Product photography is the final step in bringing your beautiful creations to life, yet it can all to often be the last thing we think about and it can often make or break how we show the world our beautiful pieces of art.  

We have all seen the covers of glossy magazines, with models wearing elaborate makeup, sleek hairstyles and designer dresses and while we would all love our handmade halos to adorn beautiful models like this, the reality is that it is a very expensive exercise. We show you a quick, easy and economical way to present your hats to potential customers!
Blog by Sophie Allport.

What you need:

1.     A selection of headpieces 

2.     Mannequin head

3.     Camera - We used a SLR Camera however a digital camera or smartphone can do the trick. 

4.     Computer with basic photo editing software – we used iPhoto.

5.     White sheet or board (not glossy) for the backdrop

6.     A room with natural filtered light 


Step 1 – Setting up your space
Find a room in your house or studio space with soft natural light. It is preferable to do this in the early morning or on a cloudy day where the light will not throw harsh shadows.  Hang your ironed sheet up on the wall (you can use blu-tack or pegs ect.) and have it draped over a table. Wrinkles can be blurred out however having a wrinkle free sheet will save you time editing later.

Step 2 - Positioning your Camera
Set up your mannequin head and position your headpiece, front on.  If you have a tripod you can set it up so that all the photographs will be take at the same distance, if not just set up a chair at a distance that will get all of the image in the camera viewfinder.

Step 3 – Snapping 
Take a photo of your headpiece from eye level and ensure that the picture is in focus and that the colours are a true reflection of your headpiece.  You may need to play around with the different settings to find the one that works best for the light in your room. It is best not to use the flash as this will throw shadows over your work. Review the image and ensure that the finer details of the design can be seen well. Rotate your mannequin so that you get shots of the headpiece from a couple of different angles and Don’t be afraid to get a little creative!

Step 4 - Editing
Sit yourself down with a nice cup of tea, a notepad and a pen as you may want to jot down notes about what you did and pictures you might need to retake. 

Upload your photos to your preferred editing software and have a little play with the various settings. If the headpiece you have photographed is a dark colour and some of the detail in the design is lost, you may want to increase the brightness and adjust the contrast and maybe even have a play with definition or sharpness if it needs a little more detail. Remember not to over-expose (brighten) or play with the settings too much, as you still want it to look as realistic as possible.

Cropping (cutting down to size) a picture can have a huge impact on the final product, helping to make sure your images are uniform and well balanced. Image 3 shows the original and the cropped image, which has also been lightened. And finally the blur tool can be used to smooth out those wrinkles, slight imperfections and dust or anything you may have missed when you took the shot. 

Step 5- Share and Enjoy! 
Upload to your website, Facebook, Instagram, Hat Academy, wherever you think people might find you and enjoy your own handiwork!  Below is an example of a flat-lay product photo which is another way of displaying your product combined with things you might wear it with e.g. shoes, bag etc. as shared on Instagram. 

The final image shows the results after editing of multiple views of the headpiece.  The glossy mannequin is still a part of the image however the headpiece is able to really become the focal point. The details of the roses are now much more visible and it is ready to be viewed by customers, eagerly waiting to buy your hats! 

» See more of Sophie's photo shoot

Views: 1811

Tags: #phototips, millinery photography

Kylie McLean

Beautiful photos and headpieces as always. where can I find a nice mani like this one?

Jayne Alison Millinery
Gorgeous creations Tiffany x
Sophie Allport

Hi Kylie and Jane, 

Thank you for your lovely compliment! I got these in Brisbane at a place called Apex displays, i hope this helps! 

Polly Steven

Thank you Sophie!! What a fantastic article!!! And this iron bed sheet backdrop is giving me some ideas.

would you have any tips on how to photograph bridal headpieces? I struggle with the white headpiece details or even when I use white (nearly transparent) crinoline. I was thinking of using darker background but fear the inconsistency in my brand presentation. 

Thanks a million!

Victoria Asiegbu

Always getting great tips and ideas!!! Thanks for sharing 

Miss joy

Thanks for sharing ma'am it was helpful 

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