Make Your Clothing Look Good
Clothing sells best when you show the shape and cut of the garment by taking a picture of someone wearing the item. Read "Onbody Tips" below to the left if you have someone to help you or a tripod to shoot from. Otherwise read more about shooting your clothes as "Flats" in the right-hand column.
Flat Shooting Tips:
lighting is the hardest yet most important quality to achieve with a photo. Wait to shoot until there is good natural light outside, this will save you some serious desk lamp headaches. Read more below about lighting and photo techniques to help capture the true color of your clothing. Read more below>
Find a wall to stand in front of, using it as a backdrop. Locate a wall that contrasts in color from the clothing you wish to shoot. A bright, lighter colored wall is usually your best bet. Read more about backgrounds below in Photo Tips. Read more below>
When taking clothing photos on body, save your model or your own identity by shooting the picture with a good crop. Make sure the piece of clothing you are shooting is fully visible in the viewfinder of your camera with some breathing room on all sides but do not include faces if possible. When shooting shirts crop below the shirt but above the crotch line for the most professional view.
Stand in front of the camera relaxed, you will be surprised at what a tense, unnatural picture looks like in review. Shooting at a slight angle will help to show the shape of the item. Don't over do it, a 10-degree angle is plenty.
Stand as still as possible during the shot. You don't have to smile, although, making a photo-shoot more fun helps. Styling:
The less wrinkles in your clothing the better. Wash, dry and fold each piece prior to shooting for best results. Watch out for angled screen prints, odd creases and dark shadows while you shoot.
Shadows destroy details in your product photography. In shot two, notice how oddly angled the detail shot of the screen print is.
Hanging Display Mannequin:
If you plan to sell clothing often it may be worth purchasing a lightweight, hanging, plastic mannequin. These are very affordable at around $10-$15. This option allows you to properly show off the shape of your clothing without needing assistance with picture taking. Purchasing Details >
lighting is the hardest yet most important quality to achieve with a photo. Our simple tips can turn you into a pro. (or say something cheesy like that). Wait to shoot until there is good natural light outside, this will save you some serious desk lamp headaches. Read more below about lighting and photo techniques to help capture the true color of your clothing.
The two easiest places to shoot clothing flat are either hanging clothes from a hanger against a door or by laying clothing flat on the ground. There are many variations of these techniques like putting a tack on a flat white wall to hang from, feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. Your location ideally will provide a contrasting, unique background with easy access to strong light. Read more about backgrounds below in Photo Tips.
Hanging Display Mannequin:
If you plan to sell clothing often it may be worth investing in a lightweight, hanging, plastic mannequin. These are very affordable at around $10-$15. This option allows you to properly show off the shape of your clothing while also being the photographer. Purchasing Details >
Door Hang Shot:
The great part about interior doors is that they are often solid colors (white being the easiest to work with) and are often flat. Both of these qualities will help you to expose your clothing's highlights. For the best results pick the door closest to a window and shoot during daylight hours with all available light sources on.
Flat Ground Shot:
Shoot this shot outside if possible, indoor lighting has to be coming from multiple directions and very bright to capture the true colors of the garment. Layout a solid, light colored (white is easiest to work with) bed sheet, tablecloth, beach towel or other large piece of fabric on the ground as your backdrop. Finding other flat, solid colored backgrounds like pavement and concrete will also work.
The less wrinkles in your clothing the better. Wash, dry and fold each piece prior to shooting for best results. Watch out for angled screen prints, odd creases and dark shadows while you shoot. On flat ground, smooth out the garment but do not over extend arms or edges into unnatural positions.
Full Frame and Details:
Take a picture showing the entire garment keeping in mind the Dresm crop is a horizontal crop. Remember to also take a detail picture that shows fabric qualities, embellishments or any other unique features or flaws of the item.
Shoot vertically with your camera so all your product photos are tall, not wide.
General Camera and Product Photography Tips
Capturing the true color of your garment is the most important part of the picture. Shoot outdoors using natural light whenever possible. Start by slowly twisting your camera back and forth to find the best angle that provides the brightest light and least amount of shadow. Ideally the light will be shinning down from behind you, not in front of you, which would make your subject silhouetted. Whether your light source is coming from desk lamps or the sky, try to create even light shining over the whole garment. Also try turning your camera's flash on and off to see what works best for your setting.
Simply waiting for a cloud to pass or adjusting the camera angle can make a big difference in lighting.
A Steady Camera:
A tripod will help the quality of your shoots, especially if shooting indoors. If you don't have a tripod you can fake it by using your digital camera's timer feature. Set your camera on a steady stack of household goods at the proper height. By not pushing the shutter button, camera motion during picture taking is reduced. The lower the brightness of your light source, the more important this becomes.
The photo on the right has a heavy grain texture and a thick blur from the low lighting and hand shake during the photo.
Digital Camera Color Settings:
Most digital cameras will automatically adjust the photo color to be as natural as possible. If your photos are not accurately showing the colors of your clothing, try adjusting either the Mode or White Balance of the camera. By switching to an indoor mode for example, you are increasing your chances for better indoor colors. The White Balance adjustments on a camera will make the biggest difference. Most cameras will let you select light bulb types and or outdoor condition so the camera can compensate for colors created by your light source.
You can completely shift the color of your photos by adjusting camera settings. Make adjustments for the type and amount of light you are shooting in.
The ideal background for product photography is light, solid colored and contrasting the color of the clothing you plan to shoot. Hanging a sheet on a wall is a great way create your own home studio in just a few seconds. Building walls or garage doors are a great outdoor option for background surfaces.
Detail Macro Shots:
Take detail shots of your clothing's fabric to show shoppers what the garment may feel like. Look for the Macro setting on your digital camera, which is often a flower symbol. By switching to Macro your camera will focus at a much closer distance to the subject and capture textures otherwise missed.
Shot your clothing item's tag whenever you can. The close focus, macro setting on your camera will help capture this.