eCommerce Fashion Photography

Posted on May 3, 2020 | by Cerise

Employing best practices for ecommerce fashion photography can be easy and quick.  AI-driven ecommerce photography business SaaS platforms are halving the time it takes to bulk edit large numbers of photos in record speed. These services are creating efficiencies never before seen and helping D2C sellers manage their digital storefronts.

Traditionally, ecommerce fashion photography shoots required expensive studio lighting, time, talent and fragile equipment. Listed below are some quick tips on how to maximize your ecom fashion photography shoot and make the most of your limited time and resources.

Clothing Photography for eCommerce: How-To-Guide

  1. Plan and prepare garments
  2. Use a ghost mannequin or live model
  3. Capture details in varying angles
  4. Tap the appropriate lighting settings

Plan and prepare

The first step is to actually shoot the apparel images. Since clothing photography for ecommerce works best when detailed, it is important to prepare the garment accordingly before the scheduled photo shoot. The garments should be void of creases, lines, discolorations or other distortions. Simply ironing or steaming the garment can help it to look its best from the onset. Check the clothing pieces for price tags, stains, or anything else which may create a distraction and remove them. For last minute finishing touches, lint rollers and tape are great go-to resources. 

Ghost Mannequin vs Live Model

Showcasing both ghost mannequin and lifestyle settings in clothing photography for ecommerce campaigns is a solid way to highlight the garment in a multifaceted manner. However, lifestyle ecommerce photography using a live model can be costly. The ghost mannequin effect is ideal for an ecommerce fashion photography shoot  on a budget or under strict timelines. It allows customers to see the shape and natural draping of each product, which will give them a realistic view of how the garment will fit on them.  Using artificial intelligence, ghost mannequin photography tools allow for dynamic viewing of your products in quick and easy steps. 

Details and angles

Provide enough product imagery and in varying angles. Spotlight details such as embroidery work, embellishments, seams, zippers or any feature that highlights the uniqueness of the fashion garment. Five to ten product image variations are preferable, but at the very least show the front, back and one detail shot of each piece.

Lights, camera, and action!

Bright lighting removes any grains, highlights fabric textures and sharpens the image altogether. If using natural light, be sure to place the garment near a large window or outside. A light reflector panel may be helpful to ensure that the product image is balanced. Creating a light reflector with a foam board or cardboard is easy and cost-effective too. 

The camera settings are the foundation of the final apparel shot’s look and feel. Familiarizing yourself with your camera’s settings such as DSLR or smartphone, and terms like ISO, aperture, and white balance is key to getting the most out of your fashion ecommerce photography shoot.

Ecommerce Fashion Photography | Settings

ISO refers to the sensitivity of your camera sensor to light. 

The sharpness of your image is determined by ISO, which should vary within the range of 600-640. Using a tripod will allow you to keep your ISO balanced for optimal clarity and sharpness. Higher ISO produces “grainy” images with “noise”. You should start with the lowest ISO possible and gradually increase until the featured product is properly lit. Cameras come with a lowest native ISO and it is referred to as “base ISO”. Base ISO enables you to use the lowest setting that will potentially produce the highest image quality, minimizing the visibility of “noise” as much as possible. You can also change the ISO mode on your camera to Auto mode, Manual, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, or Program. 

Aperture is marked with the F number on your camera settings and references how much your product is in focus.

The larger the F number is on your camera, the more ‘in focus’ your product will appear. When using a tripod at a photoshoot, it is recommended to set a value above f/11, enabling each and every inch of the product photograph to engage as the focal point. If your photography session requires varying distances or depth of field, updating the aperture for each distance will need to be factored into the photo shoot schedule. Depending on the desired depth effect, aperture settings can be set to shallow for lifestyle imagery (i.e. large aperture) to intentionally bring focus to the ecommerce product on display while blurring the surrounding background. Conversely, a small aperture refers to less background blur and more focus of the entire frame.

White balance addresses the tint effect on your product photographs, also known as color cast or hue effect.

The light source used in ecommerce fashion photography will contribute to white balance on photos. There are many types of light sources but the most common are tungsten, fluorescent, LED and natural sunlight.

Depending on the light source, the color that is cast surrounding the image will vary. The white balance settings customize the color of the final piece. There is also a default setting option which adjusts accordingly. A distortion in white-balance may disrupt the accurate color of the garment on photographs and be difficult and/or time consuming to fix during post production.

Addressing color accuracy

Ensuring that the garment’s color is represented accurately across differing websites, devices, browsers, etc. is an important aspect of ecommerce photography often overlooked. Color space is a specific range of colors that can be presented in a given image. Some options for color spaces are Adobe RGB, CMYK and SRGB.

Created by HP and Microsoft, SRGB color space is widely used for ecommerce fashion photography because it keeps images consistent and vibrant between the various screens, browsers and sites. However, it is limited due to its narrower color ranges. You can set your camera’s setting to SRBG so that editing can be completed  faster. However, capturing in SRGB limits the color variations available during the actual capture. Hence, despite the additional step required, many professionals stick to editing afterwards so that the garments can better reflect their vibrant colors.

Editing with an eCommerce Photography Business Platform

Creating quick reference checklists and a seamless workflow around common photography mishaps can help speed up the editing process. Ensuring that your digital storefront’s ecommerce fashion photography showcases best practices for aligning, cropping, background removal/adjusting, and color is key to leveling up your ecommerce  business.

Alignment

Ensure products are of the same size and fit the frame in the same angle and edge. 

Cropping

Cropping and sizing according to your specific website or product pages on Amazon or other seller marketplace can be automated with bulk editing components.

Background

Inconsistent backgrounds make digital storefronts look unkept and haphazard. Keep backgrounds simple even when employing lifestyle imagery for your fashion garments.

autoRetouch’s Set on Canvas component can resize, crop, adjust the alignment, and add a custom background using the power of AI in bulk to all of your fashion images.

Colors and shades

Ensure that the color of the garment’s digital image accurately reflects what it actually looks like ‘in real life’. Note that when addressing color, even AUTO camera settings may distort the color of the image especially if they are neon-hued. Test first.

Finally, do not forget to convert the file to SRGB format so that the colors look uniform in various computer, device or web browser settings.

If you are looking for an easy and cost effective solution for ecommerce photography bulk-editing features, check out the autoRetouch Smart Components. These photo editing capabilities are available in a convenient pay-as-you-go model and offer a free trial. Try it for free.