FlixStudio

Fashion Photography for E-commerce Stores

The eCommerce fashion industry is set to touch $1 trillion in revenue by the year 2025! If you are a fashion brand seeking sustained growth for your eCommerce business, your product photographs are probably one of the major drivers for online sales. eCommerce fashion retailers are increasingly focusing on creating and displaying compelling, realistic, and high-quality images of their products to help customers make informed decisions. 

This is especially true in fashion and apparel because there are simply too many chances for the customer to be dissatisfied with the product if it doesn’t match the description or is not displayed in photographs.

Product returns are a big problem across industries, with a quarter of all consumers returning between 5% and 15% of the items they buy online, according to Shopify. Accurate and well-executed product photography can help businesses reduce the number of returns and build credibility among customers.  The better the images, the more sure consumers will be of the product(s) they are browsing to consider purchasing. They will also be keener on revisiting your website and buying from you again. 

A beautiful, contextual, and well-lit clothing line photoshoot can enable your customers to make faster purchasing decisions and have a seamless buying experience.

Enter product photography. Product photography is the process of rendering photographs of products that are on sale and displayed on the business’ website, social media, and other channels. Product Photography differs from other kinds of photography in that it focuses solely on the product on display, in this case, fashion apparel. 

Skilled photographers and eCommerce stores that create impactful images with the right composition, exposure, white balance, and colors can improve click-through rates and boost product sales for the business. 

Quality Product Images Drive Conversions

Beautiful clothing line images can help your brand reach new audiences while effectively engaging your existing customers, and helping them make better purchasing decisions. According to a paper by eBay.com Research Labs, product images “help increase buyer‘s attention, trust, and conversion rates”. Additionally, there is a clear trend that as photo count increases, the probability of making a profit also increases. Here is how quality fashion photoshoot helps brands – 

Build trust and credibility

Accurate product images with the right colors, lighting, and angles help customers gauge the product well before making their decision. This is important because photographs are the only way your customers get to experience your product virtually before making up their mind, and if not done well, it can lead to returns or worse – loss of trust.

Bolster your brand’s presence and voice

Well-thought-out and in-context clothing line photoshoots give your brand the opportunity to find its voice and build a distinct persona in the market. It is an important pathway for brands to share their story and personality without the use of words.

Bring the clothing to life through images

Consumers prefer images that show the apparel in the realest way. Fashion photography needs to include all the important details that define the product, like the weave/fabric, buttons and accents, finish, colors, and texture to give viewers all the necessary information about your products.

Give your customers an immersive experience through 3D / AR-powered images

With the technological advancement in product photography and equipment, many eCommerce businesses have started offering cutting-edge 3D product imagery that provide a 360-degree view of the product.

Customers can rotate the image and view the product from different angles. AR-powered product images further allow customers to even try the products from the comfort of their homes.

Preparing for a Fashion Photoshoot

A fashion photoshoot needs to be planned well in advance to avoid any last-minute issues that can lead to undesirable outcomes and incompetent product images. Here are a few things that will help you plan a clothing line photoshoot and execute it to perfection- 

Build a mood board/story/theme for the photoshoot 

  • Before beginning the clothing photo shoot, it is important to collect your ideas and choose an aesthetic or theme for your photoshoot that also aligns with your brand’s persona. 
  • Telling a story can be an incredible way of establishing a unique brand voice and setting your brand apart from the competition, especially for fashion photography.
  • The more context you attach to the imagery, providing shots in context – the higher is the probability the target audience will resonate with the product and buy it. 

Get your equipment ready

Needless to say, getting your photography gear ready is a crucial first step to getting the photoshoot started. A few important components for the photoshoot equipment include –

  • Lighting
    • Lighting is essential to take clear, vibrant images of your clothing line. Creative decisions such as the kind of lights used can also define your photoshoot’s mood and give it a sense of aesthetic that can help you stand out
    • Steer clear of too much light or too little light as both make the images look unprofessional
  • Background/Backdrop
    • The background is a key component of fashion and product photography. Choose a subtle, neutral backdrop to bring out the details of the product
    • Always remember that you do not want to make the pictures look too crowded. After all, your intention with the product photoshoot is to portray your products in the best possible light, literally 
  • Tripod
    • A tripod eliminates any unnecessary camera movement during your fashion photoshoot. It also provides more control over your frames

Decide whether you want to use a model/mannequin

Fashion photography can be done using either a mannequin, which is economical but will most probably result in static images. This can be fixed by the ghost mannequin effect that is done in the post-processing photo retouching phase. The ghost mannequin effect, or the “invisible mannequin,” “3D mannequin,” or “hollow man,” is a post-production technique for fashion apparel product photography that allows you to take multiple photographs of a product on a model or mannequin, and then remove the model or mannequin in post-production processing. 

A model, though, can give your photoshoot more character by incorporating dynamic poses and interesting moods. The number of personalizations with a model outweighs the cost benefits of mannequin photography. The outcome is realistic images that focus solely on your products. 

Consider flat lay clothing photoshoot

A widely accepted method of product photography, a flat lay photoshoot allows eCommerce stores to display apparel on a flat surface with a neutral background, and capture the product images.

  • They can be a bit boring but are effective in capturing the product details and letting the customers get an accurate picture of the product 
  • Also called bird’s eye view, flat lay photography can be a good alternative to using a  mannequin and using pictures for social media

Gather and prepare the apparel

Now that you have your equipment, lighting, and studio setup, it is time to gather the clothes you want to display and prepare them for the photoshoot. 

  • Make sure the clothes are ironed and in the best shape for photographs, or the images may look sloppy
  • You can experiment with different ways of the display, including hanging the apparel against a neutral or white backdrop, focusing on enhancing the textures, and more

Take the photographs

  • Take plenty of photographs, exploring angles, poses, lighting, bokeh, white balance, and exposure to have a diverse catalogue of product images.

Post-processing the images

  • Last but not the least, post-processing or post-production is the process of correcting or retouching raw images from your fashion photoshoot to make them ready for your website and socials.
  • Post-processing is where the real magic happens. It includes different processes that render impactful images with enhanced colors, appropriate sizes and file formats, and fixed with background removals. Some of the post-processing techniques include –
    • Color correction
    • Background removal
    • Image resizing and cropping
    • White balance and contrast

Conclusion

According to a survey by Shopify, only 0.52% want to see a single product photo, 33.16% prefer to see multiple photos; and the majority of them, i.e. 58.03%, prefer photographs that will enable them to have a 360º vision of the product. Moreover, 74% of the customers who do not buy online express fears that the product they receive at home is not the same as they see in the pictures.

This points to the fact that product photography is a key driver of sales for eCommerce stores, especially for fashion and apparel. Considering product images as the only real way a prospective customer experiences your clothing before making their decision, the pressure to create beautiful images is at an all-time high. Brands that understand this and create high-resolution images for their products see measurable results and boost business growth. 

Traditional methods such as in-person photoshoots yield results, but the costs can be overwhelming and the outcomes are often inconsistent. AI-powered model photoshoots are fast revolutionizing the way commercial photography is done, helping fashion brands create high-quality eCommerce-ready on-model images that convert, delight, and sell! With platforms like FlixStudio that leverage AI-driven model shoots, brands can launch and go to market with their products faster, that too at just one-fourth the cost.

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Arunava Acharjee

(Product Marketing Manager)

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