Creating invisible mannequin photos, also known as ghost mannequin photography, is a popular technique in e-commerce and fashion photography. It gives the product a 3D, hollow look, showing off its shape without the distraction of a visible mannequin. This comprehensive guide will take you through every step of the process, from the initial setup to post-production.

What is Invisible Mannequin Photography?

Invisible mannequin photography involves shooting a product on a mannequin and then editing the mannequin out of the image. This technique showcases the product in a professional and appealing manner, highlighting its fit and design.

Benefits of Invisible Mannequin Photography

Invisible mannequin photography offers several advantages:

  • Enhanced Product Display: Provides a clear view of the product’s shape and design.
  • Professional Appearance: Makes product listings look more professional and polished.
  • Increased Sales: High-quality images can lead to better customer engagement and increased sales.

Equipment Needed for Invisible Mannequin Photography

Before starting, gather the necessary equipment:

  1. Camera: A DSLR or mirrorless camera with manual settings.
  2. Tripod: Ensures stability and consistency between shots.
  3. Lighting: Softbox lights or studio lighting for even illumination.
  4. Mannequin: Preferably a detachable mannequin for easy editing.
  5. Backdrop: A plain, neutral-colored backdrop.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Invisible Mannequin Photos

Step 1: Preparing the Mannequin and Product

  • Select the Mannequin: Choose a mannequin that fits the product well. Detachable mannequins are ideal as they make the editing process easier.
  • Dress the Mannequin: Ensure the product fits perfectly on the mannequin without wrinkles or creases.
  • Position the Mannequin: Place the mannequin against a plain backdrop for a clean, professional look.

Step 2: Setting Up the Camera and Lighting

  • Camera Settings: Set your camera to a high resolution for clear, detailed images. Use manual mode to control exposure, ISO, and white balance.
  • Lighting Setup: Use soft, even lighting to eliminate shadows and highlight the product’s details. Position lights at 45-degree angles to the product.

Step 3: Taking the Photos

  • Shoot the Product: Take multiple shots from different angles to capture all details. Ensure the entire product is in focus.
  • Remove the Mannequin Parts: For a complete ghost effect, remove detachable parts like arms and shoot again. This provides images of inner areas.

Step 4: Post-Processing and Editing

Editing Software

  • Adobe Photoshop: A popular choice for detailed editing.
  • Lightroom: Great for basic adjustments before detailed edits.

Editing Steps

  1. Open Your Images: Import all your shots into your chosen editing software.
  2. Layer the Images: Place images of the product with and without mannequin parts in separate layers.
  3. Masking: Use the masking tool to blend images, removing the mannequin and revealing inner details.
  4. Refine Edges: Smooth out any rough edges for a seamless look.
  5. Final Touches: Adjust brightness, contrast, and color balance to enhance the product’s appearance.

Tips for Successful Invisible Mannequin Photography

  • Consistency: Keep camera and lighting settings consistent across all shots.
  • Attention to Detail: Ensure the product is well-prepared and free of defects.
  • Practice: Regular practice will improve your technique and efficiency.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Improper Lighting: Uneven lighting can cause shadows and distort the product’s appearance.
  • Inconsistent Angles: Changing angles between shots makes editing difficult.
  • Ignoring Details: Small creases or defects can ruin the final image.


What is the best type of mannequin to use for ghost photography?

Detachable mannequins are the best choice as they allow for easier editing and more flexibility in showcasing product details.

How can I ensure my lighting is even?

Use softbox lights and position them at 45-degree angles to the product. This minimizes shadows and highlights the product’s features.

What software is best for editing invisible mannequin photos?

Adobe Photoshop is widely recommended due to its powerful editing tools and masking capabilities.

How long does it take to edit invisible mannequin photos?

The time varies depending on experience and complexity, but typically it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours per photo.

Can I achieve invisible mannequin effects without professional equipment?

While professional equipment helps achieve the best results, you can still create decent invisible mannequin photos with a good camera, consistent lighting, and careful editing.


Invisible mannequin photography is a valuable technique for e-commerce and fashion photography, providing a clean, professional look that enhances product appeal. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can create stunning invisible mannequin photos that captivate your audience and boost your sales. Practice, attention to detail, and the right equipment are key to mastering this technique and producing high-quality images.

This page was last edited on 8 July 2024, at 4:08 pm