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Ghost Mannequin Effect in eCommerce Product Images: A Complete Guide

January 30, 2023 -

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Ghost mannequin effect in eCommerce product images-Tech Cloud Ltd

If you have an online apparel business, it can be challenging for you to portray how a garment fits without spending too much or distracting customers.

Customers want to see how the products look when worn, but flat or folded displays do not provide enough detail.

But hiring models for all apparel photos is not cost-effective, and using traditional mannequins can be distracting.

Plus, models and traditional mannequins block desired details such as the inner collar, stitched brand logo, and jean hems.

Fortunately, there are options available to overcome these challenges.

Ghost mannequin photo editing services utilizing the invisible mannequin technique provide a solution for these issues.

But what is a ghost mannequin, and how do these services work? Let’s take a closer look.

Ghost mannequin Photoshop technique – what exactly is it?

What is ghost mannequin - Tech Cloud Ltd

In simple terms, the “ghost mannequin” effect, also known as the invisible mannequin technique or hollow man effect, is a powerful post-production technique for apparel product photography.

This post-production technique eliminates the need for models or expensive mannequins and creates the illusion of an invisible person wearing the garment. 

It’s a highly effective way to showcase clothing products realistically and professionally, with the focus solely on the product and no distractions from models or mannequins. 

This approach ensures that the clothes look like they would on a real person and highlights the product appealingly and professionally.

But it wasn’t always this way. In the past, before the invisible mannequin technique was invented, apparel businesses used to display clothing in four ways:

  • On a live model
  • On a mannequin or dummy
  • On a hanger
  • As a flat lay on a table

Ghost mannequin photo editing: how does it work?

Ghost mannequin photo editing - Tech Cloud Ltd

To utilize the ghost mannequin effect for your apparel photos, all you need to do is take multiple photographs of your product on a model or mannequin and send them to a reputable ghost mannequin service provider.

Then they will expertly combine the interior and exterior of your garment and remove all traces of the model or mannequin, leaving you with an image that perfectly portrays how your apparel items fit in 3D. 

Furthermore, for ghost mannequins that aren’t changed at the neck joint, such as pants, watches, and caps, it is possible to alter the clothing to provide natural volume and texture, making your images look even more realistic.

The following stages are involved in invisible mannequin services:

  1. To begin, only two images are needed: one of the outfits with the mannequin and one without (so that the inside label is visible).
  1. Images editing experts will use a clipping path to join the two photos at the neck.
  1. Clothes on ghost mannequins that aren’t modified at the neck joint, such as pants, watches, and hats, will be adjusted to create natural volume and texture.
  1. If you want to, they can enhance the apparel or accessories and mix the ghost mannequin with other services such as color correction or shadow effect.
  1. That’s all! You’ll have clothing that appears to be worn by an invisible person.

Flat-lay vs hiring a model vs an invisible mannequin (Which is better?)

As an apparel business owner, you can utilize various ways or techniques to photo-shoot your products. Each of these has pros and cons. Let’s discuss the following:

Flat-lay photo shooting

Flat-lay photo shooting - Tech Cloud Ltd

Flat-lay (on a table or hanger)photoshoots do not effectively showcase the fit and shape of products.

They also look very unprofessional. By failing to represent the full dimensions, potential buyers may get discouraged from making a purchase.

Hiring models

Models for ecommerce product photography - Tech Cloud Ltd

Not only are hiring models costly, but they are also time and resource intensive.

Furthermore, the model must change into each item, which requires the presence of hair and makeup professionals and a stylist to properly present the apparel.

Even though using models in photography is a better option to demonstrate a product than flat-lay photography, they can still:

  • Take away the focus from the clothing item.
  • Hide important details of the interior of the clothing.
  • Requires more post-processing after taking the picture.

Using mannequins

Shooting on a mannequin or dummy can provide a more three-dimensional representation of the product, similar to using models.

This can be particularly useful for clothing or other items that require the viewer to see the item from multiple angles.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that a dummy may not be the most visually appealing option due to its artificial appearance.

Moreover, just like models, dummies also hide important details and may require additional post-processing.

Using mannequins for ecommerce product photography - Tech Cloud Ltd

Invisible mannequin technique

Applying the ghost Mannequin effect can be a highly effective way to showcase clothing professionally and dynamically.

Removing the physical model from the image, allows the focus to be solely on the fit, cut, and overall look of the garment.

While it may require multiple shots to achieve this effect, utilizing ghost mannequin photo editing services saves both time and money in the long run.

Not only does it create a 3D-like appearance, but it also enables customers to envision themselves wearing the clothing, ultimately leading to increased confidence in their purchases and acceleration in sales.

Overall, using a ghost Mannequin is the most cost-effective option to exhibit your products in the best possible way.

Because you don’t have to hire expensive models and wait for their schedules, nor do you have to photograph your apparel items on a hanger or table, nor do you need expensive mannequins.

Ghost mannequin photography technique: steps to take pictures

Make your studio ready - Tech Cloud Ltd

1. Make your studio ready

In all kinds of photography, lighting plays a crucial role; ghost mannequin photography is no different.

Because low-quality lighting can significantly reduce the quality of your images, so make sure your studio is well-equipped with photography lights, umbrellas, and reflectors. 

Additionally, investing in a good camera with a telephoto lens can help you capture all the tiny details, as well as a tripod for stable and sharp images.

Moreover, you need to have all the tools and necessary items in hand for styling clothing.

By ensuring proper lighting, camera setup, and other necessary items in place, you will be equipped to take high-quality photos for the ghost mannequin photo editing services. 

2. Choose a model or mannequin

Choose a model or a mannequin - Tech Cloud Ltd

When choosing a ghost mannequin for your brand, it’s important to consider the apparel type you want to photograph.

After deciding that, then you need to choose the right mannequin.

It needs to be the right size and shape for the clothes you’re photographing, and the apparel should naturally fit and flow around the contours of the mannequin’s body. 

If you choose to work with a model, their style and pose must be minimal, with hair tied up.

Remember to capture photos from different angles and use styling clips and pins to make the dress fit perfectly. Make sure to fix any wrinkles or unnecessary marks before taking photos for an optimum final look.

Pro tip:
It’s best to work with white or transparent mannequins as they easily blend with the background.

3. Determine which piece to remove from the mannequin

Mannequin often comes with different parts. Depending on the type of apparel, you will need to remove certain pieces.

For example, when photographing a zip-up hoodie on a ghost mannequin, it’s important to consider how much of the jacket you want to leave open in the photos.

To achieve this, you’ll need to remove certain pieces of the mannequin, such as a chest piece, to show the garment’s inner lining and create a subtle flare at the bottom hem. The deeper the opening, the more pieces you’ll need to remove. 

Additionally, you may want to consider removing the piece in the pelvic area of the mannequin to create a more natural look.

Overall, the key is to decide how many pieces of the mannequin to remove according to the desired effect you want to achieve in the photos.

4. Clothe the mannequin

Clothe the mannequin - Tech Cloud Ltd

Dressing an invisible mannequin for photography can be tricky, but with the right approach, it can be done with ease.

Start by pulling the sleeves of the garment over the mannequin arms, making sure that the shoulders are perfectly aligned and neat.

Be mindful not to stretch the material of the apparel by pulling it too tightly onto the mannequin. 

As you dress the mannequin, pay attention to the details, such as the inner lining of the apparel through the open neck and collar, as this will provide a clear view for capturing the image of the garment inside and out. ‍

5. Style your apparel item

Style your apparel item - Tech Cloud Ltd

Styling clothes to perfectly fit the shape and contours of the mannequin is an important step in achieving a professional look for your product photography.

Styling clips and pins are often used to achieve this goal. 

Start by identifying areas on the backside of the apparel that needs to be pulled tighter to give the front a more fitted look.

Use styling clips vertically down the center of the backside to avoid creating unnatural creases. 

When using pins, hide them by pinning the underside of the garment.

To add more “life” to the clothing, padding with tissue paper can create a more full-bodied appearance.

The key is to ensure that the clothing looks natural, neat, and symmetrical on the mannequin.

Once you have completed this step, you can move on to photographing your apparel item.

6. Photograph your clothing product

Photograph your clothing product - Tech Cloud Ltd

The process of capturing photos for the ghost mannequin photo editing services is relatively easy, but it does require attention to detail.

After completing all other steps, now it’s time to turn on the light and photograph the outfit. 

The key with the lighting and exposure is to emphasize areas of the fabric that help you give more shape to the model/mannequin.

A light reflector can also be used to direct light into hard-to-reach areas like the armpits and the gap between the sleeves and torso.

When photographing the outfit, it’s important not to photograph it from too high or too low an angle.

The final outlook of the photography will depend on the angle and distance of the camera.

Some photographers make the mistake of photographing all types of clothes from a similar distance and angle.

So, it’s essential to align the camera angle properly to make the photography more realistic. 

You can follow these steps to ensure that the images that you capture will turn out as you desire: 

  • First, capture the front and back view of the outfit on the model or mannequin. Next, turn each garment inside out. 
  • Style and hang each garment on a foam board and photograph the front and back again. These board shots illustrate the interior of the garment when merging the images. For collared shirts or dresses, ensure the collar is open, and the inner lining is visible.
  • When taking photos of a shirt, gown, jacket, or coat, the camera should be set at chest level. This will keep the shape and view natural. On the other hand, for pants, skirts, jeans, and shorts, the camera should be set at hip level. 

Pro Tip:
The main objects, such as t-shirts, pants, and baby dresses, should cover at least 80% of the entire frame for an appropriate image for uploading online.

Ghost mannequin photo editing benefits

Utilizing Ghost mannequin photo editing services has a number of advantages for fashion retailers. Here are the top benefits of these services:

Ghost mannequin photo editing - Tech Cloud Ltd

1. Cost-efficient

Ghost mannequin services can be a cost-effective solution for e-commerce businesses that want to showcase their products in a visually appealing manner.

You can get stunning product images without breaking the bank. By partnering with an experienced photo editing service provider like us, you can save the cost of:

  • Hiring models for the photoshoot
  • Buying expensive dummies or mannequins
  • Training your team
  • Purchasing professional photo-editing software and tools.
  • Hiring in-house photo editors and designers.

With our expert ghost mannequin photo editing services, you can make the most of your budget and invest in other areas of your business.

2. Clarity and transparency

When it comes to showcasing your products, using ghost mannequin services can provide a significant advantage over traditional mannequins or models.

The “ghost” characteristics of the technique allow you to capture and display hidden details such as collars, logos, or fabric hemlines, which helps to provide a more detailed understanding of the product and allows your customers to visualize themselves wearing it. 

This level of detail can lead to more informed and confident purchases, which can ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and repeat business.

By using ghost mannequin services, you can ensure that what your customers see is exactly what they will get, thus leaving a positive impact on their buying experience.

3. Consistent and uniform look

With ghost mannequin services, you can create a uniform and cohesive look for your e-commerce store.

These services can ensure that all of your garments items will look consistent in your store.

Not only is visual consistency important to establish your business identity as an apparel brand, but it also helps attract more customers and instills trust in them that they will receive a high-quality product no matter what they purchase.

4. Reduce hassles

Forget about the hassles of model photography. You can use a cheap dummy to shoot the mannequin from different angles and capture separate shots of specific details such as the neck, sleeve, or bottom. 

By utilizing the invisible mannequin technique, you can then achieve a 3D effect in your images without the need for expensive models or dummies.

This approach not only can help save you a lot of money but also from headaches from dealing with models.

5. Saving time

The advantages of using ghost mannequin photo editing services for fashion apparel stores go beyond just increased sales, conversions, and improved appearances. 

When you use models for product photography, the process becomes more complex with additional post-production tasks such as photograph modification and shading correction.

With ghost mannequin photo editing, these complexities are eliminated, and the work can be completed in a timely manner. 

Instead of using models, you can simply use a dummy or have someone wear the clothing and take the images.

After the photo shoot, you can send the images to us, and we will quickly remove the model or mannequin, leaving a photo that solely focuses on your product without the need for hours of retouching.

This can save time and resources while still achieving high-quality product images.

6. Competitive edge

Having a professional and visually appealing e-commerce store is essential to capture the attention of your customers.

An e-store filled with consistent, high-quality product photos will not only entice your customers but also give you an edge over competitors with flat, uninteresting photos that fail to showcase their products effectively. 

Utilizing the invisible mannequin technique in post-production can help you highlight your product’s unique features and make them stand out from the rest.

It’s a great way to give your e-store a professional look and set you apart from the competition.

7. Improve product appearance

Improve your product appearance - Tech Cloud Ltd

It’s clear that ghost mannequin photo editing can greatly enhance the appearance and presentation of products for fashion apparel stores.

By removing the mannequin from the image, the focus is solely on the product, eliminating any distractions that might be present in the background.

This allows shoppers to take a closer look at the product without being disturbed by busy or inappropriate backgrounds. 

This can lead to increased engagement and conversions, as customers can better envision themselves wearing the item.

Overall, ghost mannequin photo editing is an effective way to present your products in the best light and improve the overall customer experience of your e-commerce store.

Do ghost mannequins make a good investment?

Gone are the days of trekking from store to store in search of the perfect outfit. Today, all it takes is a quick online search and a few clicks to purchase the latest trends from the comfort of your own home.

As more and more businesses shift to e-commerce, the importance of exceptional product images cannot be overstated.

Not only do they enhance your brand image, but they also drive customer engagement, boost conversion rates, and ultimately drive sales.

To ensure your product images stand out, consider working with a professional ghost mannequin service provider.

However, when outsourcing this service, it’s crucial to choose your partner wisely.

Research their experience in mannequin product editing, read customer testimonials, and discuss your specific goals and budget with them to ensure you get the most out of the partnership.

Wrapping up

The ghost mannequin Photoshop technique is a highly effective method for e-commerce businesses to showcase their products in a visually appealing manner. 

By removing the mannequin from the image and leaving just the clothing, customers can better imagine themselves wearing it.

Instead of spending tons of money on models on multiple mannequins, business owners can now take advantage of ghost mannequin photo editing services and get 3D-looking product images without the hassle.

So it can be smart to choose these services as they save you time and money and enable you to show your apparel items in the best way possible.

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Team Tech Cloud, the digital marketing team at Tech Cloud Ltd, excels in image post-production, graphic design, and 3D rendering. They craft visually stunning, insightful content that enhances industry understanding and drives reader engagement through their innovative blog posts.

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