There are no hard or fast rules when it comes to mannequins vs. models for your fashion photography. Both options have a great number of benefits, and we’ve outlined these below so that you can work out the best choice for you and your business.
The Cost Factor
With live models, the fit and cut of the clothing is often far more natural and easier for the customer to imagine should they wear the item themselves. This could potentially mean a greater return on investment as customers who can imagine the item in their own wardrobe are arguably far more likely to complete the purchase than if the imagery they are shown is more static. It’s also often a good option for those who want a polished and flawless image.
A live model will generally show off the silhouette off the clothing in a more natural, flattering and relatable light. That being said, mannequins can sometimes work better for clothing with more details as the silhouette will enhance the unique features more effectively, Mannequins are also generally considered the more cost-effective option and much easier to work with as they need no instruction and you will not need to explain your creative vision in order to help them understand how best to pose.
Mannequins also require minimal Photoshopping, meaning you will not need to pay extra costs should the shoot run into “overtime.” As they are also not subject to rate hikes and always available when you need them, this makes for more consistent costs and results which can help brands to budget more effectively.
Choosing Models and Mannequins
Regardless of your preference, it’s important to utilise the flexibility within each option. For example, you can use different types of mannequins to reinforce your brand positioning, such as vintage mannequins for a bohemian brand. It’s also important to choose mannequin colours that complement your clothing.
When it comes to live models, you need to make sure to choose a model with proportions and colouring that will work best for your clothing. Select makeup and hair styles that suit the model but also fit with your brand image, and always make sure that their styling doesn’t detract from the products themselves.
Many brands find that a mixture of both mannequins and models works as a good compromise to balance out costs and branding goals. This depends on your target audience, business direction and products but a good option for fashion photography can be to use live models for lookbooks and to tell your main brand story. These images can then be used throughout your branding with mannequin images to illustrate.
Our professional fashion photographers and clothing photographers work with live models and mannequins in our leading packshot studio to create professional product photographs in line with your brand ambitions. We also work with the “invisible” or “ghost” mannequin method to suit the individual brand. Give us a call today to find out more.