Join Konrad Eek for an in-depth discussion in this video What makes an effective photo of textiles?, part of Product Photography: Clothes and Textiles.
What I'd like to share with you now is a few things that help make a photograph of textiles or clothing effective. We'll start with a really simple example here. This is what we'll call a color story. It's used to show several products of the exact same type that vary in color. You can see here they're all positioned very neatly in a stack. These are set up on a slant board. And they're spaced as close to equally as possible. Select, care is taken in selecting which one goes to next which so you don't get too much contrast, too little You have colors that get along well with each other but also shows snap.
And most importantly, we want to expose the texture of the fabric involved. Effective lighting and photographs of textiles always show the texture. The second chart we're going to look at. Is a single garment. This is styled on a positionable foam mannequin and we've used several tools to give it a sense of flow almost as if it's blowing in the wind. One of the things I want to clarify in this photography of clothing and textiles, we will not be using models.
The fashion industry is a whole nother aspect of product photography. This is strictly photographing garments and textiles off-figure. It's a nice little niche in the world of commercial photography or product photography specifically. One of the things I like about this, you always have to kind of analyze the features. What are you trying to show off? We had a nice little logo here. We've got a two-button plaquette. We've got the little slit on the sides so that it'll stay tucked in more effectively. And after we kind of analyzed those features, all we really wanted then was a sense of flow, a little capture of the texture of the weave.
And also you know, you're trying to convince people, hey these things are going to be soft, or maybe durable, or maybe tough. All that you do by exposing the texture. In this case, we've styled a Hawaiian shirt on a slant board. We've used a background that's not a jet black. It's kind of a rich chocolate, with the hope of tying into the rich, creamy browns within the garment itself. Once again a little bit of flow to get that sense of motion within the garment. One of the things that's challenging when you shoot garments off figure is you need to make them seem somehow lived in a little bit, somehow relating the human form even though there's no human involved.
Overall I think this is very effective styling features. I think this, this parrot that's featured here is nice. You see good tail, detail on the sleeve here. Also as you come down, you can see that the pattern match of the fabric down the button placket is near perfect. That's something that you don't always seen in patterned garments like this. It's typically speaks to the higher end. of this sort of Hawaiian shirt. The one weakness I might point out in this particular image with the styling is the the way this sleeve is folded, I think, is pretty strong.
This one is folded over perhaps a little tight or maybe it's making reference to an NFL quarterback's shoulder injury, I'm not quite sure about that. Finally here is another example of off figure styling using a positionable foam mannequin, the illusion we were attempting to create here was, as if someone were wearing this parka in an outdoor environment. The reason we did that is we wanted to show off some of the features and being able to have the Mannequin's hand in his pocket help show off the zipper here.
You see the orange of the zipper, the little flap of the zipper. You also recognize that this is the garment you want to put on when you're hands might get cold. You take it outdoors on a cold snowy day you can see up here the features. We expose the snaps that show that it's got an overlapping flap front that will hide this zipper. You also see the mesh lining here, the collar turned up, so you can see the height and the padding in the collar. We also tightened this in a little bit at the bottom to show the fact that it does have a hidden drawstring that pulls that bottom part together a little bit.
As far as the background we just just shopped this on a white background and we dropped it in on the snowscape because those are kind of hard to find here in Oklahoma in the middle of the summer. But as we move forward from here we will cover post production techniques that will help you understand how to make the little bits of the foam mannequin disappear. We'll also talk about color control and texture in post-production, but first let's move forward and look at some of the tools we'll use for styling and lighting. I think the thing to remember is too is we won't be duplicating these shots exactly, we'll be exploring some new directions.
In this course, commercial photographer Konrad Eek explores the creative and technical decisions involved in photographing textiles. After introducing basics, such as ironing and folding, the course explores a variety of shooting scenarios, including photographing a garment on a slant board or against a wall, a blanket draped on a chair, and a stack of clothing. Konrad demonstrates basic lighting techniques as well as more advanced ones, such as using a cookie (also called a gobo or cuculoris) to cast dramatic shadows. The course concludes with a brief overview of the Adobe Photoshop post-processing often involved in textile photography.