Mastering Ghost Mannequin Photography

Revolutionize Your Product Shots! Unleash the Power of Ghost Mannequin Photography with This Game-Changing Guide!

Overview of the Ghost Mannequin Technique and Its Relevance in Modern Photography

Ghost mannequin photography represents a pinnacle in product photography, especially in the fashion industry. This technique involves photographing garments on a mannequin, which is then digitally removed in post-production, creating a lifelike yet ghostly effect. This method offers a realistic and focused display of the clothing, emphasizing the fit and style without the distraction of a model or the mannequin.

The relevance of this technique in modern photography can’t be overstated. In an era where e-commerce and digital marketing dominate, the ability to present garments in an attractive and clear manner is essential. Ghost mannequin photography not only elevates the visual appeal of the clothes but also provides a consistent and uncluttered look that is crucial for online retailers.

Basic Equipment Checklist

The right equipment is the foundation of successful ghost mannequin photography. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mannequin: Opt for a modular mannequin with removable parts. This makes it easier to dress and undress, and allows for various poses.
  • Camera: A high-quality DSLR or mirrorless camera that allows manual control over settings is ideal. Look for models that offer high resolution and good color reproduction.
  • Lenses: A standard 50mm lens works well for most garments. However, having a zoom lens can add versatility, allowing you to photograph larger items like coats or full-length dresses without distortion.
  • Tripod: A sturdy tripod ensures consistent framing and sharp images, particularly important for aligning multiple shots for post-production.
  • Lighting: Invest in good quality studio lights or softboxes. Consistent, soft lighting is key to highlighting the textures and colors of the garments without creating harsh shadows.
  • Backdrop: A neutral, seamless backdrop (like white or light gray) ensures that the focus remains on the garment.
  • Image Editing Software: Software like Adobe Photoshop is essential for removing the mannequin and cleaning up the images in post-production.

Selecting and Preparing Garments

Choosing the right garment is as important as the photography itself. Select items that are in good condition, free from blemishes and represent the style and quality of your brand. Preparation involves:

  • Ironing or Steaming: Remove all wrinkles and creases to ensure the garment looks its best.
  • Styling: Use styling aids like clips, pins, or tissue to adjust the fit and drape of the garment on the mannequin.
  • Cleaning: Ensure the garment is clean and free from dust or hair, which can be magnified in high-resolution photos.

Mannequin Positioning Techniques

Positioning the mannequin correctly is crucial for achieving a natural look. For different types of garments, various positioning techniques should be used:

  • Tops: Raise the arms slightly to add dimension and make sure the collar and shoulders sit naturally.
  • Bottoms: Pay attention to how the waistband sits and how the legs hang. Use clips at the back to create a tailored fit.
  • Experimentation: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different poses, especially if the garment has unique features like an interesting back design or asymmetrical elements.

Basic Post-Production Tips

Post-production is where the magic happens in ghost mannequin photography. Key steps include:

  • Mannequin Removal: Carefully remove the mannequin using tools like the pen tool or layer masks in Photoshop.
  • Consistency in Lighting and Color: Ensure each photo in a series has consistent lighting and color for a professional look.
  • Retouching: Use retouching tools to fix any imperfections on the garment or background.

Incorporating Props and Backgrounds

Props and backgrounds can enhance ghost mannequin photos, but they should be used judiciously. Props should be simple and complement the garment without overshadowing it. Backgrounds should be neutral and non-distracting. The focus should always remain on the garment.

Photographing Different Clothing Types

Different types of clothing require different approaches:

  • Tops: Highlight necklines, sleeves, and any unique details. Make sure the garment looks filled out and natural.
  • Bottoms: Focus on the fit and fall of the fabric, especially for items like trousers or skirts.
  • Dresses: Capture the overall silhouette and any special features like embroidery or layering.

Where can we buy them?

Ghost mannequins are essential tools in the realm of ghost mannequin photography, offering a wide range of flexibility and adaptability to suit various clothing styles and photography needs. They can be sourced from multiple online platforms, each offering a variety of options in terms of type, shape, and price. Let’s delve deeper into the available choices and their characteristics:

  • Bombay Hanger: At Bombay Hanger, you can find a selection of ghost mannequins specifically designed for photography purposes. These mannequins typically feature a neutral color that helps in post-production editing.
  • IndiaMART: A well-known online marketplace, IndiaMART provides a diverse range of mannequins, including ghost mannequins. This platform is particularly useful for comparing different suppliers and prices.
  • Amazon India: Amazon India is another reliable source for purchasing ghost mannequins. It offers the convenience of customer reviews and a wide range of options in terms of price and features.

Types and Shapes of Mannequins:

  • Basic Mannequins: These mannequins usually have detachable hands and legs. They are versatile and can be used for various types of clothing, though they might not offer the complete ‘ghost’ effect for certain garments.
  • Half Mannequins: Featuring just the upper torso and shoulder outlines, half mannequins are suitable for tops, shirts, jackets, and similar garments. They are easier to handle but offer less flexibility for full-body attire.
  • Advanced Ghost Mannequins: These mannequins allow for the detachment of many body parts, including chest pieces, arms, and legs. They are ideal for creating the ghost mannequin effect as they provide the most versatility in positioning and angles. These mannequins can perfectly mimic the human body’s shape, making them indispensable for professional ghost mannequin photography. However, they are also the most expensive option.

Cost Range in India:

In the Indian market, the cost of mannequins varies widely based on the type and quality. The prices typically range from INR 4,000 to INR 25,000. This range accounts for basic mannequins at the lower end of the price spectrum to the more advanced, highly customizable mannequins at the higher end.

When choosing a ghost mannequin, consider the types of garments you plan to photograph most frequently. For instance, if your focus is primarily on tops or dresses, a half mannequin might suffice. However, for a wide range of clothing, including pants and full outfits, an advanced ghost mannequin would be more beneficial despite the higher cost. This investment can significantly enhance the quality of your ghost mannequin photography, making it a worthwhile consideration for professional photographers and e-commerce businesses.


Ghost mannequin photography is a powerful tool that can be used to create stunning product images that will help you sell more clothes. By following the tips in this guide, you can master this technique and take your product photography to the next level.