Hi all,

Looking through some of the fabulous photos on here and on various websites. I think I have come to the conclusion a model to show of the head piece is best?

At my early stage in y millinery journey I am currently using a polystyrene swan neck, and it looks ok, for now. But depending on costs I think I'm going to use a model. My friend has two lovely daughters who are happy to oblige, (one dark brown hair the other blonde.) I have a  decent SLR camera so will give it a go.

Just wondered any other thoughts on this view? Do you think it looks more 'professional' on model or mannequin? And of course it takes more time with a model? Sorry loads of question ;-)

Kind regards


Tags: Essential Discussions

Views: 2994

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I haven't gotten to the point that I can afford real models, but also have friends with some beautiful daughters that I have considered trying to persuade to model for me. ( I also have three beautiful daughters who all have refused to model for me.) For now, I use my mannequin, affectionately referred to as Matilda. She flips her wig now and again, but for the most part is pretty reliable.

I love to see hats on models as long as you can see the hat details, but find that many very successful milliners photograph their hats on mannequins, so I don't feel it is necessary to have models. While I think fashion layouts are beautiful, I also get frustrated if I am trying to determine detail to a hat and can't tell what the hat looks like from all sides.  Unfortunately, some of the most expensive layout shots do more to advertise for the photographer than the milliner.

I don't know if my opinion will count in this discussion...since I make mannequin heads (if I may say so, they are the best I have ever seen).  

In my opinion, many milliners look for a bargin when looking for a perfect mannequin head.  You are being "penny wise and pound foolish".  I wish I could drag a picture of just one of my heads modeling JoAnne Rolfe's hats.  I will try to see if I can do it.file://localhost/Users/chriscrunkleton/Desktop/564784_512559158755890_271453872_n.jpeg

I don't think it worked.  The mannequin head must be the perfect match for the millinery to look it's best.  Just like every woman does not look great in every hat...it is quite the same for a mannequin head.  All my heads are very well screened to be the best and prettiest around.  (This is, of course, a matter of taste... my taste.)

Try this....please...go to google and type in Marge Crunkleton or www.crunkleton.com.... I promise you will find a head that would be as good, if not better than  a live model.

I will be watching for your reply.  Someone, please tell me how to put a photo on one of these replies. Thank you.

One of my Hat Academy students asked me same question as she has new pieces to photograph for new website but cost to pay photographer AU$500 she can not afford at present. She has a good camera & pretty relative for model so buying lighting so she can do them herself. 

In my early days I did very few model shoots but the market seems to have changed with internet marketing & your aim will need to be to photograph on real model. I know some milliners on etsy making great sales- all hats just on a mannequin. Make sure the background does not take away from your hat.   That is where the advantage of a professional photographer comes in as they know the angle, lighting & settings needed but until you have sales, work with your friends daughters - think creatively, with both in picture not standing like statues but chatting or drinking soda or ???  Make it fun  - Elaine  

Good advice about having the models interact.  When I was on staff at a newspaper and freelance writing, I did all my own photography for my news stories. I cringed everytime someone suggested a "grin and grip" shot. This is what we called photos where people lined up and gripped an award, product, etc.

I do not understand "Grin and Grip"....if they are handleing an award or product...that is what the photo is about and should be primary.  If the subject is millinery...the photo in my opinion should feature the face and hat.

I love this subject...and am very opinionated.  Thanks for your ear and eye..Marge Crunkleton

The story is not I have a trophy as I grin and grip while staring straight into the camera.  The story is what fabulous act did I perform to earn the trophy.  Newspapers get tons of photos of kids and adults submitted with someone staring with cheesy grins directly into the camera lens.  Would you rather see someone grinning with a trophy or sailing over a hurdle?  Would you rather see a pizza maker with a trophy, or spinning a crust 3 feet above his head?  This is similar to the show don't tell philosophy in writing. For ex.  The cat scratched Fido in the eye. OR Sophia felt the soft jello eye flesh under her tiny claw, as she leveraged her back legs against the overstuffed chair while she threw the final blow.   The story is more important than the end result.  So, instead of staging a photo of a model in her derby hat holding a trophy; stage the model with her arm under the horses neck giving him a congratulatory hug, and if you must, with the trophy in the other hand. The camera is not her focus--the horse is.   If you have a model stare at the camera, she should be able to convey a story or emotion with her eyes/face.  Just my two cents.

Hi...you underestimated your "2 cent" reply....It was worth much more than that.  Thanks for your reply.   

I appreciated your explanation...very clearly.

Thanks Elaine and Bridget,

Great advice! Think I will get my friends daughters, my camera and just have a go?

I do believe that the background however should not distract from the beauty of the headpiece.


I agree - model looks better than mannequin. I had my first lot of hats photographed professionally. I wanted to have some really nice pics to set up my FB page and website. This time I have decided to get my husband to take my pics for me due to cost and time organising models, outfits, makeup etc. etc. I have a SLR and basic lighting and PHOTOSHOP - you can do so much with photoshop to get pics looking close to professional) Just YouTube for tutorials on smoothing skin, reducing dark lines, remove shadows etc. I have been modelling them myself (just did my makeup and rolled my hair) - heres one of the end results - I'm pretty happy with it

Here's the same hat on dummy - which do you prefer?

Wow Bellinda

The flowers look so much nicer on the real head ...love your smirk but that adds to the creative factor.

I would have preferred a "dummy" with less hair...more in keeping with the hair your lovely live model had. Also, the red scarf may have been too much.  Apples to Oranges comparison.


Hat Headlines: Newsletter

   © 2024   About | Contact | Help | Privacy | Terms   Powered by

   |     |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service