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How to Take Pictures of Clothing That Will Jump Off the Page

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

If you are looking to make money with your photography skills, fashion photography is a great way to do it. There are several options you can choose from when shooting fashion. This article will review a variety of situations to ensure your shots look great no matter what approach you use.

How to Shoot

The first thing you’ll want to do is decide how to display your clothing items. Here are the options to choose from.

On a Mannequin: A mannequin will be ideal for giving clothing shape and you won’t need to deal with a model. You can even remove the background in editing to make the mannequin invisible and make the photo look more professional.

Hire a Model: Models will give you something more to deal with, but they will also add interest to the photo. You may find a model willing to work cheaply so they can build up their portfolio.

Lay Flat Photography: Lay flat photography may be the easiest and most cost-effective option, but it does not allow people to see how the clothing will look on. If you go this route, make sure your background is flawless and that the clothing is clean and ironed.

Get Your Equipment

Here is the equipment you will need for the shoot:

Camera: This goes without saying.

Lighting: Lighting is essential in a fashion photo shoot as consumers will want to see every detail. It may be advisable to go with a three-point light set up that provides a key light, a fill light and a back light. The way you will always get a well-lit shot.

Backdrop: Your backdrop should be clean and not distracting as the clothing will be the star of the show. It will also need to be big enough to back your image…so if you are using a mannequin, make sure the mannequin fits within the backdrop.

Wireless Lighting Trigger: This will help you take shots from anywhere in the studio. It will eliminate the need for you to move around and risk losing the perfect shot.

Tripod: A tripod is not necessary but it will eliminate camera shake. If you bring in a tripod, try not to get stuck to it. Move around to capture plenty of angles.

Other Tools: When shooting clothing, it’s a good idea to have pins and tape on hand to make fits as secure as possible. An iron may come in handy if any wrinkling occurs.

Before You Shoot

Before shooting, look at all your items to make sure there are no wrinkles, missing buttons, stains, etc. This is also a good time to make sure your model (if you’re using one) and background look flawless.

While You Shoot

While shooting, make sure to focus in on the details of the items. Take pictures of zippers, decorative elements and other little things that set the clothing apart.


Here are some setting suggestions that will come in handy when you shoot.

Aperture: During clothing shoots, its best to shoot with a high f/stop that falls somewhere between f/8 and f11. This will make for more focused shots.

Shutter Speed: Shutter speed refers to how long your shutter will remain open while shooting. Ideally, this should be set to 1/125 when photographing clothing.


ISO settings will vary depending on the light source you are using. If you are using natural light, set the ISO between 400 and 800. If you are using artificial light, the ISO should be set towards the higher end of the spectrum, between 600 and 800. This will help reduce noise.

Photographing clothing can be a very lucrative career move. The tips in this article will help you get professional results that set your images apart. Which will you be integrating when you shoot?

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