Ghost Mannequin vs Flat Lay Photography | Choose the right fit

Updated on November 9, 2022 in Photography by

Ghost Mannequin vs Flat Lay Photography | Choose the right fit

The difference between Ghost Mannequin photography vs Flat lay photography is visually clear. You’ll see below how they are different from one another.

But the main question is how to pick one for your eCommerce fashion photography.

Will it be wise to invest in model or mannequin photography for an eCommerce as a beginner, or should you go with the flat lay photography itself?

By the end of this article, you’ll have your answers to all your questions regarding Ghost Mannequin vs Flat lay photography. Without any more delay, let’s jump right into it and get started.

What is Ghost Mannequin Photography?

What is Ghost Mannequin Photography?

Ghost Mannequin photography is a product photography style where we put our products (usually fashion products) on a mannequin and capture them. Later in the post-production, we remove the mannequin from the image to get a ghost effect where clothes are floating.

This style of fashion photography, also known as invisible mannequin photography, helps customers learn much about the products without getting distracted. It shows how the product will fit and its overall dimensions to help us understand it more efficiently.

Many eCommerce uses this fashion mannequin photography style as it is cheaper than model photography while giving somewhat the same results consistently for years. At the same time, many brands like Adidas use both model photography and mannequin photography to present their products.

Why is Ghost Mannequin popular product photography?

Ghost mannequin photography is popular because it allows customers to look at the product in a much better and more informative way before they buy it. This style gives information about the products and costs less than model photography and photo editing.

Also, invisible mannequin photography allows you to keep all your photographs consistent, keep the process of product photography quick, and the recurring cost is low.


  • The setup cost is low when compared to another similar style.
  • You can use it for various types of clothing and accessories.
  • The ghost mannequin photo editing result is much more informative than flat lay.


  • You must manage your files very carefully to create a good invisible mannequin image.
  • The cost is higher than flat-lay photography.

What is Flat Lay Photography?

What is Flat Lay Photography?

Flat lay photography is a product photography style where the product is laid down on a flat surface, faced up, and captured from the top. It is one of the simplest ways to present a product professionally. Just make sure the product looks clean and crisp without wrinkles or creases.

Also, to make sure that the product looks well organized, clean, and unwrinkled, you can use glass headpins to keep the product in its place. These pins can easily be removed in post-production along with basic retouching, cropping, and margin that every eCommerce image needs.

Why is Flat Lay popular product photography?

Flat lay is a popular product photography style because it allows you to get started quickly, requires basic investment in equipment (camera, lighting & background), and doesn’t need any specific professional skill to get started.

It’s a beginner-friendly yet professional product photography style that allows you to capture products quickly and efficiently without much hustle.

There is no recurring cost, and even the post-production cost is less than other photo editing styles.


  • The overall cost is comparatively low and still gives you efficient results.
  • Is the best option for eCommerce to keep consistency even as a beginner
  • No special photography skills are required; hence, any intermediate photographer can help eCommerce get started easily.


  • Gives very limited information about the product.
  • Bigger items like overcoats and blazers are not the best fit for this style.


How do you use Ghost Mannequin Photography?

Ghost mannequin photography is mostly used for presenting fashion products on eCommerce. We capture a mannequin wearing the product and then capture the inside of the product that was hidden in the first shot. Later in the post-production, both images are merged to create one complete image.

What is the purpose of flat lay photography?

The purpose of flat lay photography is to present the product in one of the most natural ways. Here the product is simply laid down on the surface with natural lighting and is captured from the top angle.

What can I use instead of Mannequin?

What can I use instead of Mannequin?

Some common mannequin alternatives that you can use are:

What is knolling photography?

What is knolling photography?

Knolling is a type of flat lay photography where multiple products are laid on the surface at an angle of 90 degrees from one another. It is a very aesthetic form of capturing the products for banner images or social media.

Bonus Read

Ghost mannequin vs flat lay photography style is not something that you have to pick. It is more of choice depending on your budget. A flat lay will be a good choice if you are looking for a professional photography style but at a lower price.

But if you have a decent budget and you can invest in a mannequin (or the alternatives), you can go with the Ghost mannequin photography. It gives much more information about the product.

I would also that many brands are using both these styles to present their products ins the best way possible. They use a flat lay for its aesthetic and invisible mannequins for the information. If you can do that, it looks much more appealing and trustworthy to your customers.

And finally, no matter what you choose, make sure you don’t back away from editing. With PixelPhant, you can get professional product photo editing services starting from as low as $0.80 per image. Want to test our services? Get a free trial now 👇.

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