Quality and beautiful apparel and clothing photography are crucial to making a successful online fashion store. Studies on digital marketing show that professional product photographs can boost the chance of making a sale. Customers also think that quality photos tell a better story than long product descriptions or reviews.
Investing in high-quality images can be the difference between making a sale and losing a potential buyer to a competitor. Search engines also favour original product photos over stock images, which boosts your site’s ranking.
Below are some essential tips on how to take beautiful apparel and clothing photography.
Setting Up a DIY Studio
DIY photography can be fun and will give you some creative freedom to style your brand how you deem fit. Investing in the right gear is important when setting up an in-house studio. However, if you are short on time or working with a limited budget, you can opt to pay for studio time.
You don’t have to go all-out on a DSLR camera. Modern smartphones have changed the photography game. The iPhone 14 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, and the Google Pixel 7 Pro all have impressive cameras.
Another piece of equipment you will require is a tripod. Tripods eliminate camera shakes and are perfect for low-light photography, long exposure, and HDR photography. There are many options out there, but we recommend getting a fluid-head tripod.
Proper lighting is crucial if you want high-quality and beautiful apparel and clothing photography. Experts say that natural light is the best, but that means you can only take your photos during the day. Adding a few artificial lights will give you fantastic results. A work light and softbox will elevate the quality of your photos.
Get a white backdrop and poster board for your DIY studio. The backdrop will influence the composition of your photos. You also want your photos to have the same background for consistency.
Invisible Mannequins vs. Models
Customers are likelier to buy clothes or fashion accessories if they can visualize their appearance on their bodies. You can hire a model or use invisible mannequins to don your clothes for the photo shoot.
Models can offer different poses and add more personality to your clothes. The only downside is that rates for professional models can be expensive. However, if you are on a tight budget, ghost mannequins a.k.a. invisible mannequins can do the job.
You can hire the mannequins or buy some depending on how often you do clothing photography. Invisible mannequins make the apparel look like someone is wearing them. The good thing is that they will not distract the buyer.
Ensure that the clothes fit nicely on the mannequin and straighten any creases. You can clip it at the back or tuck it if it is too baggy. You can also remove the background from the photos later on for a more professional look.
Prepare Your Fashion Products
Attention to detail is vital during photo shoots. If you are working in a DIY studio, ensure that you have everything in place before you start clicking away. You don’t want to notice mistakes after the photo shoot.
For instance, if you are working with models, bring a makeup artist and stylist on board. They will help the models with their poses to get the best views and personalities. Also, iron the garments before you start the photo shoot.
Confirm that the shirts are buttoned up well and that no buttons are missing. Check the consistency on folded sleeves and collars. Ensure that there are no stains on the clothing. If you are shipping out the products to a product photography studio, check out these helpful tips.
Check the Camera Settings
Incorrect camera settings will undo all of the hard work you have put in during preparation. Moreover, you cannot undo the errors when editing the photos. Before you start the clothing photography session, ensure that you have the basic settings right.
Check the ISO (International Standards Organization) sensitivity setting depending on the type of lighting you are using. An ISO setting of over 800 will make your photos look noisy. Your camera will not capture too much detail in high-ISO settings. Test out different settings between 600-800 to get the optimal clarity and sharpness.
While you’re at it, look at the aperture setting on the camera. A higher aperture number is ideal for clothing photography since we want a shot with quality detail and high focus. Experts recommend having the aperture setting at over F-11.
Set the white balance setting depending on the type of light you are using. If you are unsure about the white balance setting, set it to Auto. This feature lets the camera select the right colour cast depending on the lighting used.
Edit Your Photos
Editing adds a touch of quality to your photos. You can adjust different aspects to get nice consistency in your photos. Consistency will translate to beautiful aesthetics on your online shop or website.
Work on the alignment, cropping, colour correction, and background removal. You can also use Photoshop to create ghost mannequins for a more professional touch. 3-D images will allow potential buyers to get a full view of the apparel and how it will look when worn.
For the photo edits, Photoshop is king. However, there are other freemium apps, for example, Snapseed, if you are editing on a smartphone. Professional product photographers will handle everything from setup to post-production and editing.
Directing clothing photography for your brand can be a fun and creative experience. If you are into DIY, there are many options depending on your budget. The tips in this guide will help elevate your product photography game and get a better ROI in your business.
Quality photos will boost organic traffic to your website and social media pages. It also creates brand authenticity, especially when most businesses are using stock images. Your website will also rank higher on search results pages.
You can also hire professional photographers for the gig for your brand. All you need to do is ship your products to their studio and get quality clothing photography of your apparel. When hiring a product photographer, read reviews and check their portfolio.