How to Photograph a Suit and Tie with a Ghost Mannequin

This guide demonstrates how to photograph a suit and tie with a ghost mannequin effect using PhotoRobot’s Cube and automation software.

How to Photograph Suits and Ties on a Ghost Mannequin

As part of our ongoing fashion photography tutorials, this guide will show how to photograph a suit and tie with a ghost mannequin effect. Using a ghost mannequin, you can make apparel look as if an invisible person is wearing it, also known as a “hollow man” effect.

To achieve this effect, we take multiple photos of a suit and tie on a mannequin. We then combine the images to remove the mannequin in post processing. This gives clothing a more true-to-life, full-bodied and 3D appearance than flat lay photography. It also ensures apparel isn’t flat or out of proportion in product photos.

For the complete step-by-step guide, continue reading. This tutorial demonstrates how to photograph a suit and tie with a ghost mannequin effect using PhotoRobot’s_Cube and product photography software.

Photography Equipment and Editing Software

When aiming to achieve a ghost mannequin effect on a suit and tie, PhotoRobot’s standard setup features the_Cube. This solution boasts a system for quick mannequin exchange to streamline workflows, while PhotoRobot software automates post processing.

Photo studio setup with suit and tie on mannequin.

Among the many editing tools in our software is ChromaKey, a function which automatically removes mannequin poles in final images. It then combines “composite” photos to achieve the “invisible person” effect in less time than it takes to style your mannequin.

Then, beyond these tools, you also need the following.

  • Camera - PhotoRobot supports both Canon and Nikon cameras, and we recommend high-end models for professional product photography.
  • Studio lighting - Our systems work with both strobe lighting or LED panel lights, using these to create the ideal lighting from all angles.
  • Ghost mannequin - In this case, we use our quick-exchange mannequins. This provides us a way to prepare a separate torso off to the side while simultaneously photographing.
  • A blazer, shirt, and tie combo - Today, we’re photographing a blazer with a shirt and tie. 
  • Styling accessories - By using clips and pins, we ensure there are no unsightly creases and that the blazer fits the mannequin perfectly.

How to style your suit and tie for the effect

1 - Keep the neck, arm, and chest pieces attached

First, when photographing a suit and tie combo, we keep the neck, arm, and chest pieces on the mannequin. The neck piece is necessary to support the tie in this photoshoot.

Next, we remove the middle part of the waist to give us a view of the inner lining.

Unclothed male mannequin with lighting setup.

2 - Dress your mannequin for success

In the next step, we want to dress our mannequin for success. Start first with putting on the shirt, and then move onto the blazer.

Here, you can button the shirt up, but wait for later to button up the blazer. Get the shoulders straight and neat, and then pull the shirt tight to smooth out any creases on the garments.

Stylist clothing mannequin in shirt and blazer.

3 - Knot and put the tie on your mannequin

Now, with our shirt and blazer fitted and wrinkle-free on the mannequin, we add the tie to the mannequin. Both shoulders look nice, straight, and symmetrical, so now we put the shirt collar up and put the tie on.

We always make sure to pre-knot our ties before the photoshoot with a loose, simple knot like the four-in-hand or half-windsor.

Close-up of putting tie on mannequin neck.

4 - Button all buttons and straighten shirttails

Moving on, with our tie straight, we button up the front of the blazer, and tuck in the shirttails. Here, we want the suit and tie combo exactly how we want to photograph it on the ghost mannequin. 

The outfit should now be getting that “hollow man” effect. Now, ensure the clothes neatly fit your mannequin. For this, you can also use styling pins and clips here to style the suit and tie.

Photographer butting jacket with zoom of top button.

5 - Lights, Camera, Action

And just like that, we’re ready to move to our control station and create the ghost mannequin effect. Here, the process takes no time and becomes routine on any torso.

  • Capture given angles (using predefined positions).
  • Separate the background on all images.
  • Retouch the pole of the standing torso using PhotoRobot’s manual or automated Chromakey retouch feature to create a ghost mannequin effect.
  • Set the lighting according to the product, ensuring consistent exposure, shadows, and contrast.
  • Control the process to deliver ready-made images to the client or to publish directly online.

The final results of a suit and tie on a ghost Mannequin

Final product photos of suit and tie, front and back.

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