This article, written by Rachel Forsythe, our Senior Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy, was originally published in 2020 on the Replica Surfaces blog. We are pleased to bring this valuable information to our followers.
Product Photography - Why It's Important
Developing a recognizable brand is crucial for small businesses, and one of the best ways to do this is in your product photography. This is especially true when your photos are displayed among a sea of other shops on a platform like Poshmark, Etsy, or eBay. Developing a recognizable presence will not only get your listings noticed by new customers, but will also keep your customers coming back - even if you make small tweaks to the look of your brand as your business grows.
Logo and website colors aren't what make my brand recognizable - it's the photographs of the items I sell. People tell me all the time that they stumbled across one of my Poshmark closet photos while searching on Google and immediately knew it was my listing, even though my face wasn't visible!
They recognized the styling props I include, how I fold my items, and the backdrops I use (Replica Surfaces).
So let's talk about those three elements of product photography: props, folding, and backdrops!
Styling props for product photography
My actual Poshmark photos styled on the White Marble (top and bottom) and Vintage Wood (center) Replica Surfaces.
Product Photography: Folding Tops and Pants
The key to photographing large clothing items like tops and pants is to learn creative folding styles that showcase the item's unique details. If there is anything I’ve learned in the last 2 years of photographing clothes, it’s that sterile, flattened out items are less appealing visually.
Learn to embrace natural shadows, folds in the fabric and texture. It draws the viewer's eye and catches their attention better. And really, all potential customers need to see are the tag, hardware, leg/sleeve style, and unique features like beading or distressing. Seeing the entire length of a leg or sleeve doesn't give them any more information.
Once you get the hang of folding, pants and tops of any size can easily be displayed on a original-sized Replica Surface. You don't need any more space than that! I've spent years scouring Pinterest to learn creative folding techniques. So here you go - years saved!
Folding pant legs at an angle
Fold remainder of pant leg up at opposite angle (top). Alternatively (bottom), this is what the final fold looks like if you start folding higher up on the thigh and angle in the opposite direction.
Folding pant legs straight up and down
Start by folding legs at the mid thigh, approximately 6 inches below the crotch, but without angling them (top). Then fold the remainder of leg in half again without angling. Roll the cuff for added style (bottom).
Let's Get Fancy!
The examples below are just variations on the steps above. They can all be created by changing your folding angles or the number of folds you make. Your product photography homework? Go replicate them all and see which ones work best for your current items.
Folding tops is all about the sleeves peeking out from behind in an attractive way. Start by turning the shirt over and folding both sides in (top). Then fold in half, leaving the sleeves out (bottom).
Product Photography: Backdrops
I attribute a significant portion of my branding to Replica Surfaces.
If you’ve followed my reselling journey for any length of time, you know I came across this product early last year, and immediately fell in love. I ordered a Surface, and as soon as it arrived, I knew my photography had instantly improved. I suddenly loved flat lays again, and product photography became something I looked forward to.
These Surfaces are portable, easy to clean, and sturdy. I frequently travel to other cities to source for my Poshmark and eBay inventory. Since my Surfaces are portable, easy to clean, and sturdy, I can take them on the road with me so I can continue to list as I travel.
When I’m at home, I set my surfaces up everywhere — in my living room, dining room … shoot I’ve taken them out on the porch if the light out there is good. As a photographer, I am constantly chasing the light. My Replica Surfaces allow me to find my best light without changing my brand at all.
The other thing I truly love about my Surfaces is that, as I’ve incorporated new content into my social media (i.e. lifestyle, food, etc), I’ve been able to maintain a consistent style throughout my photos.
My actual hotel room setup when I traveled to Atlanta to source (below)! This is where I took the photo of the jeweled jeans I showed you above. The light was soooo good, how could I not list on the road?
And that's that! I hope you learned something about styling, folding and backdrops that will benefit your clothing photos and ultimately your sales. Product photography can make or break your business growth, so taking the time to perfect it is crucial to expanding your business.
We'd love to hear your thoughts! What's your favorite product photography tips or hacks? Tell us in the comments!