How do you take pictures for a clothing store?


There are many different ways to take pictures for your clothing boutique.  After reading this article you should be able to answer the following questions.

  • How do I create a photoshoot for a clothing line?
  • How do I take pictures with my phone?
  • How do I make my clothes look good in pictures?
  • How much does a fashion photoshoot cost?


Types of Photography

Flat Lay Photography

Flat lay photos are good photos to post on your website, social media, and other promotional materials for your business.  You can create the look that you want for a photo in any environment.   First you need to decide on what type of background you will be using.  You can use a piece of paper, fabric, or any flat surface.  Your background, which can be any color, may or may not have a design or texture. Next, you need to ensure your background is in an area where there is lots of natural light.  Using natural light will help you avoid shadows. Position the item that is going to be the main focus on the background.  Add props around the item to create additional visual interest.  Then take pictures of the item amongst the props from overhead.  Rearrange the items and take additional pictures so that you have options.  Play around with the angles of how you have arranged your item and the additional props.  Play with the spacing around your items.  Once you have captured your images you can use editing software to enhance them.  With flat lay photography you don’t have the expense of hiring a model.  Keep in mind however that a lot of your customers will likely want to see your clothes on a person or mannequin before they buy them.  It is a good idea to utilize flat lay photography along with other types of photography.


Ghost Mannequin Photography

A ghost mannequin is a special mannequin which has removable parts.  It allows you to photograph clothing items and show off the shape of the clothing, when you are not using a model, and instead of them being photographed while laying flat.  You will need to photoshop out parts of the mannequin that are showing after you have taken the photo.  You can create ghost mannequin photography with a regular mannequin but it will require significantly more photo editing.


Hanger Photography

Styling clothing items on a hanger can be quick and easy.  You simply need to place your item on a hanger.  Hang the hanger on a rope, string, or hook.  Make sure the item is neatly displayed on the hanger.  Take a picture of the item and then photoshop out the rope, string, or hook.  Alternatively, you can hang the item on a decorative but non distracting hook and leave the hook in the photo.  Also, photoshop out the background if you would like.


Outdoor Photography

You don’t have to be inside to take photos.  A great place to take photography for your fashion business is outdoors.  Take advantage of natural lighting if possible. You want to make sure that the scenery you choose to shoot in matches that of your brand.  The places to take photography outside are plentiful.  Ideas of some settings you may want to take photos in include in a parking lot, a park, an open field, a beach, on the water, on a bridge, near a road, and in front or on top of a building including your own storefront.  You should definitely visit your location before the day that you plan to take photographs if possible.  You also want to plan your photoshoot at the best possible time for lighting.  Check the weather forecast in advance as well.  You’ll want to make sure you have a place for your model to change clothing.  A large vehicle or a public restroom can serve the purpose of a changing area for your model.


Hiring a Photographer

Professional photographers will have invested more in training, experience, and camera and lighting equipment.  A professional will be experienced in photo editing.  If you decide to hire a photographer you will want to take steps to make sure you hire the right photographer for your photo shoot.  Ask to take a look at the photographer’s portfolio of past work.  Check out the photographer’s website and read available customer reviews.  Meet with the photographer in advance if possible and make sure you can easily communicate with the photographer and that you feel comfortable working with the photographer.  Keep in mind the cost of hiring a photographer can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars depending on who you hire and their level of experience. 

Having a written contract is a good idea.  You and your photographer should discuss the time, date, and location of the photoshoot in advance.  Make sure the name of the photographer is documented in the contract.  It is possible you can meet one person within a company and another person will be taking the pictures.  Be sure to see the portfolio for that specific individual.  The number of photos and a list of specific photos to be taken should be agreed upon.  You’ll want to capture photos from various angles including the front, side, back, and possibly the top and bottom.    Be sure to discuss your photo editing needs.  The cost of the photoshoot, delivery method (digital and/or prints), and the delivery date should be documented in the contract. Digital photos should be adequate for most of your needs.  Make sure the contract does not limit how you can use the photos.  Also be sure to agree upon as to how the photographer can use your photos.


DIY Photography

Don’t let your budget keep you from displaying photos of your products.  With today’s technology you don’t necessarily have to hire a photographer.  All you need is a camera and good lighting.  Natural lighting works well and is cost effective.  You can take good photos on a phone or inexpensive camera.  You probably will also want access to photo editing software as well.

Of course, a well-educated and experienced professional photographer will probably have the resources and ability to take better pictures.  Keep in mind, your photography will help a customer decide whether or not to purchase your items.  Having good photography will make a difference when it comes to product sales.  If you need to hire a photographer, to obtain good high-quality images that will help you sale your products, make sure to do so. 


Preparing for a Photoshoot


The first thing you should think about is your budget for your photo shoot.  This will affect, where you have your photo shoot and who you’ll be able to hire for your photo shoot.  Many boutique owners take their own photos while others hire professionals to take pictures.  Some owners even model their own clothing.  The cost of the photoshoot can range from the cost of the camera (or your phone) to thousands of dollars depending on who you hire for the photoshoot.


In advance of the photo shoot you will want to decide on the location.   Decide who your models and photographer will be and provide them with the logistics.  It is a good idea to put together a call sheet for your fashion shoot. This document lists all your important shoot information, including who will be at the photoshoot, contact information, where and what time the photo shoot will take place.  Make sure to inform models if they need to have their own hair styled and makeup completed before arriving.  Instruct the models as to what shoes and undergarments to bring to the photoshoot.  Hire a makeup artist and hair stylist as needed.  It is also a good idea to have beverages and snacks, or a meal, available during the photoshoot so be sure to plan in advance. 


You should make a list of all of the photos that you’d like to take during the photo shoot in advance.  Make sure you think about the photos you’ll need for your website, social media, and editorial marketing.  Pack any props with you that you may need.  To save time group your clothing and accessories together for each look before arriving to the location. 




  • Show items that are not completely in the picture when doing flatlays.
  • Some vendors may allow you to use their photos. Be sure to ask for permission first.

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