Ghost Mannequin Photography Guide for Photographers.

Ghost Mannequin Photography

The demand for Ghost Mannequin Photography is on the rise, and this technique is a cost-effective solution for photographers and apparel retailers. This technique proves to be a savvy alternative to traditional model-based photography. However, mastering both ghost mannequin photography and editing techniques is crucial for optimal results.

Learn more about the Hello Edits ghost mannequin service for photographers, or continue reading to learn how to shoot clothing photos on a mannequin and create the 3D mannequin effect yourself.

To achieve outstanding results in ghost mannequin photography, beginner photographers need to learn several essential steps for effective post-production. Follow these simple steps to be an expert in ghost mannequin photography and editing.

How to do Ghost Mannequin Photography

1. Selecting Mannequin or Model

The first step is to use models or mannequins to photograph clothing. Choosing a mannequin can save time and photography costs. If you are a photographer, it’s better to buy two mannequins (a men’s mannequin and a women’s mannequin). This allows you to use them whenever you need to photograph either men’s or women’s clothing.

2. Equipment Setup

It is essential to set up lighting and the studio perfectly. Use two lights, an umbrella, and a white backdrop. A white backdrop facilitates easy separation of the background from the product. It is crucial to capture high-quality, clean photos that will simplify the next step in achieving the best ghost mannequin effect.

3. Photographing the Product

An invisible ghost mannequin image is created by combining two or more images. Typically, we merge the front image of the clothing product with a composite image. When we separate the cloth from the mannequin or model, the image looks incomplete due to the missing area covered by the mannequin or model in the photo. To fill this gap, we use composite images, creating a complete photo by merging the main image with the composite image.

Front image
Front image
composite image for Invisible Ghost mannequin effect
Composite image

4. Post-production processing

After you capture the necessary images for the Invisible ghost mannequin effect, it’s time to work some magic in Adobe Photoshop. You can either do it yourself or use ghost mannequin service providers like Hello Edits.

4.1 Open images in Photoshop

Open the front view product image in Photoshop and create a duplicate layer. Use the Move Tool (V) to align the image perfectly. You can use a guideline to ensure it is 100% aligned.

4.2 Select the product in the mannequin image

Now, we need to select only the cloth in the photo and remove the mannequin along with the background. To achieve this, use the Photoshop pen tool or masking methods to distinguish the product from the mannequin and the background. 

Alternatively, you can use Photoshop quick selection, lasso, or magic wand tools for a quicker process. After selecting the product, make a copy of the selected part and paste it onto a new layer.

4.3 Refine, Retouch wrinkles and Liquify

Now, refine and liquify your cloth to make it nice and tight. Experiment with it until you achieve a pleasing shape with an appealing appearance. Reduce wrinkles and remove spots from the cloth.

After liquifying and reducing wrinkles

4.4 Combine it with the composite image

Open the composite image and position it below the front view layer. Apply liquify adjustments and retouching to seamlessly fill in the missing portions and enhance the overall image.

Neck Joint in Ghost mannequin Photography
Combine both images without drop shadow

4.5 Add shadow

To achieve a more realistic appearance, it is essential to incorporate shadows within the neck’s interior where the composite parts are joined. This will blend the inside and front views smoothly, making the whole thing look better.

Final result

Mannequin vs Model : Which Produces More Sales?

Choosing between a model and a mannequin in the clothing business depends on various factors. While both options have pros and cons, using a model helps showcase how the clothes fit a person. On the other hand, ghost mannequin photography provides a view of how the clothes look when worn, giving customers a realistic perspective. It is a widely used and excellent alternative to model clothing photography for showcasing clothing products.

Mannequin Photography Pros
Mannequin Photography cons
Model Photography Pros​
Model Photography cons​

Ultimately, the decision should align with your brand’s identity, target audience preferences, and the type of products you sell. Many successful online clothing retailers use a combination of both models and mannequins strategically to showcase their products.

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Ariful I Evan
Ariful I Evan
Hey, I’m Evan! As a professional Photo Retoucher and creative content writer, I have dedicated the majority of my career to perfecting images and crafting compelling written material. Every week, I publish new articles on Photography, Photoshop, and Lightroom to help you unlock new skills. Follow Me On Social Media Twitter Linkedin

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