Here’s the scenario: You are shopping for your first pair of gym leggings. Two different shops offer the same product. Its high waist, capri cut and made from seamless material. Both have positive reviews, the same price point, and a fast delivery option. The only difference between the two is how they showcase their products. This is when how to photograph clothing for your Shopify store is vital.
One seller has professional-looking photos. You can totally rock this gym wear. The other one, well, you aren’t really sure if it’s flattering and hugs the right places. The photo is unbearable. It’s pixelated and cropped onto a stock photo.
Who do you choose?
Don’t feel bad. It happens to everyone.
Product images can influence 90% of consumers’ purchasing decisions. We value accurate and quality visual product representation. So, you can’t blame shoppers for wanting premium product photos. They can’t feel or touch the item. They only rely on pictures to make a decision.
If you have poor-quality photos, then they won’t be able to visualize wearing your garment. But how do you have beautiful images, when you sell clothing products. It seems overwhelming and challenging. But we will teach you how to photograph clothing for your Shopify store:
Prepare before actual photo-shoot
Before we teach you how to photograph clothing for your Shopify store, don’t disregard the importance of preparation. What most start-up clothing online stores fail to do is prepping their products for the shoot. Clothes get wrinkled and creased due to storage or transportation. Taking a picture in this pitiable condition can leave a foul taste to your buyers.
Sure, Photoshop can fix this inconvenience. But it will take time and effort to edit out all the flaws properly. If you don’t have any photo-editing experience, you will spend money on hiring a professional. The cost can go as low as $5 up to $1,000. Yikes.
There is also a risk of over manipulating the picture, making it unrealistic. In a study, customers return items if it doesn’t look like in the photos.
In a nutshell, it’s still convenient to prep your items. Take out the clothing from the packaging, hang it on a rack, and steam it. If there are any damages like stain and excess thread, remove it. For a more organized way, you can prepare first the tops and then move to other items in your catalog.
Use proper studio set-up
You don’t necessarily have to rent a professional photography studio. You can still get high-quality images, even on a shoestring budget. All you need is a room, camera, backdrop, mannequin, and a tripod. It won’t hurt if you invest in other equipment like a studio a monolight. But if you can’t afford to spend money on lighting equipment, you can always rely on the sun.
A white or grey backdrop should be your only color choice. If you use a different hue, you can turn post-editing into a living nightmare. Loud colors and textured backgrounds can make edges challenging to trace and erase. So, don’t use them. You can purchase a seamless roll of a white backdrop. You can also opt for two to three yards of plain white cloth. Just make sure to even iron or steam it to avoid creases or wrinkles. Using a stand will help the backdrop stay in place. You can also tape it on the wall in case you don’t have a stand.
Camera and Tripod
Don’t go all out and crazy on your camera gear. As long as the camera comes with aperture settings and manual exposure, you are good to go. Even a smartphone will work, but make sure that it has accurate colors and high-quality output. Holding the camera for an extended period is taxing on your arms. Plus, you won’t get consistent angles for all your photos. This is why having a tripod is necessary for your shoot.When adjusting the settings of the camera, pay attention to three parameters. These are white balance, ISO, and aperture. High ISO levels can make your pictures grainy, and reduce the sharpness of the product. As much as possible, have the ISO settings around 100-200 only. Aperture, on the other hand, is the focus (f/10, f/12, etc.). Lastly, white balance determines how your gear interpret colors in different lighting types. If you are unsure, you can choose AUTO and let your camera do its magic.
As mentioned, you can ask for free help from mister sun. If it partially illuminates the product, we recommend artificial lighting equipment. Although you’ll be spending money, it can be a good investment. It makes photo sessions more efficient and versatile. You can also carry it with you.You don’t need to have several studio lights. You can opt for a single light setup instead. This includes a softbox (for diffusing light), light head, c-stand, and a battery pack. So, where should you position your product for optimal lightning?For a natural light source, keep the item near a window. Partial and direct illumination will not work. It should be even and indirect. In a single light setup, position the light source and softbox at a 45-degree angle. This will create a soft and even lightning. If there is a shadow, the simplest and quickest fix to place the product away from the backdrop. As for the camera, keep it a few meters away from the clothing.
Styling the garments on set
You shouldn’t spend too much time showcasing a garment’s fit, shape, and design. There are two options you can do – you can either hire a model or have a mannequin. The latter is more inexpensive than a professional. Plus, it looks more cohesive and more convenient to make some adjustments.
Let’s say you have a large t-shirt. When you put it over into a mannequin, it looks ill-fitting. But a few fixes like pinning it will make it look better. What if you don’t want to have the mannequin in the final product image. A quick fix in post-production processing can remove any trace of the mannequin.
Since your backdrop is plain, a white mannequin is okay to use. During post-editing, you can use the Magic Wand tool to remove the mannequin. You can use the Eraser tool for polishing.
Taking the pictures
Now that you have the product, camera gear, and studio ready for the photoshoot, it’s now time to start taking pictures. But, before snapping away, here is a pro tip. Press the camera’s shutter release button half-way through. Your camera will focus better.
Don’t be shy about taking several pictures. You should always have different angles of the product, not only the front. For a smoother process, have a checklist. List down product names. Each one should have an angle checkbox. If there are any details that you want to highlight, make sure to capture it too.
There’s no harm in improving your product photos. Unless it turns out different from the actual clothing. Some post-production you can do is removing the mannequin and background. You can also conduct color-correction if some images aren’t accurate. Avoid using filters and other special effects. Keep it realistic.
Even when you are in a different store niche, the rules still apply. High-quality pictures can impact and influence a buyer’s purchasing decision. For the best results, follow our how to photograph clothing for your Shopify store. You can also read our guide about ecommerce sales.