In the world of e-commerce and fashion photography, the presentation of your products is paramount. Two popular techniques for capturing apparel and accessories are “Ghost Mannequin” and “Flat Lay” photography. Each approach has its advantages and is suited to different needs. In this article, we’ll dive into the nuances of these two styles, helping you decide which one best serves your product photography needs.

Ghost Mannequin Photography

Ghost mannequin photography demystified. Explore how this technique transforms fashion imagery, showcasing clothing with a lifelike, invisible mannequin.

Definition and Purpose 

Ghost mannequin photography involves using a mannequin to display clothing, and then cleverly editing out the mannequin during post-processing. This technique provides a three-dimensional shape to the garment while making it appear as if it’s worn by an invisible model.

Ghost Mannequin Pros:

  • Highlights the fit and form of the clothing.
  • Offers a professional, consistent look.
  • Ideal for displaying clothing with a defined shape and structure.

Ghost Mannequin Cons:

  • Time-consuming photo editing work.
  • Limited creativity and variety in presentation.
  • Not suitable for all types of clothing (e.g., scarves, accessories).

When to Use Ghost Mannequin Photography?

Choose this style when showcasing structured garments like suits, dresses, or tailored jackets, where the fit and shape are crucial to the buyer’s decision.

Flat Lay Photography

Unlock the art of flat-lay photography. Discover creative tips and techniques to capture stunning, visually appealing compositions with everyday objects.

Definition and Purpose 

Flat-lay photography involves arranging items flat on a surface and capturing them from a top-down perspective. This style offers a clean, minimalist look and is often used for showcasing accessories, jewelry, or a collection of products.

Flat-lay Photography Pros:

  • Quick setup and shooting process.
  • Allows for creative arrangement and styling.
  • Ideal for highlighting smaller items and details.

Flat-lay Photography Cons:

  • May not provide a sense of how clothing fits on a body.
  • Challenging for larger garments or items with intricate details.
  • Requires careful lighting to avoid shadows.

When to Use Flat Lay Photography?

Opt for flat-lay photography when you want to emphasize the details, patterns, or accessories associated with your products. It works exceptionally well for items like jewelry, handbags, or a curated selection of products.

Key Differences Between the Two

While both techniques aim to showcase products effectively, their primary differences lie in presentation style and the types of products they best suit. Ghost mannequin photography emphasizes how clothing fits on a body, while flat-lay photography focuses on the aesthetics and details of the products themselves.

Choosing the Right Style for Your Products

The choice between ghost mannequins and flat lay photography largely depends on your product type and your desired presentation style. Consider factors such as the product’s structure, intended message, and your target audience’s preferences. In some cases, a combination of both styles can provide a versatile and appealing product catalog.


In conclusion, both ghost mannequin and flat lay photography have their merits and are valuable tools for showcasing products effectively. Your choice should reflect the nature of your products and your desired brand image. Experiment, assess your results, and adapt your approach to best serve your audience and marketing goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I switch between these two styles for the same product line?

Yes, you can. It’s common for businesses to use both styles in their product photography, tailoring the approach to the specific product’s characteristics.

Which style is more cost-effective for small businesses?

Flat-lay photography tends to be more budget-friendly, as it requires less post-processing and equipment. However, the choice should align with your product’s needs and branding.

Do I need professional equipment for these photography styles?

While professional equipment can enhance your results, you can achieve impressive product photos with a good-quality camera, natural lighting, and basic photography accessories.

How can I find a professional photographer for these styles?

Look for photographers with experience in e-commerce or fashion photography. Review their portfolios to see if their style aligns with your brand’s vision.

This page was last edited on 5 October 2023, at 12:00 am