How do you use Ghost mannequin photography?

The ghost mannequin effect(also known as the hollow man effect or invisible mannequin) is commonly used in clothing photography to remove models or mannequins from the apparel images. 

The ghost mannequin effect lets you take several shots of a product on a model or mannequin, then combine the photos using photo retouching to remove the model or mannequin. The end result is a realistic vision that draws the viewer’s attention to the product. This technique makes the clothes more attractive than flat-lay photos of apparel, especially after professional photo retouching Services.

As a businessman or operator in the online clothing industry, you should be using the ghost mannequin effect. It enables customers to get a sense of what you have to offer and be instantly impressed with your products. It is understood that if your apparel can captivate your customers in the first impression, you are increasing the chances of closing the deal.

Professional photo retouching services boost apparel sales by creating beautiful, high-quality images that educate buyers about the products. It is originally used in eCommerce sales to include a unique expression of how an outfit would appear when worn by a person.

Ghost Mannequin Technique:

Generally, a ghost mannequin photo is a mixture of two or more photos, also known as composite imaging.  The first image is the entire apparel shot. Flat shots of the garment’s interior, which is blocked by your model or mannequin, are shot on a white foam board in the additional images.

The invisible mannequin effect is useful on apparel such as t-shirts, shirts, jackets, trousers, jeans, dresses, socks, lingerie, etc.

Advantages of the Ghost Mannequin effect

  • It reduces the customer’s concerns about the item’s fit and style. Upon seeing the ghost mannequin pictures, the customer imagines themselves wearing the outfit.
  • By allowing customers to see clothing as it would appear on a person, the ghost mannequin bridges the gap between offline and online buying experiences. 
  • Usually done on white backgrounds, also, customers do not get distracted by the model wearing the apparel.
  • The shots create live photos that are expressive, as opposed to flat lay images that will be duller.
  • Putting the apparel together is simple, using only a few inexpensive props such as clips, tissues, and double-sided tape.
  • A ghost mannequin is a viable option for expensive clothing.

Disadvantages of the Ghost Mannequin effect

  • Retouching the product images is quite expensive and exhausting.
  • The new mannequins with detachable magnetic pieces, in particular, are expensive pieces of shooting equipment.
  • In terms of lighting setup, this is not a go-to technique for beginners. The ghost mannequin technique requires strong and even lighting in all photos. As an online business, it would be convenient to hire apparel or fashion photo retouching professionals for the hollow man effect.

Other forms of clothing photography:

Model photography

A model helps your product become more relevant and represent the brand’s values. With the help of a model, you can display more than one form of clothing. In fact, it is easier to notice apparel specifications on a model than it is without someone.

Models might draw the customer’s attention away from the clothes. It’s possible that the model might not be attractive to your potential customer. Or sometimes, customers might get offended by the model’s appearance or representation of apparel. Also, models are expensive to hire, especially when you are always releasing new clothes.

Flat lay photography

Flat lay product photography is a method that includes photographing products from above that are set on a horizontal or near-horizontal surface. It is a simple, quick approach to advertise your brand. It is best suited for plain-looking clothes such as t-shirts, coats, and trousers.

The flat-lay technique is often preferred over model photography as it is not complicated and less time-consuming to shoot the apparel. This approach gives you greater flexibility when setting up the studio before the shoot, and it helps you capture more photos in a shorter amount of time.

For generating consistent photos, further efforts must be taken, such as using marks on the surface for symmetrical orientation, fixing the camera above, and so on. Coats, for example, may appear stretched, lifeless, and odd in flat-lay photography.

Also, shooting time is restricted when using natural light due to the changing light emitting from the sun.

How to get the perfect ghost mannequin effect?

The first part of the technique is apparel photography, and the next is post-processing of the photos. Photos taken by the photographer are culled for two or more photos, and these photos are edited for a final hollow man effect.

 The clothes should be placed on the mannequin for the first shot. The photographer must carefully position the clothing item on the mannequin, levelling the arms and legs. Pull the clothes down tightly on the mannequin to reduce shadows and smooth out wrinkles in the image.

The second photo, taken in the same lighting, should show the inside of the clothes with the tag centred and visible. The colours and shadows created in this photograph must be captured under the same lighting and backdrop. To shoot the inside of the garment, the photographer spreads the clothes flat.

In post-processing, retouchers use Adobe Photoshop to merge the images into one image with the tag showing from the inside of the apparel. Apparel photo retouching is done using clipping path tools, layer masking, and brush tools.


Viewers almost never click on the product links on the website. It gets relatively easier with the visualizations such as ghost mannequins and 360-degree views. And it’s important to have professional and appealing photos of your apparel on your company’s website to achieve higher sales. This technique will assist you in achieving a better response among your customers regarding your products as soon as they visit your company’s website.

Using a mannequin offers a benefit over a live model since the mannequin can keep the same pose throughout the photoshoot, even after numerous rotations to shoot from all angles.  Following the pinning and setup, the mannequin maintains uniformity of the apparel, making the photographed clothes look wrinkle-free. 

If you’ve reached here, we suggest you look into our photo editing services Professional Photo Editing Services.

Subscribe to receive notification of latest post

By digi5studios

Digi5 Studios is one of the Best Photo retouching service provider company and offering high-quality photo editing for bulk eCommerce product photos, automotive photos, Fashion and beauty images etc.