Studio 25 / 34-36 Ralph St, Alexandria, Sydney
In the complex contemporary world of ecommerce and fashion photography, the specific ways in which a product is photographed and displayed can have a significant impact on your brand’s potential sales and customer engagement. From using an invisible “ghost mannequin”, to hanger photography and flat lays, each style of photography possesses its own unique benefits that make it more suitable for certain distinct contexts. When choosing which style to use for photographing your brand’s products, there are a few key aspects to consider such as the nature of the viewer’s desired interaction with the product, as well as the types of information the photograph needs to convey about the product’s tactile qualities or the way in which it moves.
Ghost mannequin photography, also known as invisible mannequin photography, is an effective photography tool for helping customers view a product in a realistic three-dimensional context without the distraction of a model. As the sole focus within this style of photography remains on the garment, the customer can more easily imagine themselves wearing the product, whilst eliminating potential comparison or subconscious bias they may have towards a model. Without the need to hire a model, this technique can be an affordable yet engaging way to display your products.
Such factors make ghost mannequin photography a popular choice for displaying garments such as blazers, jackets and shirts, where the fit and tailoring of the product should be the primary focus. In women’s fashion photography in particular, ghost mannequin photography can be an effective tool for highlighting the three-dimensional planes and careful construction of products such as fitted dresses, trench coats and formal blazers.
Similarly, hanger photography displays the garment hanging from a hanger, usually featuring a soft shadow to create an impression of a three-dimensional environment. Unlike ghost mannequin photography, however, hanger photography is less centred around mimicking the shape of a human body, and more focused on emphasising the structural features and aesthetic features of the garment. The product can be displayed in a professional, clean and distraction free manner, whilst still providing customers with a sense of scale and depth. Customers are encouraged to imagine the garment in real-life contexts, such as hanging in their personal wardrobe.
These features make hanger photography a cost-effective and visually appealing option for a wide range of businesses, products, and commercial contexts. Particularly in sectors such as men’s fashion, hanger photography may be the ideal technique for displaying simple, everyday garments such as shirts, singlets and sweaters.
Flat lay photography, on the other hand, may be a more suitable choice when displaying multiple variants of the same product, by drawing attention to the various patterns or colours available within a product range. In this deceptively simple style of photography, the product is laid on a flat surface and shot from a bird’s eye view, utilising depth, layers and patterns to create eye-catching images that highlight key aspects of the product. For example, small details such as embroidered logos or imagery may be harder to capture and draw attention to through the more dynamic posing of ghost mannequin or hanger photography.
Flat lay photography is therefore a popular choice for online ecommerce contexts such as websites, where it may be paired with model photography to provide customers with the benefits of viewing a product in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional contexts. Individually, flat lay photographs help draw the viewer’s eye to key details of the garment, without the distraction of shadows or potential obscuring of the garment’s proportions encountered in more dynamic styles of photography.
The technique chosen for shooting your product should therefore be informed by intent – what are the key features of your product which deserve to be highlighted in the photographs?
When choosing between ghost mannequin, hanger and flat lay photography, consider whether it is more beneficial for the customer to view the product on a mannequin in order to highlight its structural features, or to get a more comprehensive view of the smaller crucial details visible in a flat lay composition?
Our team of professional photographers will happily answer any questions you may have regarding choosing the best photography techniques for your particular product. No matter the product, context, or intent, the creative team at Design Identity can help you achieve the outcome you are after.