How to photograph wedding dresses and carnival costumes. Commercial photography for an online store of unusual outfits in a modern photography studio in Toronto

How to photograph wedding dresses and carnival costumes. Commercial photography for an online store of unusual outfits in a modern photography studio in Toronto

5 November, 2021
How to photograph wedding dresses and carnival costumes. Commercial photography for an online store of unusual outfits in a modern photography studio in Toronto
Imagine having your wedding on Canada Day or Halloween - it will be a day you will remember forever.  But the preparation for the celebration might occupy all of your time and thoughts. So it is important to come prepared.

The excitement of the impending celebration is exhilarating, and purchasing a wedding dress or Halloween costume can be one of the most satisfying and anticipated moments of the year. An online store that sells such goods is a profitable line of business, and the revenue can break all records on the eve of big events.

We decided, therefore, to write an article about how we, in our photo studio in Toronto, take commercial photographs and videos of such outfits to attract buyers and encourage them to make a purchase.

Commercial photography for the catalogue of wedding dresses: features and nuances

Catalogue photography of wedding dresses is different from commercial photography for other product catalogue. For example, wedding dresses are harder to photograph than jeans.

Wedding dresses are multi-layered fluffy skirts with embroidery or decorations made of stones. Nothing should shine on the product photo to avoid illuminating the dress. So a high level of experience and professional knowledge is needed to consider the numerous dress styles and how difficult they can be to photograph.

There are different types of wedding dresses by cut, and problems may arise during photography, such as:

Regular cut with long skirt lines: These dresses are often adorned with decorative stones and embroidery sewn onto the fabric. Precious or semi-precious stones might be a girl's best friend, but they're a photographer's adversary, for sparkling stones can illuminate the photo. It must be shot at the lowest ISO setting with a slow shutter speed.

A dress with a corset and a fitted dress that blends into a wide skirt: This is an outfit in two parts, a separate skirt and a corset. Both of these cuts make the bride's figure appear slimmer. Fluffy skirts make it difficult to photograph, however, because, with the wrong ISO and shutter speed, an obtrusive white spot can appear on the photograph that merges with the surrounding interior.

Nowadays, more and more brides want unusual wedding dresses, whether they are short dresses or, in general, suits. Sometimes, it can even be a unique punk or grunge dress. The background design, props, working with models and, in general, the entire integrity of the picture depends on the photographer, their inner artistic world and technical proficiency.

We use a white background when photographing wedding dresses, as dark, dense backgrounds add a reflection that often significantly distorts the colour of the dress and the skin tone of the model. Additionally, it’s easier to finish editing objects in Photoshop against a white background.

Wedding dresses are rarely sold “remotely," even in online stores. The bride often chooses from pictures of the boutique which she will visit, and the dress itself will be purchased directly at the point of sale after several “live” fittings. Based on this foregoing, we prefer to take photographs selling the image, not a specific dress.

We believe a photograph of a wedding dress should not be technical (with an abundance of detail, features of the material, lace, etc.); it should be artistic to stir the customer to desire to touch the "miracle from the picture" with your hands.

Working with a model for the best product photography

Customers are aware that wedding dresses are expensive products. So the quality and class of shooting must match the price of the product. Selecting the right model is crucial for good wedding dress photography. Her image and posture will serve as the foundation for a "expensive" photograph for a customer's catalogue online store. No photographic tricks can salvage poor modelling technique when displaying the wedding dresses. Money cannot be saved on choosing a model since sales in the online store directly depend on this. To produce the best product photography of wedding dresses, the model should follow the following guidelines:

Height 170–175 cm.

Hair colour: Compared with blondes, dark-haired women should receive preference since the contrast of dark hair against a white dress has greater aesthetic appeal than light blond hair. However, when choosing a photographic model, do not overdo it with dark hair! Hair that is especially dark can be difficult to "pierce" the light of the flash (so as not to overexpose the face and the dress itself); therefore, there is a threat that the "bride's" intricate hairstyle may blend into a single dark spot in the shot.

Breast volume: Should be a 2 or a 3. Despite a plethora of neckline and "open" models posing for wedding dresses, do not get carried away seeking a lady with voluminous breasts. It’s better to focus on "medium" sized breasts as the buyer will subconsciously associate themselves with the model in the photo. Breasts that are too big can cause internal distrust or rejection.

Skin and moles are also important: When photographing a collection of wedding dresses, many clothing items leave the back, arms and shoulders open. If possible, choose a model with smooth, even skin, with a minimal amount of moles, redness, etc.

Wedding model posing style; product videography as a new trend

Of course, while shooting a wedding catalogue, overtly sweet, glamorous, or "aggressive" poses must be avoided at all costs. Posing for wedding dress catalogue should be reserved, feminine, and a touch romantic.

In addition to ordinary photographs, we also create product videography for wedding dresses and other costumes.

A wedding is a joyful event. It's the happiest day of a woman’s life, so why not show a video showing a smiling bride? Or perhaps a joyful woman in a wedding dress spinning around, or a woman is spinning and throwing a bridal bouquet?

This helps the user to see how the dress looks on the model, judge it in motion, and picture themselves wearing it.

It's important for online stores to have product videography because:

  1. The video reveals more about the product than any other type of content.
  2. Users are more likely to share videos than other content.
  3. Videos engage the audience.
  4. Videos have a positive effect on search engine promotion.

Video marketing is one of the most important trends of our time. The majority of the industry behemoths already use this marketing method.

We primarily deal with highly competent models in our contemporary photo studio who know the definition of professionalism and how to display outstanding product videography.. 

A product photography studio in Toronto, where you can create a catalogue of wedding, carnival and Comic Con costumes

In our modern product photography studio in Toronto, we not only photograph simple clothing, but sophisticated costumes too. Sequins, fluffy skirts or the dark costumes of vampires must be photographed with an understanding of the nuances of colour presentation, the laws of style presentation and how to work with models.

So what about carnival or party costumes? Imagine a model is dressed as Count Dracula or the Wicked Witch. Which background is preferable: the grey walls of an ancient castle? What about a moonlit window? Or maybe next to a table with a red velvet tablecloth, or in an old armchair? What if you need to photograph a model dressed as Darth Vader or Princess Leia? What do you do then?

This is what we would do. Our expert photographers would photograph such authentic costumes against a white background, then impose the background in Photoshop, occasionally with props, if necessary. It would be easy to take a photo against a white or grey background. But remember, the background must remain consistent, or the heterogeneity of the background will look unprofessional. The goal of catalogue shooting is to capture images of the same style, colour, lighting, and brightness in a 5–6 hour timeframe. Much depends on the technical professionalism of the photographer, and on the imagination and artistry of the model. The photographer must tell the model what she needs to show, and the model must correctly capture the mood.

Professional photographers use a specific live machine to shoot all of the images, which keeps up with all of the newest photographic trends in our product photography studio. We take photographs with and without a model, as well as product videography. You can order high-quality videos and incredible stills from us, or create them yourself quickly and easily by renting this machine for one or several days. In just a couple of hours, you’ll get auto-edited, formatted video and stills ready for e-commerce or social media. For additional information, please contact our support service or send us an e-mail; we would be happy to assist you with any questions you may have.

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