Ghost mannequin photography, also known as invisible or hollow mannequin photography, is an essential technique for e-commerce businesses, clothing brands, and fashion enthusiasts. This method allows you to showcase your clothing products in a three-dimensional, lifelike manner, without the distraction of a model or visible mannequin. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps on how to do ghost mannequin photography, providing valuable insights, tips, and FAQs to help you perfect this art.

Understanding Ghost Mannequin Photography

Ghost mannequin photography is a technique that makes garments appear as if they are worn by an invisible model, creating a professional and consistent look for your clothing products. This method is particularly popular for displaying clothing items like dresses, shirts, and pants.

Equipment and Setup

Before diving into the photography process, you need to have the right equipment and set up your workspace properly. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Camera: A DSLR or mirrorless camera with manual settings is essential for quality results.
  • Tripod: This will help maintain consistent angles and avoid camera shake.
  • Mannequin: You’ll need a dress form mannequin, and in some cases, a neck and head mannequin.
  • Clamps and tape: Use these to secure garments and ensure they fit snugly on the mannequin.
  • Lighting: Proper lighting is crucial. Use soft, diffused lighting to eliminate harsh shadows.
  • Background: Choose a plain, uniform background that won’t distract from your product.
  • Post-production software: Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom can be used for photo editing.

Preparing Your Garments

Before photographing, make sure your garments are clean, well-ironed, and free from any defects. Ensure they are appropriately sized for your mannequin, and use clips or pins to adjust the fit if necessary.

The Shooting Process

  1. Position the Mannequin: Dress the mannequin and place it in the desired position.
  2. Set Up Your Camera: Place your camera on a tripod, and adjust the settings. Use manual mode to control exposure, and set a narrow aperture (high f-number) for a wide depth of field.
  3. Lighting: Make sure the lighting is even and free from harsh shadows. Use diffusers or softboxes to achieve this.
  4. Angles and Composition: Shoot from different angles to capture all the necessary details. Take multiple shots, focusing on the front, back, and any specific features of the garment.
  5. Focus Stacking: To achieve maximum depth of field, take a series of shots at different focal points and later combine them in post-processing.

Post-Production Editing

In post-processing, use software like Adobe Photoshop to blend the images, remove the mannequin, and refine the garment’s appearance. This step is crucial in creating the ghost effect.

6. Optimizing for SEO

To ensure your ghost mannequin photography is SEO-friendly, consider the following:

  • Use descriptive file names and alt tags for your images.
  • Optimize image size and resolution for faster loading times.
  • Include informative product descriptions and relevant keywords on your website.


Q1: Can I use a regular mannequin for ghost mannequin photography?

A1: While it’s possible, it’s more challenging to achieve the desired invisible effect with a regular mannequin. A specialized dress form mannequin is recommended.

Q2: What is the best camera lens for ghost mannequin photography?

A2: A wide-angle or standard zoom lens works well for capturing garments. It’s essential to have a lens that allows you to adjust focal length easily.

Q3: How can I maintain consistent lighting in all my photos?

A3: Using soft, diffused lighting and maintaining a uniform setup can help. Consider investing in continuous lighting sources for more consistent results.

Q4: Can I outsource the post-processing work for ghost mannequin photography?

A4: Yes, many e-commerce businesses outsource post-processing to professionals who specialize in clothing product editing.

Q5: Is it necessary to use a professional model for this type of photography?

A5: Ghost mannequin photography is designed to remove the need for models. It creates a consistent, model-free look for your products.


In conclusion, mastering ghost mannequin photography is a valuable skill for showcasing clothing products online. By understanding the technique, using the right equipment, and optimizing your images for SEO, you can enhance your online store’s visual appeal and attract more customers. Now, put this knowledge into practice and take your product photography to the next level!

This page was last edited on 1 January 2024, at 4:00 am