Alex Maleki - Dec 2021
When running a clothing e-commerce business, the photos can make or break a sale. Not only does good clothing photography attract potential buyer casually browsing, but it will also show off your product in the best way possible and help customers know which pieces of clothing are right for them. All of your apparel photography is a representation of you and your business. So here are some tips to help your product photography skills so you can put the best face possible on your business.
Before taking any photos, make sure the article of clothing is ironed and lint-free. Take care of any stray thread or fabric discoloring and remove any tags or stickers. Amateur fashion photographers are often tempted to not bother with preparing the garment, instead wanting to just photoshop away any flaws, but that is not a good idea. Realistic photoshopping is difficult to master and excessive photo editing will ruin the quality of the photo. It is much better to keep as few flaws out of the photo, to begin with.
Because the focus of your apparel photography is your apparel, you want to keep any distractions you can out of the shot. Use a white or grey backdrop and make sure there are no stray objects visible or weird shadows being cast on by the lighting. The goal is to make it look like it is in a studio setting, even if you only have access to a corner of your living room for your fashion photography setting. If you are working on a small budget, you can probably get away with only a blank wall and natural lighting. If you have more to invest, you might want to consider getting a roll of white seamless paper and a c-stand to hold up the paper with. Unroll the paper so rolls out onto the floor while still being held up by the stand. This will cut out distracting shadows and any possible stains on the wall. Do not let the paper get creased or wrinkled in your shot and secure it to the floor with tape.
Unless you are using your smartphone to take your photos, then use a tripod to prevent the camera from shaking. This will keep the clothing photography clearer and more consistent. It will also keep your arms from getting tired, so you can take more photos at once. Tripods can be purchased at reasonable prices so even those working on a small budget can find one to use.
Nothing can ruin a photo faster than bad lighting. However, it does not need to be expensive to have good lighting. Using lots of natural light from large windows can be all you need for high-quality lighting. You can also use lighting equipment to create the desired effect as well. That is ideal if a lot of natural lighting is not available consistently in your studio or area. For minimal light equipment, you will need a light head– the light itself–, a softbox to diffuse the light and keep the lighting even in your photo, a c-stand to hold the light head and softbox, and a pocket wizard to sync the camera with the light.
Customers cannot get a good idea of the quality of the clothing and how it would look on them from a flat photo. Using a mannequin will show them how the photo will look on a real person and it is an affordable alternative to hiring professional models. Use life-like mannequins that are in static positions for the best shots. If you think a mannequin is too distracting to the clothing, you might consider using ghost mannequins, which is created through photo editing. Ghost mannequins is when the mannequin is edited out of the picture so only the clothing is there, but it still looks how it will on a real person.
One way to give your customers a great view of your clothing and to engage them is to use 360 photography, a technique that allows the customer to see a panoramic view of the photo all 360 degrees as if they are in the center of the shot. This will give them a better idea of different angles of the clothing while also increasing their interest in your shop.
Even if you list the fabric type in the description, it is still a good idea to take close-up shots as well, especially if the fabric is textured, like a knit, or has a unique print. Close-up photos can help them imagine the texture for themselves as well as show off the print or the excellent quality of the clothing.
Photos in a studio setting are great to show off your clothing and are easy to do by yourself and on a budget. However, if you can, also show off your clothing where it is meant to be worn. High-quality photos in the right location will help a customer imagine themselves wearing your clothing and can close a sale. For this, you will need at least one model to wear your clothes and you will have to shoot them in the appropriate settings so this will take a bigger budget and you will have to feel comfortable directing the model. While a picturesque footbridge might work for a sundress, it will not work as well for a studded leather jacket. Let the phtos tell the story of your clothes.
Too much photo editing makes the picture look cheap, especially if you are not skilled at editing photos. It can also be very obvious when edits are done, which makes the customer less trusting of your products. Make sure the raw shot is as good as possible so you do not have to edit much later.
Soft shadows are when the shadow is smaller than the product. The shadow is a lot more subtle and less distracting than hard shadows, which are large, clearly defined shadows. Use a light diffuser or natural light to get soft shadows.
Shotting your product in a straightforward shot is a good start but you will want to capture other angles as well to better represent your product. Use side angles and three-quarter angles to better show off your work.
Learning good photography skills takes a lot of practice. Do not worry about immediately getting high-quality photos. Instead, get used to your camera and taking photos and work on improving your technique over time. That is the best way to master fashion photography.
Finally, Coconut Product Photography is specialized in clothing photography. Each image is professionally shot and edited in our studio by our experienced staff and we offer the best affordable price in the industry and our product photography pricing can be as low as $17 per image. For more information, please visit our pricing page.
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