When capturing the perfect shot of clothing products for online sales, the lighting setup in your photography plays a crucial role.
The proper studio lighting setup can make your products look stunning, while improper lighting can make them appear dull and unattractive.
With numerous lighting options available, it can be overwhelming to decide where to begin.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of fifteen must-try photography lighting setups to enhance your eCommerce clothing photography.
Whether you’re an experienced photographer or just starting out, these setups will elevate your product images and help boost your online sales.
So grab your camera, gather some clothes to photograph, and let’s get started!
Proper studio lighting setup benefits
In the fast-paced world of eCommerce, captivating product imagery is vital for attracting customers and driving sales.
This is where a good lighting setup can play a crucial role.
Good lighting can help you showcase the details, textures, and colors of your clothing, making them more attractive to potential customers.
It can also help you create a consistent look across your product line, which is important for building brand recognition.
Overall, having a proper photography lighting setup can make a significant difference in the quality of your photos and, ultimately, the success of your online store.
Various types of photography lighting setups
We’ll explore the top ten lighting setups for eCommerce clothing photography in this article, but let’s first explore the types of lighting setups.
Lighting setups can be divided into three types:
Natural light can create beautiful, soft lighting when used correctly.
It offers a sense of authenticity to your product imagery.
Continuous lighting is a type of artificial lighting that provides a steady source of light and is often used in apparel photography and video production.
These are powerful flashes that can be triggered remotely or via a cable.
Studio strobes are commonly used in studio photography due to their ability to produce strong bursts of light, illuminating your clothing in a controlled environment.
Studio lighting setups for clothing photography
1. Single light setup
If you are a beginner in eCommerce clothing photography, you can start with a single light setup.
Whether you use a single continuous light or strobe light, make sure to pair it with a softbox or umbrella to even out the light.
It is recommended to position the light at a 45-degree angle from the clothing item to create soft and uniform lighting.
Additionally, using a reflector on the opposite side of the light source can help fill in shadows.
2. Dual light setup
As straightforward as it sounds, the dual light setup uses two continuous lights or strobes with softboxes or umbrellas.
We suggest placing one light on each side of the garment item at a 45-degree angle for best results.
This studio light setup ensures more balanced lighting than a single light setup and helps to eliminate shadows, which is essential when showcasing clothing details.
3. Arrangement with three lights
You can take your two-light setup to the next level by introducing a third light source and positioning it above and slightly behind the clothing piece.
This additional third light is commonly referred to as “rim light” or “hair light.”
By utilizing rim light as an additional photography lighting source, you can improve not only the depth of the image but also create a distinction between the product and its background.
As a result, your apparel images will look more professional and appealing.
4. Light setup with four-point
For the best possible apparel photography, go for a four-light setup and unlock the full potential of your clothing photography.
This photography lighting setup involves two key lights, a fill light, and a background light. Place the key lights on either side of the clothing item exactly like the dual and triple light setups.
Then add a fill light in front of the apparel item to minimize shadows, and use the background light to create separation between the product and the backdrop.
Don’t forget to use photography lighting equipment like softboxes or umbrellas to diffuse the light.
You can utilize this setup for high-end clothing photography, allowing you to capture the smallest details, colors, and textures.
5. Flat Layup
Many eCommerce sellers prefer to use flat-lay clothing images in their stores.
To capture a perfect flat-lay photo, arrange your clothing item on a level surface and position the light source directly overhead.
Use a softbox or umbrella to spread the light evenly over the clothing item and create even illumination.
To further bounce light and fill in any remaining shadows, consider using a reflector.
6. Butterfly lighting setup
Butterfly lighting is named after the butterfly-shaped shadow it creates under the subject’s nose.
This studio lighting setup is sometimes preferred in clothing and fashion photography.
To capture images with this unique lighting setup, position a single light source above and slightly in front of the clothing item, angled downward.
Consider using lighting modifiers like a reflector below the item to bounce light back up and fill in shadows.
The butterfly lighting setup is ideal for emphasizing the shape and form of clothing items, particularly when photographing them on a mannequin or model.
7. Clamshell lighting setup
Clamshell lighting, a widely employed portrait lighting setup, can also be effectively utilized when photographing apparel items.
To achieve optimal results with this lighting setup, position one light source above the clothing item and another below it, both angled toward the clothing item.
This arrangement produces a gentle, uniform illumination that minimizes shadows, thus providing an ideal setting for highlighting intricate details and patterns.
8. Edge/rim lighting setup
Edge lighting involves placing two light sources behind the clothing item on either side, angled toward the camera.
This setup creates a rim of light around the edges of the item, separating it from the background and adding depth to the image.
You may need to use a reflector or additional fill light in front of the item to ensure it’s adequately illuminated.
9. Ring light setup
A ring light setup is a popular choice for fashion and beauty photography.
It provides soft and balanced lighting that reduces shadows and creates a flattering effect on the subject.
This setup is particularly effective for photographing accessories or close-up shots of clothing details.
For best results, use a ring light stand or a tripod to stabilize the unit.
10. Window lighting setup
Window lighting, when used properly, can be a great option for apparel product photography.
This setup is cost-effective and works well for small businesses or those just starting out.
You can utilize natural light from a window or an open space.
For best results, place your clothing item on a mannequin or a flat surface near the light source and use a reflector or white foam board to bounce light and fill in shadows.
This photography lighting setup works best on cloudy days or in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not too harsh.
How to take perfect apparel photographs?
Setting up lighting for your eCommerce clothing photography and taking an excellent photograph can be a daunting task.
However, with a bit of practice and patience, it can become second nature.
Here are some tips to help you set up your lighting and take better apparel photos…
Always use white or neutral-colored backgrounds to ensure that clothing is the main focus of the photo.
Use a reflector to bounce light back onto the clothing and reduce harsh shadows.
Experiment with different angles and distances to find the most effective lighting setup for each piece of clothing.
Pay attention to the details and make sure that the lighting is even across the entire piece of clothing.
Take multiple shots from different angles to ensure you have enough options during post-processing.
Always use a tripod to prevent accidental camera shaking while taking clothing photos.
What post-processing steps do you take?
The editing and post-processing of your eCommerce clothing photography can make a huge difference in the quality of the final image.
No matter how much effort you put into capturing the most stunning photo for your apparel product images, they might still contain some issues like over or underexposure, too much noise, dust, wrinkles, etc.
A post-production service such as eCommerce image editing can prove useful in situations such as these.
By utilizing these services, you can ensure your clothing product images look great every time.
If you use mannequins when capturing garment items, they can distract your potential buyers, which can result in unsatisfied customers and lost sales.
With our ghost mannequin photo editing services, you can make the clothes look 3D by removing the mannequin from your clothing photography in order to make the clothes look as if they are lying on a mannequin.
We also provide other post-production services for images, so be sure to check out our service pages if you need anything else.
Lastly, a few thoughts
Lighting is essential to eCommerce clothing photography.
It can make the difference between a successful online store and one that struggles to attract customers.
You now have the tools and knowledge needed to create stunning eCommerce clothing photography that showcases your clothing in the most pleasing possible light.
Remember to experiment with different photography lighting setups, pay attention to the details, and don’t be afraid to try something new.
With practice and patience, you can take your eCommerce clothing photography to a whole radically different level.