The use of mannequins is an efficient and cost-effective way to promote your products. This is because mannequins allow your products to hold their shape, which lets the customer get a truer sense of the product via its images.

However, mannequins in the images can be a bit distracting. The alternative to this problem is to create a ‘ghost mannequin effect’ for your product images.

In simple words, a ghost mannequin effect will make the mannequin, who is wearing the product, disappear out of the photograph and what you will be left with is the product hanging mid-air in the shape of a mannequin.

To create the desired effect, you can follow a simple process of combining two images of the product. Although it’s important that you photograph your products the right way to make the post-production process all the more effective.

In this guide, you will find a start-to-finish manual to create your own ‘ghost mannequin effect’ for your product photography.

Let’s take a look at the three crucial steps to create the ghost mannequin effect

1.) Selecting and Using a Model or Mannequin to Pose for Your Products

The process of showcasing the products is often done by hiring a model or mannequin. However, you can choose to not show the model or mannequin in every image to increase the efficiency of your sales.

In order to do so, you have to be skilled enough to pull off this kind of technical editing with ease. This is because for small retailers who take up the majority of the image editing themselves, removing mannequins from the image can be a difficult technique to master.

In these cases, consider hiring a ghost mannequin photography service provider to ensure maximum efficiency.

Nonetheless, if you want to take up this process your end, here’s a quick walkthrough of the steps you need to follow:

  • You will firstly need to make sure that the mannequin is the right fit for your product.
  • Secondly, you will have to photograph your product being worn by a model or a mannequin from multiple angles.
  • Finally, use these photographs from multiple angles in the post-production process to create a ghost mannequin effect ( AKA ‘invisible mannequin’).

2.) Using the Right Setup and Equipment

The ghost mannequin technique, as mentioned earlier, requires correct technical skills. These skills vary from step to step and the very first skill that is required is to create high-quality photographs in a studio setting.

If you create photographs with low quality, it will directly affect the end result in the process of executing the ghost mannequin effect.

The trick here is to play with the camera and lighting techniques, the equipment, and the placement of the product. You also need to keep these in sync to get the desired result, depending on a particular product that you’re shooting.

3.) Photographing Your Product

In this step, you have to customise the process according to the type of product you’re shooting. For instance, when photographing shirts, it’s important that you position the camera in such a way that it’s directly level with the model or mannequin’s chest area. Similarly, the camera needs to be positioned across from the hip area if you’re photographing bottoms.

If you photograph a product from an angle that is either too high or too low, then it may cause your garment to look “tapered”.

Here you can consider using an extremely helpful tool – ‘a telephoto zoom lens’. This can not only help you minimize distortion but also provide you with enough flexibility to either move closer to smaller objects or move farther away from the larger ones.

The last thing to keep in mind is to have sufficient space in the studio, so much so that it helps you accommodate your camera and tripod for those invisible mannequin shoots. This also includes two studio lights and umbrellas that can be spaced evenly apart on either side of your products and the backdrop.

Creating 3D Images Using the Ghost Mannequin Technique

Now that you’ve understood the 2D photography instructions, let’s take a look at how you can create 3D images with the ghost mannequin effect:

  1. Begin with capturing the front and back of your product whilst it’s being worn by the mannequin or a model.
  2. After that, make sure you’re styling and hanging your product on a white foam board and then photographing both its front and back views again. These shots will allow you to include the inner areas of your garment when you combine the photos.

Now that you have necessities that are required first in the execution of the ghost mannequin technique, let’s take a look at the post-processing of the images.

Post-Processing Your Product Images: A Comprehensive Guide

The execution of the invisible mannequin effect becomes quite simple only after you have captured the necessary views – given that you have the right post-production software, not to mention your products have been photographed properly.

Understandably, this process is time-consuming. To save a great deal of time and frustration, consider outsourcing your images to a professional company to have ghost mannequin effects implemented on them. By doing this, you will be ready to roll in no time!

What’s more, if the editing part is done well, the post-processing automatically becomes smooth and you will end up with the perfect 3D effect on your photographs.

To Sum Up

From selecting a model or a mannequin to post-processing the images of your products, creating the ghost mannequin effect is an effortful process. It requires correct skills and methods to get the best results.

But the efforts are worthy of the result you get because not only does it make your products look attractive, but also steps up the professional status of your online store. Put simply, better the professionalism, the more customers you’re likely to gain!