Clothing photography is incredibly important for online fashion businesses and apparel owners. It helps them achieve their goals and build their brand. They can invest as much in product photography to establish themselves.

To reduce photography costs and save money, choosing a style that doesn't involve mannequins or models is recommended. In this post, you will learn how to take pictures of clothes without a mannequin.

Before diving into the blog about this photography style, it's important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of mannequin photography and photography without mannequins.

Mannequin Photography vs. Without Mannequin Photography

New photographers need to understand the basics of color contrast and the advantages and disadvantages of different photography styles. This knowledge will help them choose the right style for their projects. However, both styles are popular and reliable.

In this article
    1. Pros and Cons of Clothing Photography Without Mannequin
    2. Pros and Cons of Mannequin Photography
    1. AI-Generated Model Pictures [HOT]
    2. Flat-Lay Photography
    3. Invisible Mannequin Technique
    4. Photograph Clothes on a Hanger

Pros and Cons of Clothing Photography Without Mannequin

  • Less expensive than using real models for photography.
  • Simple setup for photography.
  • Various ways to style your clothes.
  • Quick and easy to style.
  • Requires more time for cloth styling.
  • Clothes can sometimes look distorted when laid flat if not styled properly.
  • Limited variety when using the same style for multiple items.

Pros and Cons of Mannequin Photography

  • Ideal for showcasing features like inner linings and sleeves.
  • Helps customers visualize how the clothes will look when worn.
  • Allows for different styling options.
  • Similar to real apparel photography.
  • Not suitable for larger items like long garments.
  • Requires post-production and proper photo editing.
  • Gathering a wider range of models can be expensive and challenging.
  • Proper fitting of the clothes on the models can be an issue.

4 Ways to Take Pictures of Clothes Without a Mannequin

Now that we analyze the pros and cons of mannequin photography and photography without mannequins, let's explore four different ways to take pictures of clothes without a mannequin. These methods offer alternatives that can help showcase your clothing items effectively. Here are four recommended techniques to consider:

1. AI-Generated Model Pictures [HOT]

When selling clothes without using a mannequin, AI product photography tools can be incredibly useful in generating model pictures. These tools offer several advantages that streamline the entire process of clothing photography and make it easier to showcase your products effectively.

By utilizing AI-generated model pictures, you can save valuable time and effort. The AI tool allows you to create professional-looking images without needing physical models or mannequins. This means you can skip the hassle of finding models, scheduling photoshoots, and dealing with fitting issues.

One highly recommended AI product photography tool is Wondershare VirtuLook. Here's how you can use this tool effectively:

wondershare virtulook
  • Step 1: In the left side, choose Model try-on generation. Begin by uploading clear and high-quality photos of your clothing products. These images will serve as a reference for the AI tool to accurately understand your items' characteristics and details.
upload reference photos
  • Step 2: Set a virtual model for your uploaded clothes. In Using Template, set Gender, Skin Tone, and Age Group. Besides, choose a suitable background for the model you set. A total of 4 types backgrounds: Nature, Urban, Color, and Interior.
set a virtual model
  • Step 3: Alternatively, provide a text prompt where you can describe the specific results you desire for your clothing images in Custom Editing. Be as detailed as possible, explaining the desired poses, angles, and overall aesthetic you want to achieve. This step ensures that the AI-generated model pictures align perfectly with your vision and brand identity.
describe the results
  • Step 4: When clicking the Cast the Spell button, you will receive the generated images that meet your requirements within seconds. The AI algorithms analyze the uploaded photos and text prompts, combining them to create stunning model pictures without needing mannequins.
generate target photos

With this simple four-step process, you can effortlessly obtain high-quality images of your clothes to sell without using mannequins. Let Wondershare VirtuLook do the work for you, delivering professional and visually appealing visuals to captivate your customers and drive sales.

2. Flat-Lay Photography

flat-lay photography

Flat-lay clothing photography is a great way to take beautiful pictures of clothes without using mannequins. You simply lay the clothes flat on a table or the floor and take the picture from above. This perspective shows off the details, patterns, and textures of the clothes in a nice way.

The best thing about flat-lay photography is that it gives a clear view of the whole garment. This helps customers see the clothes' design, fabric, and overall style. Whether it's a fancy dress with pretty embroidery or a cozy sweater with a unique texture, flat-lay photography captures all the special features of the clothes.

Another cool thing about flat-lay photography is that you can get creative with arranging the clothes. You can add accessories like shoes, jewelry, or coffee to make the picture interesting. This helps customers imagine how they can style and accessorize the clothes.

Flat-lay photography works well for all kinds of clothes, like tops, bottoms, dresses, accessories, and shoes. It's a versatile method that lets you showcase each piece in the best way possible.

Pay attention to lighting and composition to get the best results with flat-lay photography. Use natural or soft artificial light to make the clothes look their best. And when arranging the shot, ensure everything looks balanced and pleasing to the eye.

3. Invisible Mannequin Technique

invisible mannequin

The invisible mannequin technique is a smart way to make it seem like a model is wearing clothes while keeping the mannequin hidden.

During the photoshoot, the clothing item is carefully placed on the mannequin to capture its shape accurately. Then, the same clothing item is photographed without the mannequin, focusing on the space where the body would be. This two-step process ensures that the clothes and the space are captured well.

The two images are merged in the post-production stage to create a seamless effect. The picture of the clothes on the mannequin is layered on top of the image without the mannequin, aligning them perfectly. Blending the two images creates the illusion that the clothes are floating on an invisible body.

The invisible mannequin technique has some great advantages. It allows customers to see how the clothes fit and hang on a body, giving them a better idea of the shape and style. It also lets the details and features of the clothes, like the neckline, sleeves, or back design, stand out without any distractions from a visible mannequin.

It's important to pay attention to the details during the photoshoot and editing processes to get the best results with the invisible mannequin technique. Ensure the clothes are positioned correctly, use good lighting, and keep the camera settings consistent. In editing, take care when combining the images to create a natural and seamless final picture.

Learn more: best lighting for clothing photography

4. Photograph Clothes on a Hanger

photograph clothes on a hanger

A simple and effective way is to hang the clothes on a clean, plain hanger and take a picture. This works well for showing the shape and how well the clothes fit, especially for dresses or coats. It's important to ensure the hanger doesn't take away attention from the clothes and looks neat and uniform.

Using this method, you can capture a picture that emphasizes the silhouette and how the clothes hang on the hanger. This helps customers understand how the clothes will look when they wear them, making them more confident buying.

Choose a hanger that doesn't stand out and suits the clothes to get a good photo. It should be clean without any distracting logos or decorations. The hanger should also hold the clothes properly, keeping their shape without distorting them.

When taking a picture, remember how you arrange and frame it. Ensure the clothes are centered and aligned on the hanger without wrinkles or unevenness. Adjust the lighting so that the colors and details of the clothes look accurate and realistic.


To sum up, you can use photography methods like AI-generated models, flat-lay, invisible mannequins, and hanger photography to take attractive pictures of clothes without mannequins. These techniques provide flexibility, creativity, and affordable ways to display products and attract potential customers. For a more automated and convenient process, use Wondershare VirtuLook.

Jeff Johnson
Jeff Johnson Aug 15, 23
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