Are you setting up a clothes business online? It does not matter if you are using Amazon as an online sales platform or building your own Woocommerce site, the way you photograph the clothes or fashion apparel that you are selling has a massive impact on your conversion rate.
Should I Use A Professional Photographer?
The first thing you need to do when it comes to photographing clothes is to put yourself into the mindset of a professional product photographer. When it comes to how to photograph clothes, there are product photographers that have mastered the art.
Not only are they aware of the benefits of working with live models. A professional product photographer also knows how to photograph different and materials. For instance, if you are selling shoes or clothes made from leather, you may want to find out more about how to photograph leather.
If this is your first time attempting clothes or apparel photography, it could be a good idea to set up a session with a product photographer.
Taking Different Approaches
One thing that really matters when it comes to is knowing how to indicate size. A winter coat photographed on its does not give a clear indication of length. However, when photographed together with a pair of pants, the photograph will instantly give an indication of length.
A packshot is all about informing customers about the garment. Take a closer look at packshots online and you will see that they often feature a lot of information.
They may even feature infographics including arrows to the parts of the garments you want the customer to pay particular attention to. If you are selling lingerie, you may want to indicate how to take the measurements to achieve the best fit.
Infographic images are a very important and a good example of how to photograph clothes and give information at the same time.
What Background Should I Use?
More than anything, that matters when it comes to knowing how to photograph clothes is that there are a variety of ways of approaching your subject.
Remember that we buy with our eyes. In other words, it is a good idea to photograph the clothes that you are selling in as many different ways as possible. On this page, we are going to run through the most popular “takes” as far as clothes photography is concerned.
● Packshots – pack shots are a great way to photograph clothes when you want to emphasize the size and the fit. You will see this style of photography in catalogs. But, as we are using fewer catalogs to sell clothes, it is important to make sure that catalog shots work with your online presence.
● Lookbook – lookbook clothes photography is not so different from lifestyle photography. You need to incorporate a bit of lifestyle photography into your lookbook images. For instance, if you are photographing your summer collection, why not pop down to the beach? Lookbook photography is a great asset when you want to use your photos on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
● Flat lay photography – many think that flat lay photography does not belong in fashion or apparel photography, but it certainly does. You can use it in many different ways. One way of using flat lay is when demonstrating that you have different colors available. The downside of flat lay photography is that it is difficult to indicate size, but it is a great way of showing customers that they have a choice when it comes to colors and patterns.
The background is important when it comes to clothes photography. Although white is a popular background to use as a form of online photographs, it can look a bit boring.
Selling clothes online is a very competitive business. You want to make sure that your clothes stand out. One of the best ways of making sure that they do is to add a background color. There are many different ways to add a colorful photography background.
Does the color have to dominate? The color you use as a background should not take over the object that you are photographing. It should make it stand out. For instance, you can use contrasting colors when you really want to “pop” a color. Yellow or red colors make purple stand out.
Should I Use Live Models?
Most product photographers would probably encourage you to use live models.
Using professional models or even mannequins will make the photograph more interesting. Not only that, but the customer will also get a better idea of the size and fit.
If a sweater looks better slightly off the shoulder, you should indicate that in your images. If you are stuck for ideas, one of the best online resources for clothes photography is Pinterest. Set up an account and start saving images to Pinboards. You can always use your Pinterest account as a social media marketing tool in the future.
What About The Lighting?
When you have never worked with photography lighting before, it is not easy to know how to use lighting techniques.
It is easy to add too much light to a photograph. When you add too much light, a product can easily start to look washed out. The edges may blur and it will blend into the background.
As a general rule of thumb, you should light the object before you start working with background lighting.
Should I Worry About Brand?
You are probably only too familiar with different clothing brands if you are selling clothes online. Most of us can recognize a brand of clothing from a logo alone. A classic example is the Polo logo by Ralph Lauren.
Should you create your own brand? Even if you are selling an online-only clothing range, the brand image matters a great deal.
There are many things that you should think about when it comes to brand images. Your choice of colors matters and you should try to stick to one or two colors. Using different shades of the same color is an idea when you want to mix things up.
Should you create your own logo? Why not? It may not seem that it matters at first, but it will matter. So many of us associate a favicon with a certain website. We instantly know the name of the site the moment the favicon pops up on our screens.
The same thing goes for clothes photography. Most customers will probably look at the logo before they look at the clothes. Make sure that the logo is prominently featured on your site.
Video Photography for clothing
Does video photography have a role to play when it comes to apparel photography?
Yes, it is true that we buy with our eyes, however, as we are shopping increasingly online, we want more information about the product before we click the buy button.
Video is one of the best ways to give customers more information about any product. It does not matter if it is the latest tablet or a cocktail dress.
In a video, you can easily indicate a lot of information. Making a video does not mean that you have to speak. Some of the best and easiest-to-follow product videos online do not have voiceovers at all.
Think about it this way. You are selling globally and many may not understand your native language perfectly or English. We think that English rules the world, but that is not necessarily true.
Written text in an info-commercial has just as much credibility as the spoken word. It is easy to indicate size, material and other important information when using text. When the customer wants to check any information, they can just scroll back and check the facts.
Video is also a fantastic social media marketing tool. You can use it on Facebook and other social media platforms including TikTok. I am sure that you have spent many happy hours watching interesting videos that you have come across online.
Never underestimate video as a marking tool. It is a great way to entice customers and hand out buying tips. You can show off your clothes and apparel from every angle using video.
Optimizing Images For Website Use
Another important factor that you don’t want to look overlook is to make sure that you optimize the images for a website.
Not all online product platforms handle images in the same way. As it is likely that you will use different sales platforms to sell your clothing line, you need to make sure that you understand the image requirements.
If you are new to apparel photography, it is a good idea to find out the different requirements and how your images will look. Images on a WooCommere site will work slightly differently from images on a Shopify site.
Then you should also consider Amazon. Many online sellers who have got their own websites also sell their products on Amazon. It is important to be familiar with the way all of these sites handle photographs and images.
When you are not sure, the smart way to proceed is to contact a professional product photographer. Maybe you don’t want to have all of your clothing ranges photographed by a professional, but it is a great way to learn how to photograph clothes.
More Photography Tips
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by commercial photography tips, so we are not going to get too hung up on the topic.
In general, if you feel that you need professional help, we would recommend that you contact a professional photographer. Contracting a product photographer may in fact cost you less than you think.
However, we are going to run through a few professional photography tips that may help you if you would like to try your hand at clothes photography.
Focal length – most professionals keep the prime lens at a length of 50 mm. It is the best focal length to use when you want to achieve a good shape and the image sharp.
Aperture – the aperture plays a role when it comes to apparel photography. Keep yours between f/8 and f/16 for the best results.
ISO – most fashion and clothes photographers keep their ISO level to around 100. It will reduce what photographers like to refer to as “noise” in the photographs that you take.
Use a tripod – a tripod will give you stability and you will avoid camera shake. Of course, when you are photographing professional models you may want to move around the studio or the area that you are shooting in. But, most photographers find that a tripod helps.
Light – to make sure that you get the look of materials right, it is important to play around with lights. You can buy specialist photography lighting kits when you have been involved with clothes photography for a while. Most of them are very cost-effective and will help you to achieve better images.
Shadows – one thing that you do want to avoid is shadows. Any shadow will distort the garment and make it look less attractive. That is why it is so important that you light it correctly.
Play around will light and you will soon discover that makes your clothing range look great.
Cleanliness – it is obvious to most, but not to all. The area that you work in should be dust free and clean. You be surprised how much dust and dirt particles show up on products when you use professional camera equipment. Needless to say, you also want to make sure that your hand are clean.
Professional models – if your budget is low, you may not be able to afford professional models. But, if you can afford professional models make sure that you are fully aware of all the costs involved. Some modelling agencies change per hour and others charge per session.
Studio costs – do you have your own studio? If you have your own studio set-up, you are lucky.
When you don’t have your own studio set-up, you may want to consider hiring one for the day or a couple of days. This is something that can work out expensive. Make sure that you keep an eye on the studio cost and find out what is involved.
Budget – as with everything else, there is a budget to consider. When you are selling clothes and apparel online, it is like that you will need to photograph clothes a couple of times per year. The last thing you want is for your photography experience to swallow up all of your money. Set a photography budget before you start and try to stick to it.
Online photography – photographing clothing for an online store is different from photographing clothes for Vogue and other fashion magazines. Keep that in mind before you start.
What About Post Production?
The best program to use for post-production is probably Adobe Photoshop, but there are many others out there.
If you have been shooting tethered, you may already have a pretty good idea of how “true” your images look.
But, you still want to check your images in post-production. Most importantly, it is essential that you check the colors.
Customers will mainly return garments for one or two reasons. The first reason is size and the second reason is color. The quality does matter, but if a customer is immediately disappointed in the color, the garment is often returned.
You have probably been there yourself. You open the package and the first thing you notice is that the item does not look like you had expected. Most of us are looking at the color This is why it is essential that the color in your image matches the color of your garment.
For the novice, this is not always easy to get right.
If you find that you are spending a lot of time in post-production, you should try to learn more about working with light. It is so important when it comes to fashion and clothes photography.
Final Thoughts On Clothes Photography
Clothes and apparel photography is a huge field. It has a steep learning curve.
You need to make sure that your time is well-spent. It is all too easy to end up spending many hours snapping photographs that you are not going to be able to use. Think about what you want to achieve.
When you are not 100% certain that you are going to get the most out of the photographs, it is best to leave the job to the professionals. Hiring a fashion photographer is very expensive and he may not have the experience that you are looking for.
Clothes photography is very much about presenting the images online. When you want to do so in the best way possible, it is a good idea to hire a product photographer instead. He will have the experience of working with different photography formats and will help you to produce everything from social media images to lookbook images. That will ensure your clothing range looks a cut above the rest.