If you are just getting started with clothing photography, you might want to know how to get professional-looking images without getting special training. This is especially true if you are selling items online that are being warehoused by you or have handmade items you want to successfully sell. However, even if you are only using your camera phone, you can produce high-quality images that will help you sell clothing online. All that is required are 9 tips that cover the common pitfalls amateur photographers make when photographing apparel.
Consider how light affects the fabric
One of the tricks to apparel photography is to take pictures of the fabrics with variations in light and filtering to see which produces the best results. In other words, do not expect to take one picture per outfit. Instead, try as many different types of light in a studio setting to see which one actually produces the results you are looking for. Once you have an idea of how to create the lighting, your customers will have the best idea of what they are getting.
Take the picture from multiple angles
One aspect of product photography that translates well into clothes photography is having multiple shots of the clothing from as many angles as possible. This will allow customers to make their own decisions about what they are seeing, and the more photos they have to work with the better. This is especially helpful when there is a ruler used in some pictures that can give customers a gauge for the size and length of certain aspects of the clothing.
Use more than one scene
Although studio photography has its advantages, changing the scene or background of a photograph encourages the clothing buyer to take a closer look. When they take the time to examine the item more carefully, they are more likely buy the item. Alternatively, giving customers more photo options can save a lot of money and stress with returns of items customers decided they did not like after they saw the item in person.
Give the clothing a chance to be seen in motion
One issue that customers have with clothing photographs is a lack of action in the photos. Unfortunately, a product photographer that goes beyond mannequins may forget to give their models a chance to strut around in the clothing they are modeling. Seeing how fabric moves and how the outfit holds up to wear gives potential customers more confidence in the product they are purchasing.
Do not be afraid to block or add lighting
One simple way to make the clothing you are photographing look its best is with the right lighting. In addition to adding extra light, consider the types of bulbs you are using in those lights. Also do not be afraid to filter or block light because this is often helpful with clothing photography that includes fabrics with a reflective surface. Blocking or filtering light can be as simple as using a plain white piece of paper in front of an uncovered light bulb.
Photograph the clothing how it is intended to be used
An aspect of apparel photography that can make photographs easy to overlook by customers is a lack of setting. For instance, if clothing is intended to be used in a business environment, having the clothing modeled in an office can help customers understand how to wear the outfit. Showing multiple settings also gives value to selling clothing online because customers know it is an item that can be worn almost anywhere.
Pay attention to warm and cool tones with your models
If there is one mistake that amateur photographers make with photographing clothing, it is forgetting about cool and warm tones. The clothing that a model wears needs to also match her skin tone. For example, if an item is offered in more than one color, consider using more than one model. One model needs to look good and cool tones while the other one needs to favor warm tones. The same principle can also be used to make the background match the tones of the clothing and the skin tone of the model.
Avoid over-editing photos
Although it is a temptation to fix any issues you have with your photos, customers will appreciate a photograph of clothing that is not photo edited. The lack of photo editing will create a sense of trust with your customers, and they will be more likely to purchase your item. Another disadvantage to photo editing is not realizing your edits are less likely to be seen on a small scale, but customers may end up viewing them on a grand scale in order to examine the clothing more closely.
Use the highest quality to save your photos
When you are uploading pictures to a website of your product photography, they may ask you to resize the images to fit their parameters. Regardless, your initial photographs should be the highest quality possible and this means the file size will be the largest. Later, if you need to create a smaller image, it will look better if it was reduced from the largest file size possible. This will keep your clothing edges from looking jagged in the thumbnail photos after they are enlarged.
Final tips and advice about clothing photography
Being a product photographer may not have been your intended trade, but these 9 tips can improve your clothing listings dramatically. Other tips to consider are the captions. For example, be sure to include in the caption the size the model is wearing and how tall the model is. It is also helpful for customers if more than one size is shown as well as more than one height of model. In our previous post, we covered 12 helpful tips for doing clothing photography
which can help you improve your clothing photography skills.