How to photograph a cardigan on a ghost mannequin

We show you how to achieve a hollow man effect on a cardigan using an invisible mannequin


Equipment used: StyleShoots Vertical. Click here to learn more

Cardigans can be tricky to style and may require you to use a few techniques to get a pro look. In this product photography tutorial, we will show you how to photograph a women’s cardigan using a special ghost mannequin to get a more realistic, 3D effect.

Here’s the equipment you'll need

Camera - Any camera will suffice but a Canon EOS 5D Mk III is recommended as a standard for professional product photography
Studio lighting - Continuous cool LED lamps are recommended to ensure exposure, shadows and contrast are kept consistent
Your cardigan
A ghost mannequin - These modular mannequins have removable chest and arm pieces that become invisible in-shot
Double-sided tape - A few pieces of double-sided tape will keep the cardigan in place on the mannequin

 

Styling the cardigan

 

1. Dress the mannequin

Once the cardigan is on the mannequin, it’s important to check that the seams at the top of the shoulders are level.

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2. Tape the cardigan to the mannequin

A draped cardigan tends to slide open on the mannequin. You can keep the sides in place by affixing them to the mannequin with a few pieces of double-sided tape.

We recommend taping both sides of the cardigan at the upper chest and close to the bottom hem.

Make sure that both sides are symmetrical. You want the two sides to fall parallel at even lengths, creating a uniform gap the whole way down.

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3. Style the sleeves

Whether you choose to roll up the sleeves or leave them down, ensure they are level.

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Achieving the hollow man effect

 

1. Take the front shot

You will need to digitally fill in the long gap in the front of the cardigan with a second photo of the inside of the garment.

Start by taking a photo of the front of the cardigan as you have styled it already. 

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2. Dress cardigan inside out on the back of the mannequin

In order to set up the shot, remove the cardigan. Rotate the mannequin so that the back is facing the camera. Turn the cardigan inside out and dress it on the back of the mannequin.

Don’t zoom in. Maintain same shot for both front and back so that they match up.

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3. Composite the images

In your image editing software of choice, cut out the long gap between the front of the cardigan and remove it. 

Then add the back shot of the mannequin as a layer underneath and ensure the images align properly.  

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Your final shot...

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What we'd really appreciate is...

Thanks for reading our tutorial on using an invisible mannequin for fashion eCommerce — 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?

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mnqStephen Warr