As a fashion seller you know that the appearance of your products on the webpage is absolutely critical to making the sale. The same rule is true, even if your claim to fashion sales is a series of eBay ads for those large size clothes that you never want to see again.
Clothing is very tricky to photograph well because the fabric and detailing can create shadows in unflattering places and the material is generally subject to problems such as wrinkling. Here are some tips for working with clothing photography on flat surfaces (versus live models or mannequins).
First of all, learn from the masters. Some of the best flat clothing catalogs are LL Bean and The Gap. Page through their catalogs and look for items that are similar to yours in order to get some tips for how to pose the clothes. Notice the way that they use or eliminate shadows. Notice whether or not they have used props such as some filling inside a sweater to get the right look.
Next, set up your lighting and photography arrangement. You can photograph small pieces on a table top but for anything larger, you should plan to place sheeting or background material on the floor and position your camera above. Many tripods have an arm that extends out past the tripod, allowing you to twist your attached camera downward.
Choose soft lighting that is projected from both sides of your clothing item. You may want to use diffusers to avoid any harsh shadows.
Look over the clothing to be sure that there are no hanging threads or loose buttons. Use a steamer to remove any wrinkles. You can use an iron but you run the risk of either causing a burn or ironing in wrinkles instead of removing them.
You may need to pin clothes onto the background to get them to stay in the exact shape that you want to photograph. You can also try using cotton batting or tissue paper to fill in pleats or shoulders to get a natural looking draping effect.
True color is very important to clothing photography. You may need to adjust your cameras white balance to avoid picking up colors cast by the artificial lighting. Most sources of artificial light have some sort of color associated with them.
For example, incandescent light bulbs cast a yellowish light and fluorescent light bulbs are greenish. In order to make the correction, switch to your cameras manual adjust mode. Then look for the feature labeled WB for white balance. You will probably see a cloud icon for cloudy days, a light bulb for incandescent light and a glowing tube for fluorescent light. Choose the icon that represents your shooting situation.
If you are selling a brand new piece of clothing on eBay, be sure to get the attached price tag in the photo as evidence of newness. If you are photographing shoes, be sure to take pictures from several angles including the soles of the shoes to give your customer a complete picture of the product.
Try out just a few of these tips to elevate your photos to a much more professional level.