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What is the Difference Between Flat Lay and Mannequin Photography

Flat Lay and Mannequin Photography

The fashion industry is a place of endless creativity, with new trends and brands emerging constantly. To capture customer attention in this highly competitive field, it's essential to present garments in a visually striking way. For online clothing outlets, this means high-resolution images that showcase the clothes effectively.

Two common photography methods for the fashion industry are Flat Lay and Mannequin. However, it's important to evaluate which option is the best fit for your products in order to boost sales. If you're unfamiliar with these approaches, read on to discover the key differences and determine which one is most suitable for your brand.

Flat Lay vs. Mannequin

Flat Lay Photography

Flat lay product photography is a technique used to capture images of products by placing them on a flat surface and photographing them from above. This method is commonly used in the fashion industry to showcase clothing and accessories. Flat lay photography allows for a variety of styling options, such as arranging products in a specific pattern or using props to enhance the visual appeal of the image. With proper lighting and composition, flat lay photography can produce high-quality images that effectively showcase the details and features of the product.


  • Flat lay photography simplifies the process of capturing impressive photos due to the ease of positioning.

  • This method is suitable for almost every type of garment.

  • Different props can be easily arranged to enhance the appearance of the clothing.

  • It allows for convenient creation of collages with assortments of different styles.


  • Adding creativity to the photographs can be complex, as you need to assemble specific arrangements using props in the background.

  • Styling the clothes appropriately is crucial, as even a minor error can make the images appear bland.

  • This technique may not be suitable for styling longer garments, including dresses and coats.

Best Suitable for:

Flat lay product photography is a versatile method that works well for any type of clothing, including tops, pants, skirts, and accessories. It's particularly well-suited for showcasing multiple items together, creating a visually striking composition, and telling a story through your product images. This method is also highly effective for social media content creation, such as Instagram and Pinterest, as well as group images that display several products at once.

Mannequin Photography

Mannequin photography involves dressing up a mannequin with garments and capturing images of them. This technique is widely used in the fashion industry because it provides a more realistic representation of how the clothing will look when worn by a person.


  • Styling the clothes is easier on a mannequin, as it provides a more stable and consistent form than a flat surface.

  • This method allows for more detailed visuals of inner cuffs, collars, and other features that may be obscured in flat lay photography.

  • The use of a mannequin provides a better idea of how the garment fits on a human body, which can be a key factor in purchasing decisions.

  • Other accessories or clothing items can be paired with the garment to create a complete look and enhance the overall visual appeal.


  • You may have to spend extra dollars to buy the mannequin and other accessories when conducting the photo shoot.

  • Post-production work for ghost mannequin photography, such as editing, can be time-consuming and may add more to the bill.

  • This photography style needs industry-specific skills; therefore, you need to hire professionals to accomplish your work.

Best Suitable for:

Mannequin photography is an ideal option when showcasing long dresses and coats, providing a more realistic and detailed visual. This technique is also recommended for highlighting premium clothing and creating an elevated brand image.

How to Achieve Perfect Product Shots: Flat Lay Photography vs. Mannequin Photography

Flat lay photography:

Flat Lay Photography
Flat Lay Photography

Appropriate Background

For flat lay photography, you can use various surfaces such as desks, coffee tables, your bed, or the floor, while for mannequin photography, you should consider a clean and simple background.

Clothes Arrangements

Flat layout requires dedicated styling and placement to capture impactful images. Image quality is a major consideration in the eCommerce industry, and missing the best lighting for flat-lay photography may result in inferior outcomes.


Incorporating creative elements such as different props can enhance the appeal of your product's images. For example, you can add accessories like a purse, flowers, or sunglasses to a top to create an exceptional frame.

Mannequin photography

Mannequin photography
Mannequin photography

Mannequin Size

The primary purpose of mannequin in photography for E-commerce is to showcase the garment's perfect fit and style. Therefore, it's important to choose the right size mannequin for the clothing item.

Use Of Clips And Pins

To achieve a perfect fit for the garment, use clips and pins. However, make sure they are not visible in the photographs.

Capture Angles

The use of a mannequin provides the opportunity to shoot the garment from various angles. To showcase the precise fabric details and style of the product, take pictures from different angles, close-ups, front and back images, and any other relevant angles. This will help customers get a better understanding of the garment's fit, texture, and style and make informed purchasing decisions.

Hire A Professional

While you may have some knowledge of photography, achieving industry-standard images requires a high level of expertise. At our company, we provide customized solutions that are tailored to your brand's needs.Let us help you take your product photography to the next level.


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