How to photograph a coat on a ghost mannequin

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

A lot of coats look great when photographed on a ghost mannequin because they have structure and a more defined fit. In this short product photography tutorial, we will show you how to photograph a men’s peacoat using a special ghost mannequin to get a realistic, 3D effect.

Instead of a trick done with imaging editing software, using a ghost mannequin gives the effect of the coat being worn by an invisible person. This is done by removing pieces of the mannequin so it is not visible in the shot.

By using a ghost mannequin and following this tutorial, you can drastically cut the time it takes to achieve this hollow man effect - which is usually done by photographing garments inside out and compositing the two images in post-production.

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 coat
A ghost mannequin - These modular mannequins have removable chest and arm pieces that become invisible in-shot

 

Styling the coat

 

1. Dress the mannequin

Once the coat is on the mannequin, you will want to button it all the way up the front.

If the piece is double-breasted, be sure to first button the inner buttons. These will help to ensure that everything is straight and symmetrical.

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2. Remove pieces from the mannequin

Create an open space in the neck and upper chest area.

In the case of our peacoat, we’ve removed pieces from the neck and chest in order to create a visible insert.

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3. Position arms and the hem

Make sure the arms are level and in the same position.

Any gaps between the arms and body of the coat should be symmetrical.

The bottom hem of the jacket should be straight.

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4. Arrange the front buttons

Double check that all buttons are flat and facing straight ahead.

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5. Showcase the details

Every coat is different, so it’s important to consider even the
smallest details.

Details like the buttons at the cuffs of the sleeves are a great thing to include in the shot. Carefully turn the sleeves so that the cuff buttons are visible.

The inner lining is another detail to remember. It should look as
clean and neat as possible.

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And shoot...

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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