Ghost mannequin photography, also known as invisible mannequin photography, is a popular technique in the fashion industry for creating professional and appealing product images. This method involves photographing clothing on a mannequin and then removing the mannequin in post-production, creating the illusion that the clothing is floating. Here are comprehensive tips to master ghost mannequin photography.

Understanding Ghost Mannequin Photography

Ghost mannequin photography is essential for e-commerce websites and fashion brands. It provides a clear and detailed view of the product, highlighting its shape and fit without distractions. This technique enhances the visual appeal of garments, making them more attractive to potential customers.

Benefits of Ghost Mannequin Photography

  1. Professional Appearance: Makes the product look professional and attractive.
  2. Focus on Product: Eliminates distractions, allowing the product to be the main focus.
  3. Consistency: Provides a uniform look across different products.
  4. Detailed View: Shows the structure and fit of the clothing clearly.

Equipment Needed for Ghost Mannequin Photography

To achieve the best results, you need the right equipment. Investing in quality tools ensures your photos are sharp, well-lit, and easy to edit.

Camera and Lens

  • DSLR or Mirrorless Camera: High resolution for detailed images.
  • 50mm or 85mm Lens: Ideal for capturing the product’s details.


  • Adjustable Mannequin: Choose one that can be easily adjusted to fit different clothing sizes.
  • Removable Parts: A mannequin with removable parts (arms, neck, etc.) makes it easier to create the ghost effect.


  • Softbox Lights: Provides even lighting and reduces harsh shadows.
  • Reflectors: Helps to bounce light and fill in shadows.


  • White or Neutral Background: Keeps the focus on the product and makes editing easier.

Setting Up for the Shoot

Proper setup is crucial for capturing high-quality images. Here’s how to prepare your studio.

Studio Space

  • Clean and Spacious: Ensure your studio is clean and has enough space to move around.
  • Controlled Lighting: Use controlled lighting to avoid unwanted shadows and highlights.

Positioning the Mannequin

  • Height Adjustment: Adjust the mannequin’s height to match the camera level.
  • Centering: Place the mannequin at the center of the frame.

Clothing Preparation

  • Iron or Steam: Remove wrinkles and creases.
  • Pinning: Use pins to ensure the clothing fits the mannequin perfectly.

Shooting Techniques

Capturing the perfect shot requires attention to detail and the right techniques.

Camera Settings

  • Aperture: Use a small aperture (f/8 to f/11) for a deep depth of field.
  • ISO: Keep ISO low (100-200) to reduce noise.
  • Shutter Speed: Use a faster shutter speed to avoid blur.

Shooting Angles

  • Front View: Essential for showing the main features.
  • Side View: Highlights the profile and fit.
  • Back View: Shows the back details and fit.
  • Detail Shots: Close-ups of important details like buttons, zippers, and fabric texture.

Post-Processing Techniques

Post-processing is where the magic happens. Removing the mannequin and enhancing the image are crucial steps.


  • Adobe Photoshop: Industry standard for editing and retouching.
  • Adobe Lightroom: Useful for batch processing and basic adjustments.

Editing Steps

  1. Background Removal: Use the pen tool or magic wand tool to select and remove the mannequin.
  2. Layering: Combine different shots (front, back, inside) to create the ghost effect.
  3. Color Correction: Adjust colors to match the actual product.
  4. Sharpening: Enhance the details of the product.
  5. Final Touches: Clean up any remaining imperfections.

Best Practices for Ghost Mannequin Photography

Adopting best practices ensures consistency and high quality in your ghost mannequin photography.

Consistent Lighting

  • Maintain Even Lighting: Use the same lighting setup for all products to ensure consistency.
  • Avoid Harsh Shadows: Position lights to minimize shadows.

Proper Garment Handling

  • Use Gloves: Prevent fingerprints and smudges on the clothing.
  • Store Carefully: Keep garments clean and wrinkle-free until the shoot.

Attention to Detail

  • Inspect Clothing: Check for any defects or tags that need to be removed.
  • Align Properly: Ensure the garment is aligned symmetrically on the mannequin.

FAQs about Ghost Mannequin Photography

What is Ghost Mannequin Photography?

Ghost mannequin photography is a technique used in fashion photography where a garment is photographed on a mannequin, and then the mannequin is removed in post-production to create the effect of a floating garment.

Why is Ghost Mannequin Photography Important?

This technique is important because it highlights the shape and fit of the clothing without distractions, providing a clear and professional representation of the product for e-commerce and marketing purposes.

How Do I Choose the Right Mannequin?

Choose a mannequin that is adjustable and has removable parts. This allows for versatility in fitting different garments and makes it easier to remove the mannequin in post-processing.

What Camera Settings Should I Use?

Use a small aperture (f/8 to f/11) for a deep depth of field, keep ISO low (100-200) to reduce noise, and use a faster shutter speed to avoid blur.

Can I Do Ghost Mannequin Photography Without Professional Equipment?

While professional equipment enhances quality, you can achieve decent results with a good camera, proper lighting, and basic editing software. The key is attention to detail and proper setup.


Ghost mannequin photography is a powerful tool for creating professional and appealing product images. By understanding the equipment, setup, shooting techniques, and post-processing steps, you can produce high-quality images that showcase your garments effectively. Whether you are a seasoned photographer or a beginner, these tips will help you achieve the ghost mannequin effect and enhance the visual appeal of your fashion products.

This page was last edited on 7 July 2024, at 4:35 pm