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Improve Your Product Photos by Adding Shadow in Photoshop

By adding shadows in Photoshop in product photography creates a sense of depth, context, and realism. This extra realism can have a significant effect on the sales performance of your product images for your business.

If you want to make professional product images, you don’t need a big budget or a bunch of people. All you need is a couple of hours of product photos and some post-production stuff

Using shadows can help make your products look more natural and realistic by adding shapes and depth. But if you’re shooting in a studio, it might be hard to get the shadow you want, especially if you’re not a pro. However, you can add shadows with Photoshop during post-production.

Here’s the steps of adding shadows in Photoshop given below.

What is Shadow Making in Product Photography?

Product photography is an essential skill for any business person. It requires many skills, such as editing, lighting, photoshop and shadowing. It may seem like a simple process, but shadowing requires understanding light physics, optics and creativity. 

Silhouetting or shadowing is an amazing photography technique that makes a product look more attractive and easier to concentrate on. Shadow changes the product’s angle, shape, brightness, contrast and light. It also makes the subject look better to the audience. 

To know more about Shadow Making click on this link and check it out.

Process Of Adding Shadow In Photoshop

There are many benefits of adding shadows in product photography. To know the benefits, click here Benefits Of Shadow Making and have a look at this article.

Creating shadows in Photoshop can be tricky because there are so many different types of shadows. You also need to consider where the light’s coming from in your photo. If you want to add a person to another background, you’ll want to make sure the shadows match the light. Follow these steps to get started.

Step 1: Create a new background and place your Subject

To add a shadow to an existing background due to a lighting issue, use background removal technique and isolate the subject and place it on a separate layer. 

Additionally, various adjustment layers should be applied to the image to prepare it for the shadow to be added. 

The best way to remove a background is to use the Select Subject button located in the Options bar, which is active when using the Object Selection Tool, and then to hide the background using a layer mask. 

Once the subject is ready to be placed on the new background, the shadow-add process can begin.

Step 2: Determine the direction of the light source and the true shadow color using the existing shadows

When you add something new to a photo, you have to find the new light source. Sometimes you can see the sun or light right in the photo, and sometimes you have to look for indirect light sources. Before you start making the shadow, it’s a good idea to figure out what the shadow color is going to be. You can use the shadows in the background of the photo to figure that out.  To find the shadow color, look at the existing shadow near the subject. Then, click on the area of the shadow closest to the subject. The foreground color will be the color you pick. It might look black, but double-click on it in the Toolbar and you’ll see it’s not totally black. Keep the foreground color the same since you’ll be using it later. Wanna know how to lighten shadows in Photoshop? Then read out this article quickly.

Step 3: Create a solid-filled copy of the subject

To start, you’ll need to make another selection around your subject. This will act as the base for the shadow and can be done with any selection tool. If you’ve removed your subject from the background, it’ll be easy to pick it up in the ‘Layers’ panel. Find the layer you want to cut out your subject on in Layers, then click on the thumbnail to bring up a selection of images around it. 

To add a new layer underneath your subject, you can either select the subject layer or layer group in Layers, or hold in Control or Command in Windows or Mac to click on the “add layer icon” in Layers.

Create a new layer underneath the layer you just selected. To keep track of all layers, rename it to “Shadow”. Keep the Shadow layer on canvas while selecting around the subject. Fill the area with the Shadow color you want to include in the foreground swatch. Use Alt+Backspace on Windows or Option+Delete on Mac to do this.

The new layer will remain hidden, but you will see the fill in Layers panel.

Step 4: Flip the shadow and move it into position

Select the subject, press Control + D on keyboard, or Command + D to activate Free Transform. In the transform field, select Flip Vertical, then right-click on Shadow. 

Move Shadow down, until it touches the edge of Subject. The Shadow may slide onto the canvas, however, this is not a significant issue.

Step 5: Correct the angle and perspective of the shadow.

Next, change the angle and perspective of the shadow. If the light is coming from an angle, then your shadow should match that angle too. To do this, look at the nearest shadows in the image. 

Move your mouse pointer to the right before the transform box. Click and drag to rotate the mouse pointer left or right. Then, match the shadow’s angle with the angles of other shadows.

To align the shadow to the subject’s edge, click and drag it. To alter the shadow’s perspective, right-click on it (Windows/control + click (Mac)). 

Select ‘Properties’ and click on either of the anchor points to deform the shadow. You can observe how each anchor point, as well as the direction in which the shadow is moved, deform the shadow. 

Finally, press ‘Enter’ to confirm your changes.

Step 6: Blend the shadow into the image using the multiply blend mode and opacity.

Select the Shadow layer and select the “Blending Mode” drop-down menu located next to Normal. Select the “Multiply” option from the Blend Mode list. Use the Opacity slider to lower the layer’s opacity, attempting to match the surrounding shadows’ opacity. Generally, a range of 65% to 85% is recommended. At this point, the shadow should appear lighter and more harmonized with the background.

Step 7: Blur the shadow using gaussian blur.

Now that you’ve got the right shadow and angle, you can blur it out. The amount of blur you need on your subject depends on how bright the light is in your shot. If the light is intense, you’ll get sharp, defined shadows. 

If you want to add a shadow blur to your image, go to your Shadow layer, select it, and then go to Filter > Blur> Gaussian Blur. Open up the Gaussian Curve window and click on Preview to see the changes. 

Move the Radius slider to the right and watch the canvas. Follow the other shadows and add the right amount of blur for your image. Click OK.

Step 8: Add a gradient layer mask to the shadow.

Most shadows fade out as you move them away from the source. If you want to add a shadow mask to your Shadow layer, click on the “Add Layer Mask” icon in the lower Layers panel and then select the “Gradient Tool” in the Toolbar. You can then adjust some of the settings in the “Options” bar.

Select a basic black to white gradient from the drop-down menu and set it to Linear (the first icon after the preset menu). Set the Mode to Normal and set the Opacity to 100%.

Move to the point where the shadow is positioned off the canvas. Draw a line from the shadow to the visible shadow.

As the shadow moves away from the object, you can now observe how it begins to fade. The fade can be as strong or as soft as desired. A realistic shadow effect will now be added to the image.


This tutorial has provided a comprehensive guide on adding shadows in Photoshop, which can be used to increase sales in the Ecommerce sector and draw in more customers.

Basically, natural shadows are really important when it comes to e-commerce photography. They help you make product images that are eye-catching and realistic, so you can draw in and engage customers. 

They make your products stand out from the crowd, show professionalism, and add depth and meaning to your photos, especially when it comes to furniture photography.

Finally, I hope that now you have learned the process of adding shadows in Photoshop perfectly.

Frequently Asked questions

Add a Drop Shadow effect to the layer containing your isolated object for the quickest and easiest way to add a shadow in Photoshop.

By selecting the layer and selecting Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow... from the menu at the top of the application window, you can add a layer effect called a drop shadow to any layer in Photoshop. Drop shadows can be changed to create shadows that look realistic, but plain, unaltered drop shadows make the item appear flat, as if it were a piece of paper casting a shadow on another piece of paper beneath it.

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