens. Leather is no different. You need to use the correct lighting adjustment to make it look great in a photo.

The three types of lighting you will need are:

  • Hard light – you use this type of light to create a shadow. Therefore, the light device you use is smaller than the leather items. It creates a better shadow that increases the visibility of the leather texture. In natural conditions, this kind of light is similar to the sun.
  • Soft light – this light is the opposite of hard light. It has a bigger dimension of the light spot, which creates softer shadows and faded edges. It is a good choice to emphasize the shape of the leather item and create a shiny reflection.
  • Diffused light – we also call it reflected light. It creates a softer lighting effect that reduces the shadow and shiny reflection intensity. You can create it by using a softbox or reflecting the light on the other object’s surface to illuminate the leather item.

A professional photographer uses the combination of those three lights to create balanced lighting for the leather item. Thus, you can adjust how you will present the leather items in your photo, based on the theme of the photo.

Change the Angle

Different angles create different vibes and stories. Depending on what part you want to show from your leather items, the shot angle could help you a lot. For example, a front and back photo is perfect to give information about what the leather product is.

A slightly high angle when showing the inside parts of the leather items gives you a photo of the item’s functionality, features, and such. It is a good choice for a product description photo. In addition, you can also try the close-up shot. It will capture the texture of the leather perfectly, showing its uniqueness and beauty. Use it to emphasize the greatness of small leather items, like a wallet or watches.

Prepare the Proper Equipment

Next, we move to the equipment. You might think you need expensive equipment to be able to shoot like a professional photographer. You are not wrong. A professional photographer uses the best equipment, which costs a lot of money. However, as a beginner, you don’t need to buy the same equipment as those professionals. You only need three types of equipment below to be able to capture leather products well.

  • The Shooting Platform –prepare a place where you can put the leather items for your shot. The shooting platform can create different kinds of vibes in your photo. For example, you can use wooden boxes to highlight the old and rustic leather product looks. Or, you also can use a plain smooth background, like white paper or fabric, to make it easier to retouch later.
  • Softbox – this tool is necessary to create the diffused light effect we mentioned before. We can call it the standard equipment all photographers must use. The diffused light effect creates a better and soft surface that won’t cover your leather product texture and create unnecessary shadow or reflection.
  • Boom arm – you need to provide extra lighting from the top angle. This equipment helps you in photographing small leather items, like wallets.

The type of camera is also something you should pick carefully. We recommend the SLR-type camera, either digital or analog. Choose the one that you like. The SLR camera type has various lenses you can use, including a Macro lens for close-up shots on small leather items to show the leather texture.

Spend Your Time on Retouching and Post-Production

Thanks to the photography editing technology, now you can do more at this stage. Choose the photo editing software that you like. Some popular products, like Photoshop, are the best choice for photo editing. But, if you have a low budget to purchase the software, try to use the free photo editing software. They are available on the internet, such as GIMP and others.

As for the photo editing step, beginners only need to adjust these three settings:

  • Brightness & Sharpness – use this feature to create the details on your photo. You will need it for the close-up shot for leather items where you want to show the texture of the leather.
  • Crop – cropping your photo to create a better composition is also necessary. For example, you can use this feature to change the distant shots into close-ups shots. Of course, your photo must be shot in the highest resolution. So, it won’t lower its quality.
  • Color swapping – use this feature for changing or editing the background color. Do not use it on the leather product color. A leather product has to be in its natural color to make it looks beautiful.

Are You Ready to Try Leather Photography?

At this point, we believe you are ready to try your first leather photography. However, if you think it is too difficult, especially for a product you want to promote, use the professional service. The best one yet for such a service is the photo editing services by dropicts. Consisting of professionals, experienced, and skillful members, Dropicts is ready to amaze you with their work on all photography-related projects at the best price. Try visiting the website at dropicts.com to find more about the service and the fabulous collection of the portfolio.


We are very happy be able to help you enhance your product image for your e-commerce site. We would like to see your e-commerce store looks beautiful and professional. For more product image optimization be sure to follow us and stay tuned to our latest article.