5 things to keep in mind during a Mannequin shoot at home

5 things to keep in mind during a Mannequin shoot at home

A Mannequin shoot from home is now a simple thing to achieve with professional outcomes.With modern smartphones, getting the perfect click with convenience is no more a distant dream.

Mannequins are budget friendly options for obtaining a professional touch in your apparel photography effortlessly. You could use simple photoshop tricks and go for ghost mannequin photography as well. 

Not matter what you choose to do in the end, here is what it takes to become a pro at apparel photography with your smartphone. 

    • 5 quintessential things to do mannequin shoot at home
      1. Pay attention to colour of the mannequin & the background
      2. Go for a straight-up mannequin
      3. Don’t miss the angles and details
      4. Have the tapes and clips in place
      5. Choose the right size of mannequin
    • Mistakes to avoid during mannequin shoot
      1. Not getting the garment shoot-ready
      2. Not setting the camera
      3. Not using the right mannequin
      4. Not taking enough images
      5. Not processing the images
      6. Not being creative
    • Go for it

5 quintessential things to do mannequin shoot at home

  • Pay attention to colour of the mannequin & the background 

White mannequins are preferred for product photography because they go with all colors. However, they tend to fade the imagery sometimes. A chrome colored or transparent colored mannequin is ideal if you want to show upclass urban feel. If you are targeting youth, you can go for a bright color. Using shades like grey also show diversity which may be important for your brand image. 

Here are few more handy tips for buying mannequins. 

It is usually advised to keep the background white because a clean white background doesn’t interfere with the actual product colors. An added benefit is that white color doesn’t scatter light so the colors are not tampered with – a bonus for getting a great shot. Investing in a white paper roll is a great idea.  

  • Go for a straight-up mannequin

    straight-up mannequin

The best thing about mannequin shoot is that it gives the viewers the illusion of flaunting the product. While the retail stores invest in mannequins standing in different styles and positions, it is advisable for eCommerce photographers to use a straight up mannequin. They look better post editing. 

Besides, a standing mannequin gives the customers a better idea of the shape and form of the product being displayed. Feel free to experiment if you are selling yoga, sports or special purpose merchandise and poses are important. You have choices galore on Amazon.

  • Don’t miss the angles and details

Whether you are using a mannequin or not, taking a good shot from every angle is a necessary step, especially in apparel smartphone photo photography that you cannot afford to miss. The customers view online products in the same way as retail stores. Just the front view is not enough; aim for the side, back angles and 45-degree snaps and have some 8-10 fancy images at hand. 

How will the product look on me? Is it too long or too short? How does it look form the sides? These are some of unsolved doubts customers have while buying. Photographing products at different angles on a mannequin clearly conveys how the product will look like on a real person, leaving no scope for doubts in buyer’s minds. Also don’t forget the detailing of your product. Garment has an amazing zip or cuff? Little embroidery on the helm? Leave no details un-photographed.

Another detail that brands usually miss out, is the sleeves of the garment. They should face down, without displaying the inner part for a professional image. 

Mannequin shoot for Apparel
Mannequin shoot for Apparel
  • Have the tapes and clips in place

Get the clips and tapes handy is one of the important steps for apparel photography. The most crucial thing to remember here is that the products need to fit the mannequin like a real person. In order to bring out the effect, by all means use tapes, clipping pins and other objects to hold the product in place. Especially if your mannequin is small and the clothes don’t fit in too well, using clips becomes mandatory for proper draping

Mannequin pin up garment
Draping a garment on Mannequin

The aim here to let your product fall perfectly on the mannequin’s body like it was made for it. This dreamy look is sure to lure customers into buying it without a second thought.

  • Choose the right size of mannequin

One of the best practices for mannequin shoot at home is investing in the right size of depending on your products. The size needs to be as per standard Indian height and body measurements. Try to match the body size of an average person – 5 feet 6 inch with a chest of 36 is more realistic than 6 feet with a chest of 32. 

Your garment should fit the mannequin perfectly for that realistic image, so watch out for the stooping shoulders or irregular figures too. You can go for a full body or a torso mannequin depending on the product. 

Mistakes to avoid during mannequin shoot

Now that you know the tips for mannequin shoot at home using smartphone, give a quick read to know about some mistakes that brands usually make. 

  • Not getting the garment shoot-ready

Images never lie, especially in the online stores. Brands usually make the mistake of dressing up the mannequin without prior preparations. Steam/iron your clothes and get rid of the creases. Look out for stains, damages or other problematic areas and take care of them while photographing. Taking extra care during the shoot will save your time and effort at the end so you don’t have to rely on your photoshop expert to get rid of these last minute.

  • Not setting the camera

While having the perfect setting for the shoot, don’t forget setting the camera. You might have a great studio-like setup at home but you still need the right camera settings. Make sure the ISO is less (preferably 200) for sharper images. Also keep the White balance to “auto” mode to bring out the true colors of product. The aperture needs to be set to f16 for attaining clarity.  Before you press the shutter and snap, remember to focus-in on the product.  If you are into this for long, then it is advisable to use tripod stands. They are easy to handle and make your work easier by allowing you to take blur-free, steadier images every single time. 

  • Not using the right mannequin

Symmetry can never be compromised in images. The mannequin and the garment size should be religiously matched or you are just going to lose a potential buyer. Let your product be the deciding factor while choosing mannequins. For example, if you are selling plus size apparel, your mannequin needs to be smaller for a better product feel and display. Investing in the wrong size will create a baggy, oversized look which is evidently bad news for your sales. 

  • Not taking enough images

Mannequins render a realistic feel to the overall image; use it to the best of your advantage. Take as many images as you want, twist the mannequin and take shots right, left and centre. E-commerce websites allow businesses to upload at least 8 images of a certain product to ensure a better view and understanding by the buyers online. You already hold an upper edge with a mannequin, now make the buyers believe they are actually trying your product. Ensure that you have close up images of intricate details of your product that make it unique and sell-worthy.

  • Not processing the images

Your smartphone has a great camera which will enables you to take extravagant shots but you still need to process your click. Fret not, a few tweaks in the image will render it web-worthy. You should make basic changes or if required, remove the mannequins completely to get the popular “ghost mannequin effect” like this. Turn to professional help if this seems difficult. 


Ghost Mannequin Effect
Ghost Mannequin

Take the help of Photoshop, use guidelines to ensure proper alignment in the image and size the product images correctly. Color correct your images and use crop tool sensibly. If doing all this seems a task and you have no idea how to use mannequin photography effects, you can always approach image editors out there who possess the technical know-how for post-processing of images. 

  • Not being creative

Shooting with a mannequin is certainly one of the best practices for staging your clothes to sell online. The last thing to avoid is going mundane with mannequin shoots. Why you ask? Product photography game is challenging and your competitors are putting their best foot forward. Follow the rules but don’t forget to experiment. Get creative by adorning your mannequin with accessories that beautify the overall look. You could also opt for a signature accessory that goes with most colors, to give a consistent look to your brand product photography.

Go for it

Now that you know the common mistakes during mannequin shoot at home, it is easy to avoid them. Mannequins can be a great idea to incorporate into product photography and even help create a consistent brand look for eCommerce sites. They are easy to work with, scalable and most importantly, fit the budget of almost all scales of businesses. Having a smartphone already allows brands to work seamlessly without investments but a mannequin is one intelligent investment that you won’t regret. 


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