Cookies

Be aware our website uses cookies to give you the most relevant experience by remembering preferences and repeat visits. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL cookies. At any time, you may visit Cookie Settings to review your settings and provide controlled consent.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Privacy Overview

This website uses cookies to improve your experience and for better navigation of the website. Out of these cookies, those that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser. These necessary cookies are essential for the basic functionalities of the website. We also use third-party cookies to help us analyze and understand how you use this website. All cookies necessary will be stored in your browser only with your consent. You may also choose to opt-out of these cookies, but opting out of some might have an effect on your browsing experience.

+
Functional

All necessary cookies are essential for proper functionality of the website. This category includes only cookies which ensure basic functionalities and security features. These cookies do not store any personal information.

Always enabled
+
Marketing cookies

By accepting the use of cookies for the purpose of marketing, you consent to the processing of your information regarding your use of our website for Google Ads. In this way, Google can display relevant PhotoRobot ads during your internet browsing. You may choose to opt-out of cookies for the purpose of marketing at any time by changing your Cookie Settings.

+
Analytics

Analytical cookies are in use to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help to provide us information on the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.

Save & Accept
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Get in touch

How to Photograph a T-Shirt with a Ghost Mannequin

Join us to learn how to photograph a t-shirt with a ghost mannequin effect for authentic, true-to-life images that maintain focus strongly on the product.

Ghost Mannequin Fashion Photography: Photographing T-Shirts

In this post, we’ll help you learn how to photograph a t-shirt on a ghost mannequin. T-shirts are often a staple product in any fashion retail. However, getting the best photographs of t-shirts requires some special techniques with lighting setups, cameras, and post production.

With flat lay product photography, shirts tend to lose their appeal. Results come out looking a little flat and often out of proportion. The ghost mannequin effect, on the other hand, provides a way to remove the model or mannequin in post production. 

This creates a “hollow man effect”, as if an invisible person were wearing the photographed clothing. To achieve this, we take multiple photos of a tee on a mannequin or model, and then combine the images to remove the model or mannequin in post processing.  

In this way, the results are lifelike product photos of t-shirts that keep the focus firmly on the product. T-shirts look more 3-dimensional, rounded and overall more presentable for online fashion retail. 

Continue reading to learn how to photograph a t-shirt with a ghost mannequin effect and discover PhotoRobot solutions.

How to achieve a ghost mannequin effect with t-shirts

Ready to get started? Let’s look at what goes into creating the ghost mannequin effect for fashion product photography. 

Unlike other software image editing techniques, using a ghost mannequin makes the photographed t-shirt appear to be worn by an invisible person. We accomplish this by removing the arm and chest pieces so that the mannequin is not visible in the final image.

Using a ghost mannequin can amount to dramatic savings in content production costs. With PhotoRobot’s_Cube and our mannequins designed for quick-exchange, the savings in effort and costs are even more remarkable.

What other photography equipment and software do we need? Let’s run through the list now.

Equipment and software for the ghost mannequin effect

The traditional PhotoRobot setup for the ghost mannequin effect on t-shirts revolves around the CUBE. This is thanks to its system for quick mannequin exchange, coupled with PhotoRobot automation software for streamlining post processing.

Use PhotoRobot’s Chromakey to automatically remove mannequin poles from final images, combine photos, and achieve the perfect ghost mannequin effect every time.

Additional photo studio equipment

As for other fashion photography equipment, you’ll need the following.

  • Camera — PhotoRobot supports both Canon and Nikon, with high-end models recommended for professional product photography.
  • Lighting Setup — Our systems work with both strobe lighting or LED panel lights, using these to create the ideal lighting from all angles.
  • A ghost mannequin — In this case, we use our quick-exchange mannequins, allowing us to prepare a separate torso off to the side while simultaneously taking photos of t-shirts ready for photographing.
  • Styling accessories — Use a combination of clips and pins to ensure the tee has a more fitted appearance.
  • T Shirt — No matter how intricate the design of the tee, even on complicated edges like lace, with PhotoRobot the “invisible person” effect is created flawlessly.

Photographing the t-shirt

Now, let’s run through the process of how to photograph a t-shirt with a ghost mannequin. The entire process for applying the ghost mannequin effect to apparel takes no longer than a matter of minutes. 

The software manages all post-processing and publishing online, with all of these features available as part of PhotoRobot PRESET categories. These presets are a set of commands that let you record and apply settings to all later items based on this style.

This means that you can focus on the photography, while PhotoRobot handles the majority of the heavy-lifting. The process then becomes routine, no matter if you’re using a regular or an invisible torso. 

1 - Take off the arms and the chest piece of the mannequin

When styling t-shirts to set the scene, the shape of the tee matters most. You want the apparel to look as appealing as if it were fitted perfectly on a live model. It also doesn’t hurt if the mannequin has an athletic build (such as with PhotoRobot’s mannequins for quick exchange).

Beyond this, all you need to do is take off the removable pieces of the mannequin, and you’re now ready to dress it up.

2 - Dress your mannequin to impress

Next, simply pull your t-shirt down over the head of the mannequin, just as you would when dressing yourself.

Now, the mannequin is ready for styling. Just remember to replace the arm and shoulder pieces before getting started.

3 - Style the t-shirt

From here, you want to make sure the arms and shoulders of the shirt are styled and ready for photography.


Ensure there is no fabric pinched under the shoulders, and that both are aligned perfectly. 


4 - Pull the shirt tight

Finally, pull the material taut over the mannequin, just like you see in the example below.

Be sure you remove any creases that might distract away from the shirt’s design, and that it looks flawless for the photoshoot.

5 - Lights, Camera, Action

And that’s it. Now you’re ready to photograph the t-shirt with the magic of PhotoRobot. This process is also straightforward 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.
  • Control the process to deliver ready-made t-shirt images to the client or to publish directly online. 

The Results

Notice how we’ve made the arms invisible in post production. Directional lighting also provides us with extra shadowing to make the shirt look more appealing.


For Additional Guides, Tutorials, and Resources

We know there’s always more to discover. Sign up for our Product Photography Newsletter below for the latest blogs, tutorials, and videos. Also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube to stay up-to-date on everything happening in the industry. We’re here to help, from photographing t-shirts on a ghost mannequin to product photography of any type or scale.