Clothing photography: how to take perfect clothing photos?

The best product photographs are the foundation of a successful sale. E-shop owners, e-commerce platform sellers and anyone working in the online industry know this. It’s amazing how a single photo can attract and encourage (or even the opposite) to make a purchase on this website and not another. Therefore, product photography has become an indispensable element of online marketing. The question is: what should clothing photos be like?

Clothing photography – 6 popular types of images

Engaging a professional photographer for a clothing photography is a fully cost-effective step, as the professional photos manage to build trust among the audience and encourage them to make regular purchases. Clothing photography has more than one name, but when analyzing photos which appear in online clothing shops, we can distinguish 6 popular types. These are pictures of clothes taken on:

  • models,
  • ghost photos,
  • mannequins,
  • hangers,
  • flat surface
  • and rotating photographs.

Each of these types can be divided into further types. For example, photos taken with models can be taken in a studio (studio) or outdoors (outdoor), and so-called flat photos can show only clothing on a white background or as part of a glamorous composition.

Photos can also be equipped with a close-up function that allows viewers to see the details of the products being sold. Photos on models are sometimes replaced by a short film showing the model in motion and how the clothes are arranged in dynamic poses.

Is it better to decide on a single type of photography or to freely combine several types?

There is no universal answer to this question, as it depends on the brand image and the specifics of its target group. For a company that specialises in selling luxury clothing, the consistent use of two types of photos (for example, on models and on hangers) fits into a harmonious, orderly image.

On the other hand, greater freedom, understood as a lack of consistency in the choice of images, may work well in the case of shops offering clothes for younger customers, who do not like predictability and patterns. If you are not sure which solution will turn out to be the right one, it is worth testing a few possibilities and assessing how customers react to them.

The most important thing about taking photos is not to mess about with beautifying them and applying a dozen filters. The photo must be clear and show the details of the garment. Also zoom in, for example on a pocket, the weave of a jumper or the decoration of a blouse.

Prepare your clothing photography equipment


Then there is the question of what type of camera to choose. I strongly advise against using a compact camera, if you are undecided or ready to buy a digital SLR, try to start your adventure with a hybrid camera with interchangeable optics. The best solution will be a digital SLR equipped with an appropriate lens, which must be wide enough to capture the whole of the photographed object. Having the correct camera can make the difference between a professional looking photo or an amateur one.  

Keep your picture in sharp focus

There’s nothing worse than a blurry photo. Blurred photos are the nightmare of anyone who takes photos and anyone who wants to buy a product. That’s why it’s so important to use sturdy camera tripods for product photography. It doesn’t always have to be a big, tall tripod – a simple tripod for standing on a table may be enough. A camera stabiliser that reduces shake and allows you to take still shots is also a good option. By investing in these photographic accessories, you can be sure that the pictures you take will be in focus.

Lighting equipment

When it comes to clothing photography, lighting is fundamental. Potential buyers want to see all the details of the item, so it is very important to get lamps that will work with your camera. To start, I recommend choosing a lighting kit that includes three lamps so you can use a three-point lighting setup (one key light, one fill light and a back or hair light).

Image processing in a graphics programme

It is very important to gently retouch clothing photographs. Why? Because neither the correct technique, nor years of experience, nor even a skilled photographer can guarantee that e.g. the colours in the photo will be exactly the same as in reality. And this is what product photography is all about – to reflect the objects as they really are. It’s important that when you talk about post-production of your photos, you are only referring to a possible improvement in contrast or correction of shadows.

Clothes photography is not the easiest thing to do. Unfortunately, good equipment and modern accessories are not everything. A lot of ideas mixed with a lot of patience and knowledge on how to take photos of clothes will also come in handy. It is true that taking a good picture of a product takes a lot of time and is often preceded by hundreds of unsuccessful shots that can only be thrown away. If you know you don’t have the time or patience for this, it is worth using the services of a professional. Write to me and let’s plan together!

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