Styling Terminology: Using the Terms to Get the Look You Want

In the apparel world, there are lots of terms used for when you want an image not on form (eg, not on a model).  We get calls requesting “Flats", but really they just mean images not on models.   Often times the terms “Flats” and “Product” shots are used interchangeably.

What are you getting if you call a studio and tell them you want “Flats”?  A true “Flat” would be apparel styled on a table top.  The end result would be something with some wrinkling and where the garment may appears wider than it would using other styling methods. 

 Tabletop Flats for Bobeau

Tabletop Flats for Bobeau

We use this styling method when we are doing “styled shots” for when clients that want a few pieces together in a shot that they might use for a gift guide.

             For the team at Styleexpo Photography, our “Flats” are actually a styling method called a "Pin-Up”. 

 Pin-up styling

Pin-up styling

Because the garment is pinned up, the weight of the material hangs straight down vs get wide.  This styling method gets the effect of a “Flat" image but without the width and wrinkle issues that can happen when styled table-top.   Although we try not to change the shape of the garment, often times we will tuck in the sides to have the garment look a slimmer. 

 Slight slimming of the garment on the sides

Slight slimming of the garment on the sides

Finally, even though a client says they wants “Flats”, they really might want their apparel shot on a mannequin.  In post production the mannequin form is removed.  This is referred to as a ghost mannequin.  It requires 2 shots of the front of the garment. The 2nd shot is the inside of the neckline.   In post production, the 2 shots are composited together to give the appearance of the whole piece floating like a ghost is in it.

 Ghost styling

Ghost styling