A Handy Guide to Apparel Photography
By now, online shopping is as normal as going to the grocery store and can be done anywhere at anytime. As an ecommerce owner, though, that doesn’t mean you can rest easy and expect money to roll in!
On the contrary, 78% of online shoppers cite not being able to feel and touch products as the most undesirable aspect of the process. This poses a special challenge when it comes to clothing, making its presentation not only important, but vital to your success.
So since that’s the case, just how do you guarantee beautiful apparel photography for your ecommerce site? Follow our short guide and find out!
Prepare The Clothing
In a perfect world, clothing would arrive to your studio perfectly constructed and pressed. But, that isn’t the case, now is it? This means taking the steps necessary beforehand to examine each piece of clothing and remove unsightly tags, steam out unseemly wrinkles, and repair any damage it may have sustained during transit. If you wait until post-production to all this, the quality of your image will suffer drastically. Let’s try to avoid that!
The Importance of a Proper Studio Set-Up
Contrary to popular belief, a proper studio need not be extremely expensive. That said, if you can shell out a few more bucks for extra equipment, you’ll be a lot more versatile because of it. Regardless of what you do, here are the most important aspects to a decent studio setup:
- Background Let the colors of your garments dazzle the eyes with a light background using white or grey paper readily available at any photography shop. Either tape this to a wall or floor for a low-cost installation or combine it with a c-stand for more maneuverability. Make sure your area is clean and you’re already well on your way!
- Camera While this is obviously one of the key parts of your entire endeavour, it doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. Invest in a DSLR with basic manual settings, something like a Nikon D3300, or even use a smartphone! They are, after all, increasingly more powerful with every year that passes. What is necessary, though, is a tripod: it’ll eliminate shakes and allow yourself the freedom to do something else if need be.
- Lighting Go for natural lighting if you can. Usually, that’s all you’ll need! If you don’t have access to large enough windows, invest in a lighting kit like this one for the kind of consistent lighting necessary for proper ecommerce apparel shots.
While models are the preferred method in bringing your apparel to life, they’re also pretty expensive. It may be an unfortunate challenge, but nothing impossible to overcome. Instead, style your clothing on mannequins, a cheaper yet still very versatile option. We at BBG can even get rid of the mannequin for you in post-production if you’re concerned the mannequin might be too distracting!
Set Your Camera Accordingly!
There’s no use in shooting if all your camera settings are off. It’s absolutely imperative you know how to manipulate ISO, aperture, and white balance for the most professional looking photos every time!
- ISO is defined as the sensitivity of the image sensor. The lower the number, the less sensitive a camera is to light and the finer the grain. So, use your tripod in combination with an ISO of 100-200 for the clearest apparel photographs.
- Aperture controls the image sensor’s degree of exposure to light. The larger this number, the more aspects of the image will be in focus. As such, set it to larger than f/11 to allow everything be in full focus.
- White Balance Every light source has different levels of warmth, creating different shades of color that blanket a scene. Because of this, adjusting your camera’s white balance for the specific type of light you have will prevent your apparel shots from being too blue, orange, or any other color for that matter!
It’s Not Over Until The Fat Lady Shoots
Now, it’s time to shoot. Don’t get too excited, though, but rather exercise patience and plan out your shots. The more, the better. Try different angles: in front, behind, at various angles, up close and person with details — you really can’t go wrong. The more images you come away with, the more options you have at better presenting the product in question, resulting in higher chances of actually selling it!
Beautifying all the dozens, if not hundreds, of photos in post-production can usually a slog that no one really wants to do. While it’s unavoidable, it can be tedious to devote so much attention and time to the process.