“Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur”- $30million! Worlds’ most expensive dress. Have you caught a glimpse of it? The price piqued my interest, and the images watered my thirst.
Like any other product photography, apparel photography plays an irreplaceable role for online businesses. Otherwise, e-marketing will be in jeopardy. Why?
A posted image of clothing performs more than expected (both positive and negative). A good photo brings a good impression, sales, ROI, CTR, CTA, and more. But the bad one? Well, we all know!
If you are struggling with your clothing images, something must be missing there.
What could that be? Let’s find out.
Effective Ways to Improve Apparel Photography
By being conscious of these following matters, you will be able to lower your mistakes and improve your images.
Way 1: Take Time to Prepare the Product
Many veteran product photographers suggest using new products for shooting. Of course, it’s better to have a new one, however not mandatory as you can use a single product for shooting several times. But make sure it is clean.
Prepare your clothing product thoroughly so that any uncertain situation didn’t occur in the middle of the shooting; for example- a torn part popped up!
Ensure nothing hampers your photoshoot, so wash any unwanted specks of dirt, iron creases and have a backup product if you have to.
Way 2: Heed to Your Product Display Preparation
By now, you have noticed that displaying clothing products are somewhat different from other products. It requires showing details thoroughly, and 1/2 shots barely cover the whole.
Use the following ways for clothing product photography.
A. Use a Mannequin
Mannequin is the most common material for shooting clothing. It is used in both online and physical stores. The availability and appearance of the human figure have made it a popular choice in the apparel industry. The perk of using a mannequin in photography is its static form.
B. Cast a Model
A model is an expensive option but worthy of your hard work if you want some real movements included in your photo session. Models help catch the attention of potential buyers. While casting a model, find the one that most resembles your targeted audience. Such characters represent the buyer persona and can connect them well.
C. Go For Flat Lay
Flat lay clothing photography is like a no-cost photoshoot solution and can have a close result like other clothing photography. Create a bit of volume by using paper, tissue, or rag as stuffing materials. And that’s it.
D. Hang The Dress
Another easy way to shoot attires is hanging photography. By using hangers, thread; you can hang it somewhere. Then, fold some necessary parts to emphasize the outline, and you are good to go.
Way 3: Ensure Penetration of Ample Light
Every photograph needs ample light; no explanation is needed. But this fact needs to be remembered that the color of the fabric is vital. If the clothing is a light color, it may not require as much lighting as a dark color fabric required.
Allow light as sufficient as possible. There are 2 types of sources for lighting a photoshoot setup.
A. Natural Lighting
Daylight is the greatest available source for lighting, and it’s free. So, take advantage of it as much as possible.
Harsh lighting (During noon) doesn’t have a good effect on photography. Therefore, you better shoot when the sun rays moderately in the morning or the afternoon.
B. Artificial Lighting
The availability of artificial lights is another effective source. Anywhere, anytime you can carry, use and adjust it.
For your clothing product photography, use a key light/main light source that should be placed directly at the front (for model or mannequin) or above (for flat lay photography) slightly angled. You can use a secondary one at the right or left, complying with the main light angle. Use reflector and diffuser to ensure even lighting.
What is the commonly used artificial light in photography?
Most used artificial lights are-
- LED light
- Fresnel lights etc.
Way 4: Clothing Photography Location
In most cases, the product photography is shot inside a studio with all the required setup. If you don’t own a product photography studio setup, you can finish it in any room.
If the shoot isn’t for e-commerce platforms, I prefer some outdoor shooting too. A model is walking in the streets, in the field, or standing near the tree, with added posture- these will create lifelike actions and convince the potential viewers.
Way 5: Cross-check Camera Perspective and Setting
Commercial product shots are still. Any shaky, blurry images disrupt viewers’ attention, and buyers consider these as unprofessional work. So make sure you have one of the best cameras for product photography and are using equipment pieces like a tripod, C-stand to hold it steadily.
Before touching the click button, check if your camera perspective is good. The subject that is positioned in front of the focal point must display the best look, which you- a photographer will ensure.
Where should you put your camera for product photography?
For flat lay photography, the camera should be put directly above.
In other cases, position the camera directly in front of the clothing. If there is a model/ mannequin, set the camera where it is leveled around the waist height.
Take a look at your technical settings. Like any other product, clothing photography camera settings will be the same.
What camera settings are best for the product (e.g., apparel) photography?
ISO: Start with a low ISO around 100-400.
Aperture: Go with f-stop f/11 and then adjust.
Shutter Speed: If it is a mannequin or flat lay or hanger, go with low like 1/200; if there is a model (movement involved), start with 1/1000 or more.
Way 6: Take Shots from Multiple Angles
The benefits of multiple shots are it shows your professionalism and brand consistency. So apart from front and back, take multiple shots.
Types of shots for clothing photography-
- Different angle shots to ensure proper view.
- Close shots (I call this- Fabric shot).
- 360-degree shot.
- Special parts/ designs.
- Real-life shots.
Realistic photos have another charm. For example- an expecting mother wears a muumuu- such images both display the dress and show the purpose. That’s what I meant.
You are free to use props for such shots (unless it is your hero image for e-commerce stores).
Way 7: Proper Apparel Photo Editing
Shooting doesn’t end the photoshop work in the commercial era. To ensure more professionalism, marketers go for photo editing services.
Take a look at what type of services apparel marketers take.
- Cropping and Alignment
A product needs to be shown clearly to fulfill commercial purposes. That’s why we see any product is kept in the middle position in photos, it’s easy and effective to display the product that way.
If your clothing photos are not aligned, you need to give it a professional look; that’s where cropping and alignment come in. Don’t just post whatever you got; make sure the image is in the center, and the alignment is perfect.
- Background Removal
Remember about the background for amazon product image requirements? Always white!
It’s not only about Amazon; almost every e-commerce site has its distinctive requirements. So, if you are going to sell clothing products through e-commerce platforms, you must follow their requirements, one of which is background.
If the product background is a problem, you can remove the background by yourself or handover to the professional image background removal service provider.
- Remove Clothing Wrinkles
Being made of polymer chains, attires are easily wrinkled once they are kept in a mess or folded. But it’s not possible to keep those straight always. But you need to ensure that you have taken shots of clean clothes.
Shooting ironed clothing is a professional thing to do for clothing photography. A photo that’s not shooting clean and polished attires can expect rejection from the get-go.
To edit is divine. Even if you have captured wrinkled clothes, edit those out or get professional service.
- Color Correction
It’s the photo editing process of fixing the color issues of an image and making it as real as possible. This work makes the image look clear.
By doing the color correction work, you
– Remove light/dark imbalance
– Create different color products
– Highlight the focusing points
These subtle changes will greatly impact your image improvement and help a consistent and steady look. Thus, this helps retain the viewer’s attention.
- Ghost Mannequin Effect
A photoshop process to show a dress worn by an invisible body. The ghost mannequin effect has its own fan base alongside the model/mannequin.
It creates an appeal and gives apparel a realistic look. It’s importance has led apparel businessmen/ clothing product marketers to look for professional services.
Doing it yourself is easy for a couple of images. But for a bulk amount of images, better look for professionals. It’s safe and cost-effective.
Way 8: Have Separate Set of Images
Every online platform is different, so is its appeal. Facebook has its own fan base, so does Twitter. Instagram is mostly popular for sharing photos, whereas Linked In is the platform for connecting corporate people.
You will use some of these platforms for your advertisement; better do it separately. For example, don’t post an image you made for a Twitter cover on Facebook.
Many people I talked to prefer doing a uniform size image, which goes well with all platforms. That’s a good time-saving idea but not convincing. Had it worked well, different platforms wouldn’t have requirements in the first place.
The same goes for e-commerce platforms. The requirements of Amazon are different from those of eBay or Alibaba.
You are not using all the online platforms available in the world, are you? So, why is the rush?
It’s about promoting your product. So, take time, know your preferred platforms’ requirements and do so. It will be a user-friendly approach.
Common Apparel Product Photography Mistakes to Avoid
With the assistance of product photography, online marketing is flying to another level. And competition on this platform is crazy. Make a mistake and doom!
These are some general but crucial mistakes clothing photographers make.
- Model mismatch
These parts need extra caution. Let me explain.
If you go for a charismatic model who stands on a hard-to-beat level, this tactic may backfire on you. Your garment may remain shadowed.
So, select models who represent the demography you are targeting. Make sure- the garment has completed the person, not the other way round.
- Shooting with stickers, tags
Let’s not assume that uncleanliness or creases are the only matters that make clothing unprepared.
Shooting a brand new piece of t-shirt without removing the labels, tags, or stickers is another form of unprepared garment- it’s unprofessional and chases the attention away.
- Technical imbalance
Ensure the camera functionalities of technical parts are perfect for shooting clothing. For example, color imbalance around the focal point may hamper the actual image appearance.
- Lack shots
Take note of the number of shots your selected online platforms have asked for, especially if it’s for e-commerce stores. I saw many sellers neglect this. Not taking such factors seriously isn’t a good marketer’s trait.
- Using filters
Use filters only if it brings professional and realistic looks. Effects, filters, edit- these terms need moderate and skillful implementation. Overdo will make it look artificial.
- Avoid editing
Raw files don’t always capture the exact look we want. The photos might include distraction, color problem, background issue, dirt or crease in dress, looks blurry or dull. That’s why editing is required.
Moderate editing is allowed. A professional photo editor knows what exactly moderate editing is. Don’t know how photoshop works? It’s wise to hand it over to the photoshop experts..
As online businessmen, we can’t cut slack on our work, can we? So, let’s ensure we are not missing anything while photographing.
Even if there were any mistakes, I hope you have learned to correct them through these ways mentioned above and have become able to get back on track. Keep up the good work.