Countless years ago, I do not remember precisely, I must have seen a costume room on television where all the articles were packaged safely and neatly in bags and boxes each with a photograph and description of the contents. What a grand idea, so I filed it away under "Someday When I Have a Wardrobe and Closet Worthy". Well, the time and place may not be perfectly matched with the description but it's close enough to give it a try.
My office/studio was already set up (I love having that dedicated space!) so instead of moving my gear into the bedroom closer to the closet I carried the shoe boxes out three or four at a time to photograph. I made this a fun and functional time by trying on some of my favorites and making sure the boxes and packing materials were adequate, such as taping box corners and adding tissue paper when needed.
These photographs are not intended to be great artistic works, simply a visual document to accurately portray the shoes. Therefore to expedite the project I simply had the prints made at Walgreens, where they conveniently had a "buy 25 get 25 free" sale on 4x6 prints. I needed 47 so I added a few nicer photos of some shoes I had taken previously. One hour and $5 later I was ready to complete the project.
Smaller boxes required some photo edge trimming and I even cut a few prints in half to affix part to the box top and the other to the box itself. On the back I wrote the brand, style, color, when and where I purchased them and, when applicable, for what occasion. This is easiest with the original box and receipt which I try to keep together. The following is an example of the type of photo I used. These are my current favorite summer sandals, an adequate alternative to my favorite gold flats which I have worn out, hence rendering them unwearable (those who know me well know those shoes well too). Born Concepts, Bryleigh:
For good measure, my favorite gold flats, Cole Haan Air Gabi (RIP):
I used clear tape (not the frosted Scotch tape that I hate) and attached the top of the photos to the front of the box so I can flip the photo up and see the label on the box and the information written on the back of the photo. The shoe boxes are not organized on the shelves, eventually I would like to but I can't figure out a good system. It would make sense to sort them by classification but that would result in having to struggle with boxes on the bottom of stacks. An alternative is keeping the out of season shoes on the bottom with the in-season on top, but that naturally occurs anyway simply through use. I have already over-thought the issue so I am leaving it as is for now.
My widest lens begins at 18mm and is not wide enough to capture the whole closet, but then again does a woman really want her entire closet open to the world? Likely not. Not pictured here are the four large boot boxes on the floor to the right, the out-of-box shoes on a shoe rack on the floor to the left and the other out-of-box shoes on an over-the-door shoe rack on the door to the right. Yes, I have too many shoes.
Photo 1: Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM
Photos 2, 3, 4: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD