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Top Tips for Perfecting Ghost Mannequin Photography

In the competitive world of e-commerce, high-quality product images are crucial for attracting customers and driving sales. Ghost mannequin photography, also known as invisible mannequin photography, is a technique that allows garments to appear as if they are being worn by an invisible model. This method gives clothing a 3D, lifelike appearance, enhancing its appeal and helping customers visualise how it will fit.

What is Ghost Mannequin Photography?

Ghost mannequin photography, also known as invisible mannequin photography, is a technique used by professional photographers to create the illusion that clothing items are being worn by an invisible model. This technique is commonly used in the fashion industry to display clothing products in a way that highlights their fit, shape, and detailing without the distraction of a visible model or mannequin.

Here are some top tips for perfecting ghost mannequin photography to ensure your product images stand out.

1. Choose the Right Mannequin

Selecting the right mannequin is the first step in achieving excellent ghost mannequin photography. Opt for a mannequin that fits the style and size of your clothing. Adjustable mannequins can be beneficial, as they allow for modifications to fit different garments. It’s important to ensure the mannequin’s shape and pose complement the clothing, creating a natural and appealing look. Cliik Studios is a name you can trust. With years of experience in the industry, our team of skilled photographers will work closely with you to capture stunning images of your clothing products that will truly stand out.


2. Set up a professional studio

A well-equipped studio is essential for high-quality photography. Ensure you have adequate lighting, a solid background (preferably white or grey), and a tripod to keep your camera steady. Softbox lighting is ideal for creating even, diffused light that reduces harsh shadows and highlights the details of clothing.

3. Use a high-quality camera and lenses

Investing in a good camera and lenses can make a significant difference in the quality of your photos. A DSLR or mirrorless camera with a high-resolution sensor will capture sharp, detailed images. Pair your camera with a versatile lens, such as a 50mm or 85mm prime lens, to achieve crisp and focused shots.

4. Master your camera settings

Understanding and utilising your camera settings is crucial for capturing professional-looking images. Use a low ISO setting (100–200) to minimise noise and ensure the images are clean and sharp. Adjust the aperture (f-stop) to control the depth of field; a moderate aperture (around f/8) is typically ideal for product photography. Set your camera to manual mode to have full control over exposure, shutter speed, and white balance.

5. Prepare Your Garments

Properly preparing your garments before the shoot is essential for achieving a polished look. Ensure the clothing is clean, wrinkle-free, and well-fitted to the mannequin. Use clips, pins, and double-sided tape to adjust the fit and create a natural silhouette. Pay attention to details such as collars, cuffs, and hems, making sure they are neatly positioned.

6. Take multiple shots

Capture multiple shots from different angles to provide customers with a comprehensive view of the product. Start with front, back, and side views, then move on to close-ups of important details such as buttons, zippers, and fabric textures. This variety of shots helps customers make informed purchasing decisions and enhances their shopping experience.

7. Post-Processing and Editing

Post-processing is a critical step in ghost mannequin photography. Use photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to enhance your images. Begin by adjusting basic settings like exposure, contrast, and colour balance. Then, use the pen tool to carefully remove the mannequin, creating the “ghost” effect. Pay attention to details and edges to ensure a seamless and realistic final image.

8. Consistency is key

Maintaining consistency across your product images is important for creating a cohesive and professional-looking online store. Ensure that the lighting, background, and camera settings remain consistent throughout the shoot. This consistency not only improves the overall aesthetic of your website but also enhances the user experience by making it easier for customers to compare products.

9. Optimise for Different Platforms

Different e-commerce platforms and marketplaces have specific image requirements and guidelines. Be sure to optimise your images to meet these standards. This may include adjusting the dimensions, file size, and aspect ratio of your photos. Additionally, consider creating different versions of your images for use on social media, advertisements, and other promotional materials.

10. Stay updated with trends

Fashion and e-commerce trends are constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay updated and adapt your photography techniques accordingly. Follow industry blogs, attend workshops, and network with other photographers to keep up with the latest developments and innovations in ghost mannequin photography.

Detailed Steps for Ghost Mannequin Photography

Preparing Your Studio

To set up a professional studio for ghost-mannequin photography, follow these detailed steps:

  1. Lighting: Position your softbox lights at a 45-degree angle on either side of the mannequin to create even lighting. You may also use a backlight to eliminate any shadows and enhance the depth of the garment.
  2. Background: Use a seamless white or grey backdrop to ensure a clean and distraction-free background. This will make the editing process easier and help the product stand out.
  3. Camera Positioning: Place your camera on a tripod at chest height, parallel to the mannequin. This ensures consistent framing and perspective throughout the shoot.

Camera Settings

  1. ISO: Set your ISO to 100–200 to reduce noise and maintain image clarity.
  2. Aperture: Use an aperture of f/8 to achieve a balanced depth of field, ensuring the entire garment is in focus.
  3. Shutter Speed: Adjust your shutter speed to ensure proper exposure without motion blur. A speed of 1/125 to 1/250 is typically sufficient.
  4. White Balance: Set your white balance to match the colour temperature of your lights (usually around 5500K for daylight-balanced bulbs).

Shooting Process

  1. Position the Mannequin: Dress the mannequin with the garment, ensuring it is neatly arranged and fits well. Use pins and clips to achieve a natural shape and eliminate any loose fabric.
  2. Capture Multiple Angles: Start by taking a front-facing shot, ensuring the entire garment is visible and centred in the frame. Move on to side and back views, followed by close-ups of important details.
  3. Focus on details: Pay attention to intricate features such as buttons, zippers, and fabric textures. Capture close-up shots to highlight these elements.

Editing and post-processing

  1. Background Removal: Use the pen tool in Adobe Photoshop to carefully trace the outline of the garment and remove the mannequin. Create a new layer with a transparent background to achieve the ghost effect.
  2. Refining Edges: Use the refine edge tool to smooth out any jagged edges and ensure a seamless transition between the garment and the background.
  3. Adjusting Colours and Exposure: Make adjustments to exposure, contrast, and colour balance to enhance the overall appearance of the garment. Ensure that the colours are accurate and true to life.
  4. Final Touches: Remove any remaining imperfections or distractions using the clone stamp or healing brush tools. Save your edited image in a high-resolution format suitable for e-commerce use.

Additional Tips for Success

Consistent Branding

  1. Colour Schemes: Use consistent colour schemes and lighting setups to create a unified look across all your product images.
  2. Logo Placement: Consider adding a small, discreet watermark or logo to your images to reinforce brand identity.

Quality Control

  1. Review and revise: Before finalising your images, review them carefully for any errors or inconsistencies. Make the necessary revisions to ensure a professional finish.
  2. Customer Feedback: Pay attention to customer feedback and make improvements based on their suggestions and preferences.

Staying Creative

  1. Experiment with angles: While consistency is important, don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and compositions to showcase your products in unique ways.
  2. Incorporate Props: Consider using simple props, such as hangers or stands, to add variety and interest to your product photos.


Perfecting ghost-mannequin photography requires attention to detail, technical expertise, and a creative approach. By following these top tips and continuously refining your techniques, you can create stunning, professional-looking product images that enhance your brand’s visual appeal and drive e-commerce success. By choosing Cliik Studios for your ghost mannequin photography needs, you can ensure that your brand stands out from the competition and leaves a lasting impression on your customers. Contact Cliik Studios for top-notch solutions to showcase your apparel seamlessly. Capture the essence of your clothing with our professional ghost mannequin photography services today!


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