Flat product photography of clothes: discover our tutorial

Flat product photography of clothes: discover our tutorial

Why flat product photography for clothes in a horizontal lay out? This type of shot is called a “flatlay” and it’s widely used in e-commerce (and elsewhere). Read this article for full details.


Flat product photography: a photo trend updated by Instagram

Flat product photography, called flatlay, is different from classical product photography. You can use flatlays to complement or augment your use of packshots, which are a more traditional type of product photograph. Flatlay product shots have become a real trend on Instagram, thanks to lifestyle bloggers in particular. This type of carefully staged shot, taken from above, makes a product display appear more artistic, particularly for items like clothing and accessories, cosmetics, interior décor, technology or tableware. Disciples of flatlay don’t limit themselves to any single type of product when staging a shot, so don’t be afraid to try different arrangements and let your creativity run wild!

How to display clothes in flat-lay?

A flatlay shot by an Instagram blogger (photo @jeromeguerzon). Note the use of drop shadows to create relief.

Shooting sets of items on a theme

This flat product photography technique gives brands the opportunity to do some visual storytelling. Theme-based displays with a neutral backdrop and minimalist style… When presenting an outfit or a range of fashion accessories on a theme, the possibilities are endless. You could also display customized outfits or sets of clothes prepared by virtual personal shoppers.

photographing belts and accessories in flatlay

Flatlay photography done in a packshot studio lets you use a pure white background. The lighting environment produces images that are much more faithful to the original.

How do you photograph clothes in flatlay? Step by step instructions

Producing flat product photography of clothes and accessories isn’t as easy as it looks. The shot is taken from directly above the subject, ideally against a neutral background. Drop shadows are sometimes added to images of certain types of clothing or accessories to create relief. Each element must be meticulously (geometrically) placed within the frame, which must not be too narrow so that you have some margin to reframe the image. A flatlay photo tells a story: like the story of a woman’s summer outfit with clothes and accessories, or the story of a wish list.

What photo equipment do you need

Forget blogger-style smartphone photography. While you can produce this type of photo with daylight and a good reflex camera, there are tailor-made solutions available. The ideal pro equipment is a light table with a camera positioned above and parallel to the table. During studio photo shoots, it’s essential to use lighting that can provide a temperature similar to daylight. This gives you color rendering that’s faithful to the original.

Fashion packshot photographer

In summary

Pros : a setup which invites creativity and an on-trend way to display your new collections!

Cons: doesn’t work for large items of clothing, like wedding dresses. Doesn’t allow you to showcase the way a fabric drapes or falls. A better way to do this is to show a photograph of the item as it is worn.

PackshotCreator invites you to learn about its new software-operated light table, in the showroom or remotely via an online demonstration. The LuminaPad+ is a full working studio which lets you produce both flatlay images of clothes and accessories as well as upright images, thanks to its reversible table which also functions as a backlit studio backdrop.

Become the photographer of your products

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