For anyone operating in the e-commerce world, the challenge of selling a product to people who would normally want to see and feel them is a difficult one to beat. This is particularly pertinent for anyone in the fashion industry and trying to use clothing photography. It is the aim of this post to help any product photographer trying to take those amazing clothing shots, avoid costly mistakes that can lead to extensive time spent editing and ultimately losing potential customers.
Preparing the clothing
It doesn’t matter how perfect the lighting is, how well the model shows off your products or what background you use if you haven’t prepared the clothing correctly. So much of clothing photography is about preparation and in terms of clothing, that means examining each piece, making sure there are no imperfections that could be picked up on the camera. Furthermore, make sure they are wrinkle-free and have maintained the correct shape.
Fortunately, these issues are all resolved using relatively low tech solutions. Firstly, iron or steam your products to make sure they look wrinkle-free and use lint rollers or tape to remove any unwanted fluff or debris. You cannot always fix issues this way, so having a box of sewing equipment is useful for a quick repair or alteration during the photoshop itself, is a great idea.
Use a model or mannequin
For budding entrepreneurs or product photographers, you may not be able to afford a model or lack access to a mannequin. Sadly, this will have major implications on the quality of your clothing photography and as a result, impact the quality of your listings on e-commerce sites. When a customer looks at an item online, they will want to see how it fits a person, the shapes and patterns in a real-life situation and the only real way of doing this is with a model. However, budget or time constraints may make this impossible, so a mannequin is an acceptable alternative.
Considering doing some research into costs and availability prior to setting up your photoshoot, to ensure you have enough of a budget to cover the costs. Our advice is to take a moment to look at other online stores and product listings to see the difference in quality from each approach. We strongly believe the return on investment is worth the expenditure.
Set up your equipment properly
This is quite a broad process and for more information on setting up equipment, see one of our many other posts on the topic, but in essence, no amount of editing afterwards will make up for poorly set up equipment. Setting up a proper packshot style studio is a costly endeavour, so you may wish to consider using a professional product photographer as opposed to purchasing all of the equipment.
However, if you do wish to get the equipment yourself or you have it already, then taking the time to set up the camera correctly will reap rewards when the photoshoot starts, as well as having an understanding of the best settings for different scenarios. Likewise, lighting is the number one focus for anyone wishing to work in clothing photography, as each type of garment will reflect light differently, require more or less light to show off its style etc.
In essence, preparation is the key to avoid making mistakes and even when they do happen, having prepared for them, you will have a far easier time in rectifying the issues!