The Secrets of Booming eCommerce Fashion Photography
These days fashion photography is all about e-commerce fashion photography. The fashion industry is booming so fast and it’s quite obvious that there is no going back. The profit margin is high as is the risk. Before starting any project, you will need a blueprint to follow. That is called a plan. Otherwise, the work will get confused day by day. Undoubtedly, it’s always important to make a plan to execute during work. But how to make a plan when you are unaware of the e-commerce market and the unavoidable topics surrounding it?
What is Clothing Photography? What is eCommerce Fashion?
Fashion Photography is a kind of photography that portrays mostly clothing, shoes, bags and accessories. Fashion-business related anything is included in this photography. This is mostly done for creative and artistic purposes. Usually, big brands organize fashion-related shows and events. For example, brands like Victoria’s Secret, Fendi, Missoni, Versace and Valentino. They host fashion shows to uphold their brand value. But nowadays developing companies are also putting their feet into the same shoe and focusing on fashion shows to step into the broad fashion market.
Even though this might seem like a branding strategy, the main purpose of all fashion shows is to showcase their product to increase sales. When the purpose of sales and finance are involved, it becomes e-commerce-oriented. An e-commerce platform for fashion and apparel transactions refers to an online shop/market where you can buy and sell fashion and apparel items.
In short, when you are showcasing the style and fashion of your clothes or brand in general by capturing it with the lens of a camera then it becomes clothing photography. Same way when the same work is done for online stores and shops like Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, or anything related to online shopping then it is eCommerce fashion.
History of Fashion Over the Years
Like any other evolution, fashion has changed its face over the years. An easily relatable example is, if you go through your grandmother or grandfather’s photo album, you will see a drastic change between your grandparents and present-day clothing styles. And this is the beauty of fashion. Fashion also varies from person to person. Preference is the word. I ask you, what is fashion for you? Is it following the trends of leading models of high-end brands? Or is it a taste of carrying yourself boldly? Or is it something that makes you comfortable? Lastly, if you are someone like me, you might still figure out what is fashion for you.
Whatever fashion is for you, when you draw the picture in century scales, you will notice how different the clothing was back then. The fashion of clothing started when people started to wear clothes. Before civilization when people used to live in caves, there were no clothes. They used to cover themselves with tree leaves, animal skins, and natural elements like coconut shells, skulls and so on…
Cotton which is widely used in today’s world was first invented in Pakistan almost 3000 BC. But that is not the start of clothes. According to anthropologists the first cloth is believed to be invented in Egypt in 4000 BC. Yet there are debates about it. Why you may ask. Let me explain…
During the Pleistocene Epoch period, humans were called Neanderthal men. Since that time people used to live like animals. They were so close to nature and had to survive there. That’s what made them work hard. That’s why their body temperature was higher than today’s humans. But what mostly helped them was their brain size. Which were bigger than a normal human’s size. They used to hunt long-haired animals like bears, deer, musk oxen, etc. Soon they figured out how to use those animal skins and furs to make outfits that would keep them warm. And slowly it developed into the clothes that we are wearing right now.
Necessity of eCommerce Fashion Photography
Look that attracts clients. That is the main purpose of e-commerce photography. Clothing photography is done to make an impact on the business. How’s that? In this online world, everything depends on the presentation first then on the service or product. If you are able to present your product properly which might make the potential customers rethink about the product then that presentation is a successful presentation.
Even if a person wishes to buy something from the mall or directly from the seller, he/she will do some research about the product or the service just to get an overview of the product. Because this generation is far more updated than just using the internet. People nowadays are always surfing on the internet for better options and choosing the best. So, no matter if your business is online or offline you will eventually become dependent on fashion photography, especially if you are in the clothing business.
Yes, Fashion Photography is necessary for all but it’s a must for e-commerce and online businesses. Since the website and webpages are your store and shop. Initially, you are selling images to the clients. You cannot go out of this. So, the challenge here is to showcase the actual product attractively but not mislead the customers. That’s why it is the simplest way yet a complex way to attract customers. That’s why it’s important to do e-commerce photography perfectly.
How to Do Perfect eCommerce Photography Perfectly?
When you finally understand your product and feel confident about it, you might want to start the business ASAP. What more to do? You have the knowledge, you know about the product, you are confident about your style, what else do you need? On today's date, you need a lot more than that.
Let’s speak about some facts. People are more converted to online business and the online world after the pandemic. Before the pandemic, most people were afraid of online shopping and anything that is online-based. People used to be afraid of getting caught by any parties. It was seemingly safer to shop offline rather than shopping online. To be honest, I used to be one of them. Why would I take a risk on something which I haven’t seen in real life? It was like investing your money in casino games. Then covid-19 hit the world.
The 2020 pandemic really changed the world’s perspective about various things. Mostly about life. How short life can be and how helpless we are to nature. But in the ocean of negative, there is still some essence to positivity. And online business is at the top of the list. Before the pandemic online business was booming. But with the speed of a turtle. The speed it caught during the pandemic; would have barely anything near to what it was before the pandemic…
But every coin has an opposite face. It did convert offline customers to online customers for sure. But it also converted many offline shoppers to online shoppers and grew the competition as well. Everyone was trying to get into the online market. So, more clients with more competitors. Not only that, the statistics say 54% of customers who prefer online shopping over offline become more price-sensitive especially in fashion than ever before. That’s also quite understandable since the average income in every country had fallen down during that time. In the United States, the average income decreased from 2.9% to 3.0% per head. So, the market got bigger and tougher.
So What to Do?
You have to stand out in the crowd. There have been a lot of online stores and shops. But not all of them were able to uphold their reputation and grow the market. There are thousands of e-commerce sites but how many can you remember? Very few, right? ASOS, Zalando, Shein, GAP, Zara etc. These are the most commonly known websites for e-commerce fashion.
If you go to their websites, you will see different patterns on their websites. Not only that their products also synchronized with the theme of the website. The common thing that all the websites have is aesthetic and realistic-looking product photos. If you are someone who is interested in doing fashion e-commerce photography, then you should follow some points as well. Let’s jump on them.
Grab the Perfect Equipment for eCommerce Fashion Photography
Since we are talking about fashion product photography, the first thing that comes to mind is photoshoot and equipment for the photoshoot. To do e-commerce fashion photography, you don’t need thousands of things. You will just need some simple equipment like a camera, tripod, lightbox etc.
Camera to Capture Images that’s Going to Bring Clients/Customers
We have already talked about it in our previous blogs several times. There are many cameras out there that will do a great job with photography. No matter what camera you buy or use for e e-commerce photoshoot you have to make sure the quality of the picture doesn’t get down. The picture has to be high quality. Without high-quality pictures, it would be hard to get customers’ attention. You can use a DSLR camera, as well as your cell phone. Just make sure the quality of the photo doesn’t get hampered. It’s wise to choose a macro lens since you need to capture details of the product as well.
Tripod to Hold the Camera
Even though a tripod is always an optional equipment. I would advise it as mandatory equipment. A tripod helps you to hold the camera in place and helps to capture a steady picture. So, undoubtedly it is an important and must-have equipment in product photography. Remember, customers always want to see a clear and detailed picture where he/she can clearly understand the product. What is the raw material, what is the color, what is the quality of the product, etc... If your picture gets blurry, it will lose its authenticity. That’s why it’s necessary to keep the camera steady. So, don’t forget your Tripod.
Keep White Colored Backdrop
A backdrop is also necessary. If you surf on eCommerce fashion sites, then you will see the product images usually don’t have a background. They usually remove the background in product photos. Or mostly a plain white background or a very aesthetic background that goes with the product or the theme. Even though the background can be manipulated in the post-processing process of the image. It is easy to do. Yet, to give an aesthetic vibe or an attractive background you should go for a white background. The white background also makes it easy to remove the background in photo post-processing.
Not only that some marketplaces actually prefer a white or gray or similar toned light-colored background for the product photography. So, to be on the safe side, stick with the light colors.
Need Bright Lighting
Usually to have an aesthetic look you need to have very natural lighting. But since we are focusing on the fashion industry, lighting can be bold. Also, bright lights help to get the actual color. So, it’s up to you and your product. Your preference will matter here. So, if you have a reflective product to shoot then stick with natural lighting. Reflective products like jewelry, metal, mirrors, and similar things. But if your product is clothes or anything that doesn’t have a reflective surface then you might not need anything lite. You can use artificial bright lights. Light stands, light boxes and so on. But if you are planning to shoot in natural lights then keep the timing in mind. Try to shoot in the brought daylight. When the sun is up. So, the true color of the product would be visible in the picture.
Other Important Elements
These are the unskippable equipment. But besides them, there are a lot of other elements like Translumpaper, Light cones, White paper, Glue, Stick, Double-sided tape, Blu-tack, Hangers, Mannequin and many more. These will depend on your product and style. What style have you chosen for your product? Depending on your product and style you will know what other equipment and elements you will need.
How to Style and What to Style?
As you see, it’s not only about the equipment or elements you have. It is also about how you present those elements in front of the customers. Why would the customers invest in your product? There are tons of products and e-commerce fashion products out there, so why choose you and your product? This is the exact part where the style comes in. All of your competitors will use the same high-end cameras, lenses, lights, and other gadgets. But you know where the difference is between them? In on their style and way of presenting that product in front of the customers.
What Does Your Customer Want?
What comes together is important. Who are your audiences? Who are your targets and what are their preferences? If you can show what your potential customers are looking for then bingo! You will grab a loyal customer for you. So, style to your audience’s taste.
Keep It Authentic
In eCommerce fashion photography you have to think about the long-term commitments. So, authenticity is a big factor here. Your product should speak for itself. So do the photoshoot and Photo edit in a way by which audiences will be able to understand the product quality and product size as well.
Make It Relevant
When do you buy a product? When you feel the necessity of buying it. There is no other actual reason. Of course, there are exceptions like hobby fancy stuff. But generally, we buy things when we need them. So, make the audience connect to the product. Focus on the features and usability as well.
How to Style Your eCommerce Fashion Photography?
Depending on your product you can style it in many ways. Let’s take the clothing industry for example. If you are in clothing fashion you will know their style of photography. Let’s talk about the all-time trendy topic.
Flat-lay Clothing Photos
This is the easiest and most common way to showcase the cloth. Just take your clothes and lay them on an eye-soothing surface. It can be your marble-designed floor, table, or even furry carpet. Furry backgrounds are trendy for cosmetic photography especially.
Ghost Mannequin Images for Clothes
The trendiest and eye-catching one is a ghost mannequin pose. What is a ghost mannequin post? You might have seen some clothing pictures on the internet that feel like a ghost is wearing them. I mean invisible wearer. How to do that? Wear the clothes and get invisible. That’s how you will get ghost mannequin images. Simple. Neh! I’m just kidding! Just still these are simple. Get a mannequin and put the clothes on the mannequin. Click the pictures. It has to be of high quality. And then get your clothes inside out and take a picture of the back. Now give it to the photo manipulators. Like us. In post-processing, the editors will remove the mannequin and you will get perfect ghost mannequin pictures.
Model Posing Photos
What can never get old is model photos. These will always be trendy. Hire a model that will do some cool poses while wearing the clothes. A model that knows how to carry an outfit will be able to out through the outfit in the eyes of customers. Try with different styles, different angles, and different poses of the model.
Do Optimize and Focus on Your Website to Stay Relatable
And lastly, don't forget to optimize your website. After all, no matter how good quality you maintain on your website, it doesn’t matter if your optimization isn’t strong enough. If your content is not customer and SEO-friendly then your marketing strategies might not work. So, these two are the main key points.
Provide User-friendly Content
Firstly, your website/page interface has to be user-friendly. Make it as friendly as possible to the customers. So that they don’t have to suffer to order anything on the page. If they get confused on how to order or get confused on any other thing related to the product or information then they leave the site in search of a better site. So, the time, effort, and money you put into building a business will go to waste. Easy, readable, understandable, and friendly content is a must.
Lastly, whatever you do, keep it authentic. Always stay away from copying and plagiarism. Make sure to provide product descriptions as neatly as possible. And of course, don’t use anything other than a high-resolution image. Finally, keep patience and consistency. That’s how you will be able to do a perfect eCommerce Fashion Photography. So go ahead and all the best.
eCommerce fashion photography is the process of photography where compelling visual contents are created for online stores and shops to showcase and sell fashion products mostly like clothes including shoes, jewelry, bags, etc.
If you want to hire a fashion photographer then look for photographers who have a portfolio, and eCommerce fashion work with positive reviews. Consider their work and review and choose the one whose work relates to your desire.
You can but you don’t have to. See the opportunities and creative solutions are endless. Professional models will enhance your images, but you can also hire amateur models, mannequins, or flat lays, depending on your brand's style and budget. And ghost mannequins are really trendy nowadays. So, if you want you can have yet you don’t have to. Go creative.