How to reduce your fashion photography cost?
Photograph clothing on models. While there is an initial cost to get a model, you can take more pictures at a faster rate to reduce the incremental image cost.
Models are easier to work with than mannequins. Because models can put on their clothing, that saves studio time. Moreover, ghost mannequins images are expensive to produce as it requires lots of Photoshop editing work.
As a preface to this article, Jules Design is a Toronto Fashion Photography studio, and we do offer Ghost Mannequin images.
Inevitably, some customers love this look, and for those who want it, we provide it. That said, there are other less expensive fashion photography methods with high visual impact.
To market clothing, there are many ways to shoot a garment. Some clothing photography options include:
- Flat Garment Fashion Photograph
- Ghost Mannequin Photography
- Fashion Photo on Models
- Lifestyle Photography
- Bulk Fashion Photography
So which Toronto fashion photography method will deliver the best return on investment?
NOTE: the prices shown on this page are industry ranges and do not necessarily reflect the fashion photography rates by Jules Design.
360° Product Photos ($100 + per image)
People often contact me about 360° product shots and ghost mannequins. I try to dissuade the Client from using these for many reasons. In short, the customer does not need to see the product from every angle to make a buying decision. It is better to present the product from a controlled flattering angle than an animated graphic.
Moreover, pictures are still king. Images even share better on Instagram, Google, Pinterest and email; 360 rotating animated photos not so much.
Finally, integrating HTML folders for the 360 animations may or may not be easy on your web site. Check first if you are able. Alternatively, you may need to use a 360 animation hosting provider.
Why Ghost Mannequin product photos suck ($40-$70 + per image)
Ghost mannequin images are not all bad. They present the item in a purist manner devoid of any distractions; this may be an essential aspect of the marketing brand or style.
That said, I have a disdain for the value provided in Ghost Mannequin product shots. These types of photos are labour intensive to make therefore the cost per image is very high. For a comparable price, you can get about four or five great product photos.
Ghost Mannequin vs Fashion Photo on Model
- A ghost mannequin: One image $40- $80 +/-
- Fashion Photos on Model: 3-4 pictures including detail photo: $60+/-
Is getting a model expensive?
No. We source many of our models from various Facebook and Instagram groups at phenomenal rates; in turn, we pass the savings onto the customer. Moreover, our models do not burden our customers with (silly) copyright restriction.
Laying the garment flat ($15- to $25 +/- per image)
Many notable brands like to present the shirts or garments flat. Notable retailers include the Banana Republic and the Gap. Laying the clothing flat is a clean look, and the pricing is relatively reasonable. It is analogous to merchandising clothing as it is presented (folded) in a retail outlet.
The Banana Republic online store often complements the flat-garment image with a photo of the product on a human model.
How to drop your fashion photography costs with models ($6 to $20 + per image)
Roots, Club Monaco, Old Navy and H&M (to name a few) are big fans of using models. This method is fast and efficient providing many photos at a low incremental cost. Customers can get a front, profile, rear and detail product photo for the same price as a ghost mannequin image.
You usually achieve economies of scale when imaging 10+ items. Put another way; if you shoot more than ten pieces with a model, you will often save a considerable amount of money (and your images will look cool).
As mentioned earlier, when doing a fashion photo shoot, models are typically fast to work with because they put on their clothing (unlike mannequins); and this saves studio time. Moreover, subject to the photography style, editing costs can be negligible.
You can spend lots of money on fashion photography or you can be economical about it. Many great brands use models because it is inexpensive and it presents the product in a practical context. 360° and Ghost Mannequin product shots are expensive and yield lower profits. Unless the brand guide specifies for it, avoid this approach and spend your money for where it matters most.
About the Author
Jules Marketing & Design Inc. is a leading Toronto Fashion Photography and Product Photography company. We produce catalogue photography work for web and print. We shoot at our central Toronto studio or your place of business.
Either participate in the photo-shoot with us to produce images your way, or give us a clear mandate to create product photos to your specifications. On project completion, we will edit the pictures to be graphic design ready. For your fashion photography assignments, if you need models, we can help you source talent, or we can acquire the professionals for you.
As required, ask us to produce your marketing collateral and social media content. Our repertoire includes product photography, food photography, 360 product shots, ghost mannequins, bulk product photography, headshots, image editing, graphic design and so much more.
We have an impressive list of reputable Clients and great references available on request. For more information on fashion or product photography, contact Jules Design!
Jules Marketing & Design Inc.
Toronto Product Photographer
25 Hollinger Rd Unit 8