What Is Shadow Effect In Photos? 7 Benefits Of Using Shadow Effect

Updated on March 16, 2024 in Ecommerce by

What Is Shadow Effect In Photos? 7 Benefits Of Using Shadow Effect

As an image geek, I surely understand the Importance of the shadow effect in photos. Speaking honestly, shadows are considered as the distracting element for any product image, but if you know how to play with them, shadows can turn out to be a great advantage.

Natural shadows in the product images are best to enhance them but sometimes it becomes difficult to capture them. However, a few little tricks can help you capture suitable shadow effects in photos to make your product images look cool.

Post-production agencies are providing their image editing services, you can use them too if you’ve already captured the images. You can add the shadow effect in photos easily with their help.

But there is one point that should be considered, i.e. only one type of shadow effect should be used throughout all the images which will help you in maintaining consistency.

Choose a particular type of shadow which goes well with all your products and use them accordingly. Shadow effect in images will make your product look original and will help in increasing the understanding of it by the customers. And with that in mind, here are some elements that show the Importance of the shadow effect in photos for your store and website. 

There are a lot of points that make the shadow effect in photos an important element of product photography. Here are some of them

Importance of shadow effect in photos

1. Natural look

This is one of the biggest advantages of the shadow effect in photos. Shadows give a natural look and realistic feel to the product image. A product without any shadow seems artificial and looks like wallpaper instead of an original product. A tiny shadow adjacent to your product would do a lot to make it look natural.

2. Beautifies the image

Anything which looks realistic looks beautiful. The shadow effect in photos just makes that possible. Other than adding a realistic touch to the product image, it also beautifies the product. The shadow effect in images adds detailing to the image and enhances its appearance.

The value of an image is increased if a shadow is added to it. Also, customers find the images with shadows more pleasing as compared to the normal ones as long as it’s not too dark or harsh.

3. An Idea of relevant size and shape

The shadow effect in photos helps in a better understanding of the product. The relevant shape and size of the product can be easily understood with the help of shadows. Other than that, shadows help in reflecting the original texture of the product as well.

4. Creation of focus

If created wisely, shadow effects in photos can be effectively used to create a focus on the product. A product image has different elements that may sometimes steal the show. Shadows in such a case help to create a focus on the product only.

Darker shadows look less appealing than bright-colored products and therefore, the product emerges out as the star from the image.

5. Understanding of 3D geometry

Understanding the 3D geometry of the product may be difficult without the presence of shadows. The shadow effect in photos explains everything without any effort.

Of course, it’s not for all the customers because some may not be able to spot the shadow effect in images like I’m trying to explain but still, believe me, it works.

6. Brings attention towards the light

The shadow effect in images is the ones that divert attention towards the light. Light is incomplete without shadow and getting a shadow without light is impossible. Shadows first gain the attention of the viewers and then, they divert the mind of customers to the light source and then to the product.

Thus, shadows work positively for a product image. Mastering lighting would not be enough. One should also work upon shadows.

7. Creates contrast

The shadow effect in photos helps in creating a contrast with the colors present in the image. Shadows are darker in shade and act as a contrast with the colors of the product and background. Thus, adding drama to the image. Also, the high-contrast colors of the images help the product to stand out.

Details of the products are highlighted in an interestingly amazing way.

Types of shadow effect use in product photos

1. Natural shadows

Natural shadows

Natural shadows are the ones that are formed by placing an object in front of a light source. This would block the light and the shadow is created adjacent to the products.

The natural shadow effect in photos works best for product images and is created in the first place when you shot a product and that will require a good understanding of capturing shadows.

2. Drop shadows

Drop shadows

Drop shadows are software-generated shadows. They are not formed originally when a product is placed on a surface.

However, they are generated with the help of the shadow adding process after the images are actually clicked and then cut out with the help of an image editing software like Photoshop (R). Drop shadows are formed just beneath the surface of the product.

3. Reflection shadows

Reflection Shadows

A reflection shadow is formed when the product is placed on an extremely shining or polished surface. But it can be difficult to click images by placing the product on such a shiny surface.

As a quick fix, reflection shadow is added to the images, you can use any image editing software to add reflection and shadows to your product images or you can use a little of post-production agencies like PixelPhant. It is a simple and faster way to add shadow to the image.

4. Cast shadows

Cast Shadows

If we backlit a product it’ll create a cast shadow in front of the product. Cast shadows are a really creative element of a product image but it’s not recommended for everyone, use them wisely.

Cast shadows can steal the focus from the product sometimes but it looks so cool. They can be used for a fashion shoot or a lookbook but you don’t want them in your standalone product because it takes space.

Many people try to make a dark shadow which is not advised by professionals. Soft shadows look appealing whereas dark shadows are distracting. Adding soft shadows will create a winning situation for you as they will make the product look more persuasive and the product images will easily be able to convince the customers.

For photography, light is considered the most important element but the shadows shouldn’t be ignored. In order to get a good product image, the presence of a shadow is also necessary.


The importance of the shadow creation service in photos is vastly dependent on the way the brands wants to operate. And as we discussed, the right use of the shadow effect can scale up the engagement. It can also change the way your audience perceives you.

We hope the following guidelines will help you next time when you choose the picture that you wish to share with viewers.

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