How to choose the right ghost mannequin for your product photography
A ghost mannequin is a special kind of headless mannequin that has removable neck, chest and arm pieces. They come in all sorts of builds, shapes and sizes - women’s, men’s and children's - and they’re used to take shots of clothes that look as if an invisible man were wearing them. So how do you know if you’re buying the right one for your photo studio? Read on to find out.
Think about whether you need a full body - or just the torso
The idea of a ghost mannequin is to make it look as if your clothes were being worn by an invisible person. It’s important to take time to consider the products you currently offer - and products you are planning on selling in the future.
A full body mannequin may sound like a good idea - that is, one with legs and torso in one - but if your product range focuses solely on coats, jumpers, dresses, shirts and blazers, it’s more cost-efficient to purchase a mannequin that only has a torso to give the same effect.
Of course, a full sized mannequin (like our Magic Mannequin) does give you the benefit of being able to shoot both.
Finding the right children’s mannequin
As many retailers and brands tend to shoot their kidswear and childrenswear flat lay (you can learn how to photograph kidswear flat lay here), there isn’t a huge amount of choice when it comes to child sized mannequins - so you need to be extra discerning.
Analyse the age ranges of your kidswear and cluster them into the age sizes offered here. If you can’t find the right sizes it’s possible to use some neat styling tricks to get your garments to fit the kids’ mannequins more tightly, so don’t be dissuaded if you can’t find the exact ages you’re looking for.
Consider your brand style guide
A brand style guide - for fashion photography - is how you decide how your products are styled, shot and ultimately presented on your web store. It covers things like what shots to display for each product to the technique of photography, whether it’s flat lay, tabletop, hanging or on a mannequin.
For example if your product range consists of jeans, you need to make sure they are styled and shot in a consistent manner that also appeals to your audience. So if you choose to begin shooting your jeans and pants with a mannequin, consider purchasing a purpose-made mannequin that can be rotated using the baseplate.
Think about the size of your clothes
Do you sell clothes intended for a plus sized audience? Or are your clothes designed for a slim, modern fit? This directly influences the kind of mannequin you need.
Generally, it’s better to choose a mannequin that is smaller than your clothes’ sizes. Whilst that may not sound like great advice, fit is one of the most important things a customer is looking to gauge.
Dressing a mannequin with garments that are too small for it means they will look stretched and may not even fit at all! You can use a combination of clips and pins around the back to tighten the fit without it being noticeable in shot.
Set your budget
It’s obvious advice, but invisible mannequins can range from lower end models designed for more budget conscious product photographers to premium collections with a higher build quality and additional features. A higher end torso can easily run up to the 1000 euro mark, so decide if quality or quantity is what you’re after in your photo studio.
Ghost mnqs are premium designed mannequins with a matte white finish, sleek looks, and a higher amount of removable V-shaped check pieces designed for all sorts of neck profiles. Magic mannequins, however, are on the lower end of the cost spectrum - but don’t have as many premium features. Once you’ve decided on a budget, get in touch with us for a quote.
What we'd really appreciate is...
Thanks for reading our tutorial on 5 fashion styling tips — part of our ongoing series of tutorials on product photography, styling and lighting. If you found it useful, why don’t you head on over to our YouTube channel and subscribe?