Believe it or not there's quite a bit that goes into a shopping system within a website. But the overall appearance of an online shop is one of the hardest things to really nail. Product imagery is often overlooked, and it doesn't matter how well developed, how well tested and thoroughly amended a shopping system is, if the product images aren't up to scratch all that work will never see the light of day.
That doesn't sit well with usAfter the development team were happy with all the back-end mechanics of the shopping system it was up to me to finish off the whole experience with some professional imagery. After roping in James and his fantastic camera skills ( seriously, check his stuff out here, it's stunning ) we came up with a nice little game plan. Introducing: the invisible manikin shot!
The idea behind it allFor those of you that aren't aware, an invisibile manikin shot is a very specific type of product photography, that quite literally does what it says on the tin; it shows the product you're selling on an 'invisible manikin'. This type of imagery excludes anything distracting from the product photos and points the customer's eye to what really matters - the point of sale. I know i've certainly spent quite a bit of time questioning the use of certain clothing models on high end retail websites, and it's moments like that which we try and eliminate.
The processSo the basic idea is that we take photos of the product on the model, and then subtract the model from the product, leaving what looks to be an invisible manikin wearing the clothes. Clever, right? We start the process by taking photos of the clothes on the model - In this example, I was the model. We take a straight shot of the front of the model to get the base of the product image, this gives us the starting point. After we're happy with that we then turn the product inside out and take a photo of the back of the model to get the label and inside of the product in view.
Photo manipulation wizardryWe then take the two and run them through my magical photo manipulation process. Carefully cutting out any visible limbs from the front product photo, and then adding in the inside of the product and label behind where the neckline sits. This creates the impression that nobody is wearing the garment of clothing despite the body still being filled out. It's a really simple process with quite a striking outcome, but as I'm sure you'll agree it really does finish off the shopping experience.
So that's that! Your quick guide to invisible manikin product photos. If you've currently got an online shop and feel your product imagery isn't quite up to scratch or could do with a little bit of an overhaul please do get in touch. We'd love to talk you through some options on how you could improve your overall image and appearance. We love a bit of online shopping!