Tips on Using Mannequins For Photography

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Who says mannequins are only useful for creating retail store displays? Sure, this is probably the #1 reason why people buy them, but they are useful in dozens of other applications, including photography. It may sound a little unusual, but full-sized mannequins can yield better-looking photos -- something that all photographers should strive for.

Whether you're a professional or amateur photographer, chances are a mannequin can help. It's an otherwise simple item that can make a world of difference in the quality of your photos.

How Mannequins Can Help

Ask any seasoned photographer and they'll agree: the key to a brilliant photo is using the right background. If you're taking photos of a shirt to use in a store's product catalog, for instance, you'll want to place the shirt against an attractive background; otherwise, it simply won't look right. Well, mannequins can help you achieve the perfect background by creating a natural appearance to which customers can relate. When a customer is presented with a photo of a shirt draped across a mannequin and another photo of the same shirt laid across the floor, which one do you think they will choose? Yep, they will probably choose the first photo since it presents the shirt on an appealing background.

Tips on Using Mannequins for Photography

Thinking about using mannequins for your photography? We have some tips to help you out.

  • Place your mannequin against a photo backdrop. If you don't have one, you should buy one. It's a great way to eliminate unwanted colors and elements from your photos, placing the focus on the mannequin and any garments it contains.
  • Ensure your mannequin has proper lighting illuminating it. Trying to take photos of a mannequin is a dimly lit environment isn't going to work. To improve its visibility, consider using track lighting or free-standing floor lamps.
  • Thoroughly clean your mannequin ahead of time. I know this probably sounds like common sense to most seasoned store owners and photographers, but it's easy to overlook something as simple as cleaning. At the very least, you should wipe the surface of your mannequin down with a damp washcloth to remove any excess dust and debris.
  • Angle matters. Pay close attention to the angle at which are taking the photo. I recommend shooting from several different angles to see what works and what doesn't.

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  • George Blitzer
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