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Apparel Photography – The Detailed Apparel Photography Guide

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apparel photography

Product photography converts a window shopper into a customer by presenting products with high-quality pictures. These pictures persuade the customers to make buying decisions. Apparel photography is not excluded from it. 

Are you concerned with apparel photography? If you run a fashion or clothing business, you must consider apparel product photography and its importance in growing your business. It’s not as easy as holding the camera and capturing photos. There is more to do, and the crucial difference between a professional and an apprentice is only experience.   

You don’t need to be experienced like a professional or hire one if you are a start-up business. You can learn it initially. This blog will guide you through creating convincing apparel photos by implementing tips and tricks. Follow the blog and practice; the results will be in front of you. Let’s read on.

What is Apparel Photography?

The word ‘Apparel’ defines what we wear, like all types of clothing. All clothing is included under the apparel, but including clothing, apparel encompasses more accessories like handbags, hats, jewelry, etc. Therefore, apparel photography falls under fashion photography.

Apparel photography captures clothing items to sell online or on e-commerce portals. Appealing apparel photos are the selling agent to convert visitors into customers. What you need for Apparel Photography depends on your budget that can go from low-cost to high-end items.

 All clothing items are counted as apparel, but apparel is not limited to clothing only.

Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, Verve, Harper’s Bazaar etc. are some renowned magazines from where you can find Apparel Photography inspiration. You can follow the old trends, create new ones and understand new trends to learn the techniques for apparel photography.

Equipment Essential for Apparel Photography

Depending on your budget, you can avail of the equipment for the photography. If you are in a budget shortage, you can buy some low-cost items and look for pricey special items when you have more on budget. Let’s have a glimpse at essential equipment for Apparel Photography: 

  • Camera: A high-end DSLR camera for Apparel Photography is not mandatory but beneficial. You can go for the expensive high-end DSLR with a fine budget. However, you can also manage the Apparel photo using your smartphone if you can click high-quality pictures correctly. 
  • Lighting Source: Photographing is all about lighting. Therefore, a lighting tool is indispensabl e for any photography, including Apparel Photography. Natural light is the best, but you can implement artificial light like a softbox to get the desired shorts in case of improper light.  

 Helpful Link: Check the blog to learn more about Product Photography Lighting

  • Boards: The product comes with shadows in all light Natural or artificial. The shadow part of the apparel is always darker. You can refine the darkness using a foam board. 
  • Tape: If you photograph on a table, you need some tape or clamps to clean the foam board and keep it in place.  
  • Backdrop: The background is an essential item for a product photo. You can use a white background for online shops to capture your apparel product. Moreover, most online platforms prefer a white backdrop as it goes well with every color. You can use white sweep or poster board collecting from online shops for your background. 
  • Model or Mannequin: The last thing you need for apparel photography is the model or mannequin. You can do flat-lay mood photography on the floor or table, but using a model or mannequin will be imperative to show how it will look when worn. Customers want to buy apparel that suits them best. The use of a model or mannequin will be beneficial for that purpose. 

    Learn More: Outfits For Senior Pictures and Select Best Outfits

How to Take Apparel Photography

Apparel photography isn’t a hard nut to crack. So, fret not; go ahead and nail your first episode of apparel photography. Here I am showing  how to take apparel photography step by step:

Step 1- Sketch the Visual Style:

Think about how you want to visualize your product before photographing it. The visual style depends on where you will publish the image –

  • If you publish on an e-commerce website or online shop, you must photograph using a white background. 
  • You can capture flat-lay moods using a few props to publish on social media. 

Next comes the choice of texture, background and props based on clothes style. Finally, design a sketch based on the idea. 

Step 2- Choose the Visual Mood: 

Once you sketch the idea, you already know how to visualize the apparel using which mood. You can select any of the below moods to visualize your apparel product: 

  • Model: Hiring a model is an expensive but superior way to visualize apparel products from any angle that flatters your clothing. It helps customers relate to your product with a higher degree of professionalism. If you have enough budget, you can hire a model. Otherwise, you can ask your friends or family members to be models for your product. 
  • Mannequins: If you can’t manage the model, you can select the mannequin as an affordable, consistent, and easy alternative. The realistic human shape will also give a vibe of how it will look after wearing. While using a dummy, ensure the clothing items fit the mannequin. If it seems loose, you can tuck the outfit using a staple or a safety pin. Showing the mannequin if you smell distracting or cheapened the product, implement Ghost Mannequin Services for a professional touch.

 Effective Tip: Use a straight standing mannequin for your apparel product. Keep in touch with Cut Out Image to get Ghost Mannequin Services at an affordable price.

  • Flat lay: Flat-lay photography captures photos from the above, placing the items flat on the surface. It is also called the bird’s-eye view that generates beautiful apparel product photos. It is the easiest and most cost-effective way, mostly seen on social media- Instagram and Pinterest. You can often use it on websites for clothing items like T-shirts, trousers, sweaters, jeans, socks, etc., to create a cool visual. To assemble the flat-lay view, lay a cardboard or white paper sheet on the ground and arrange your products with related accessories using a theme. Check out my another blog on “Flat Lay Clothing Photography” to get more information. 

Hanger: A cloth hanger will be fine to photograph your apparel product. Visualizing your product at eye level using a hanger is a simple and cost-saving technique. All you need is a hanger and the apparel product that you have to hang against a white background. Lightweight materials, like silk-made products, work best for this technique.

Step 3- Prepare the Apparel Product: You can achieve your goal and save editing time with good preparation. So, once you generate the idea and decide on the visual mood, it’s time to prepare the production line to get everything ready. To prepare the product, do the following before photographing- 

  • Clean the product using detergent and liner Roller to ensure dust, debris and hair-free appearance.
  • Iron or steam the apparel product to ensure there is no wrinkle. 
  • Pay attention to the details.
  • Remove the tag or labels from the apparel to avoid distracting viewers. If any remain by mistake, remove them using the image post-production

Using Photoshop, an expert can fix wrinkles, dust and strings. Still, I only recommend this if you have Photoshop knowledge.

Step 4 – Set Up Photography Studio: 

I suggest setting up an apparel photography studio in this step. Make sure the area or the studio is clean and organized to do photography accurately. You don’t need a large professional studio. You can use the home space with a backdrop, three-point lighting, a tripod, and a camera setup. If you have more budget, you can invest in a few more equipment for improved results. 

  • Camera: Place the camera directly in front of the subject with the correct settings. Set it on the Tripod to ensure stable photos. Ensure the equipment is charged and extra memory is kept as backup. However, don’t forget to avail of Insurance for Photographers if you are a professional photographer to have financial back for any accident to your camera equipment.  
  • Background: Use Solid Background Colors, mainly white, for e-commerce. Buying a seamless paper, tape it to your wall and curve it onto the ground to eradicate any folds. Don’t pick any rustic brick wall for a modern dress. Place the subject (mannequin/model/items) between the backdrop and camera. Ensure you don’t put the subject too close to the background to avoid unwanted shadows. 
  • Lighting: Well-lit your studio room with proper lighting; otherwise, your photo will pay the price. Natural lighting is inexpensive but uncontrollable. You should also arrange for artificial lighting kits, including A light head, softbox or umbrella, C-stand, pocket wizard, etc. Before buying, research to find the best fit for you. Place the light source and softbox at a 45-degree angle to ensure soft and even lighting on the product. 

Step 5 – Check Your Camera Settings: 

A good camera with the correct craft differentiate an expert-created photo from a nonexpert. Compared with DSLR cameras, Mirrorless is the best, but you don’t need it if you can’t afford it. However, you can utilize your smartphone camera if you have less budget. Set the camera (Mirrorless/DSLR/Smartphone) on a tripod with the correct settings and face the item for a steady shot. Set the camera as below settings- 

  • Aperture: Aperture focuses on keeping most parts of the subject in the whole picture. Apparel Photography requires a high f/stop above f-11.  
  • Shutter Speed: Shutter speed directs the timeline of the shutter to stay open. During Apparel Photography, set it almost 1/125. 
  • ISO Sensitivity: Higher ISO distracts with noise. So, to create a sharp and clear photo, set ISO between 100 and 200 range on a tripod. Extend the ISO range between 400-800, depending on the light source. 
  • White Balance: Without White Balance, the camera will record a picture with a blue or orange filter. White balance interprets the color based on the light type. So, keeping it Auto and letting the camera fix is better. 

Step 6 – Start Photographing Apparel Products:

Now comes the main part of the game of Apparel Photography. 

  • Place the camera on a tripod or hard surface if you don’t have a tripod. 
  • Position the model or mannequin at the center of the camera frame, covering most of the canvas. 
  • Don’t use digital zoom since it lowers image quality by cropping the image during capture. 
  • After pressing the shutter, setting 2-second-timer mode will allow the camera to re-focus the subject.
  • Show the product details- fabric, stitching, zips, buttons, embroidery, designs, etc. related to the apparel item. It will help answer customers’ queries.  
  • Capture in raw format from different angles- front, back, 45 degrees, left, right as many as possible. Remember to capture close-up shots to show details of the product.  

Step 7 – Refine your captures: 

None can ensure a stunning photo with a single click. Even an experienced professional sits to refine the captures. So, after clicking, you should sit to improve the images and make them all look uniform for your online store. You must fix issues and implement apparel photography services based on the photo quality. 

As a novice, you might not generate the desired result but ruin the images. To get flawless results, you should hire a professional service provider. Moreover, it will save you time to focus on other things.

 Helpful Link: Need apparel product photography? Contact Cut Out Image for affordable service at Cut Out Image.

Tips on Apparel Photography

Are you running or planning an online fashion business? Then you must do Apparel Photography to inform your customer about your product. A good presentation can convert the viewers into buyers. Here are a few tips for you to do Apparel Photography fruitfully: 

  • Double Check the Clothes: Before photographing, you should check the clothes’ cleanliness with other details. Ensure the product is pressed properly and the tags are removed. Then check if the product is placed accurately in front of the camera. 
  • Use Tripod: Accidental shaking or dropping can damage the image and the camera. So, during Apparel Photography, use a tripod to place the camera. If you don’t have a tripod, use a hard surface to set the camera.
  • Clean the Background: A busy environment will distract the viewer from the main subject. So, keep the background clean and use solid colors. 
  • Try 360-degree Photography: Panoramic mood from 360 photography allows viewers to see the subject from all angles more engagingly. You can apply this mood to give customers an in-person experience.

Take Multiple Shots: A single shot can’t ensure the best shot. You may need to Composite Image using 2-3 photos to showcase the details more accurately and efficiently. So, capture multiple shots from different angles.

Learn More: Outfit Birthday Photoshoot Ideas

Common Mistakes in Apparel Photography

Apparel photography is an integral part of online business for apparel items. While photographing, if there remains any fault, it impacts the product selling. Therefore, you should know some common mistakes to avoid and get more customer engagement. Here are those: 

  • Not Aware of Latest Trend: Apparel photography is trendy, which changes with each season, keeping the fundamentals unchanged. Therefore, while photographing, you should maintain the fundamentals first and then implement the latest trends to get more attention from potential shoppers.  
  • Product Inspection Missing: Your product will attract customers after uploading stunning photos. No matter how excellent your product is, it will only attract customers once you take pictures with proper preparation. To prepare the product, ensure the apparel is clean and ironed. Remove the tag or stickers. Inspecting products thoroughly in Apparel Photography is imperative. 
  • Taking Fewer Images: 2-3 photos are insufficient for customers to understand the apparel product clearly. Therefore, you should upload 8-10 pictures of each product’s front, side, back and close-ups views to persuade customers about the product. 
  • Absence of Mannequin or Model: A model or mannequin displays apparel shape and fit but is expensive. Therefore, many photographers neglect it, capturing apparel products using hangers or placing them flatly. Even if they use mannequins, they don’t apply the ghost mannequin effect, which creates a distractive view. 
  • Lack of Lighting: Photography is drawing with lighting. Improper lighting causes a loss of details. Customers want to know about the material and designs before deciding to buy. The poor image quality with less lighting will not complement your product. Therefore, you should do Apparel Photography with proper lighting to enhance the product details.
  • Retouching Errors: Photo editing might sound easy, but accurate execution of image post-production calls for Photography knowledge. A novice might do incorrect or inconsistent cropping, masking, retouching, and background changing. In such cases, practicing repeatedly and maintaining a standard set of specifications for editing can ensure consistent accuracy.

Learn More: Travellers Photography Tips, Ideas, Places and importance

What Is the Cost of Apparel Photography?

Are you busy managing business? Don’t you have time or skill to work on Apparel Photography? Don’t worry. Many apparel photography service providers are there to share their dab hand with you. What will they cost?

There are numerous factors contributing to the cost of Apparel Photography. A few of them are listed below: 

  • Type of Service Provider: There are two types of Apparel Photography service providers. The first is the Local independent photography studios, and the second is Full-service product Photography studios. Both studios can charge around $6000 per project. However, the charge might change from time to time based on the service. 
  • Time: The charge depends on the photo session period you ask from the photographer, which can be daily, hourly, or project basis. Project basis cost is the best if you only focus on the project. 
  • Number of Products: You might need a certain number of pictures for each product. In this case, the photographer would ask you for more charge based on the number of your product. Moreover, the product category- formal or casual will contribute to the charge.
  • Number of Images: Similar to the number of products, the number of images contributes to the apparel photography charge. This factor is beneficial for both the client and the photographer.

Why Do You Need to Do Apparel Photography?

85% of customers value visuals while shopping. Photos are agents for online sales. No online business or E-commerce websites can ensure minimum sales without pictures. They need high-quality believable stunning photos to let customers think about the Product. Here are more reasons why you need to do Apparel Photography: 

  • Drive Marketing: To have good sales of your apparel product, you must promote marketing heavily, where Apparel Photography comes into play. To promote your product online, you must capture your products nicely so that the customers get a live-wearing vibe with other details. Here Apparel Photography will represent your product. Therefore, every e-commerce website owner should invest 100% effort to improve apparel images. 
  • Illustrates Details: Apparel Photography motives to illustrate apparel details. With Apparel Photography, you can showcase every detail of your apparel product – fabric, design, stitch, button or zip, etc. that satisfies customers and influences buying decisions. Professional photos impress the audience positively and make them trust you. 
  • Differentiate the Brand: In the modern world, e-commerce business has moved forward with advanced technology in the digital world. The competitors are also increasing in this sector. To stay ahead of the race, you should implement Apparel Photography and present your product to customers. Professional Apparel Photography can differentiate the brand from others.  
  • Makes Product Attractive: With the help of different photo editing software and executing different Apparel Photography ideas, you can make your apparel product photos attractive enough to make viewers curious about checking details to make buying decisions. Don’t forget to present them realistically in high quality, with proper color and contrast.
  • Boosts Social Reach: Applying the flat-lay mood of Apparel Photography, you can beautifully present your apparel products on social platforms – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. It will help you reach interested customers among millions of people from social media.

Last Tagline:

Apparel photography is part and parcel of the e-commerce apparel business. The blog instructed you on photographing apparel products and described why it’s required for business. If you feel confident to do it by yourself, go ahead with practice. The only difference that will remain is the quality between professional and novice. If you feel it’s a big challenge to create realistic photos or want to invest time in business, you can outsource the service. 

I believe you will find the blog helpful in improving your Apparel Photography. Don’t forget to share it if you find it supportive. If you know more tips or tricks, share them with us in the comments.

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