eCommerce model photoshoot for sarees

eCommerce Model Photoshoot – If you are planning to organize it for the first time then, it may be sounding glamorous & exciting. Isn’t it? Do you know that eCommerce model photoshoot in general requires a lot of time, money, effort & patience? For sarees & unstitched salwars, it requires more compared to the regular readymade categories.

So, through this blog, we will share with you all the important details you will need to know. You may refer to this blog whenever you would want to organize an eCommerce model photoshoot for sarees or any other fashion categories.

Before we proceed, let’s briefly understand why do businesses or any professionals spend time & money in organizing model photoshoots. For this, we listed below few purposes and given easy-to-remember names to them –

  • Portfolio Model Photoshoot –
    For creating a portfolio of an artist’s work or skills in a professional manner. This can be in the form of images or videos that can be used for sharing with businesses to get hired. An artist can be a fashion model, photographer, make-up artist / beautician, hair stylist, saree drapist, fashion stylist, etc.
  • eCommerce Product Photoshoot –
    For creating a product catalogue without fashion models or mannequins. The images or videos can be used for sharing with the buyers online or offline to get orders.
  • eCommerce Model Photoshoot –
    For creating a product catalogue involving a freelance or professional fashion model or even a celebrity. The images or videos can be used for sharing with the buyers online or offline to get orders.
  • eCommerce Mannequin Photoshoot
    For creating a product catalogue using a mannequin instead of a fashion model. The images can be used for sharing with the buyers online or offline to get orders.
  • Advertising Photoshoot –
    For promoting a business / product / service in the form of advertisements, banners. It can be either online or offline using images or videos. This is primarily from a marketing standpoint.

Context & Focus
Our context & focus of this blog will be on the eCommerce model photoshoot –

  • Whose primary purpose is to arrange the catalogue images of fashion products. The product categories can be any ready-mades like the shirts, t-shirts, pants, jackets, dresses, skirts, innerwear, blazers, suits or ethnic categories like sarees, unstitched salwars, stoles, dupattas, kurtis, lehengas, pattu pavdas.
  • Assuming that you are doing a fashion business and willing to get the photoshoot all by yourself without hiring an external agency. This is only to make you understand what all it takes in organizing an eCommerce model photoshoot.
  • Also, we will focus on the special considerations for categories like sarees & unstitched salwars.

Product Catalogue
Please note that we are referring to the phrase, “product catalogue.” Hence, presenting & elevating the design & fabric of the product the right way during the photoshoot is important than focusing on the model. This is done in the form of multiple images or videos which should help the buyers in making their purchasing decisions. If we have a deeper knowledge in the fashion trends then, we can also communicate through the catalogue images or videos the way the fashion model needs to be dressed-up or draped – either in a fashionable or a traditional way. This reminds of the multiple draping styles a saree can be draped on a lady in traditional or modern ways. These saree draping styles is a different topic by itself for another time.

By now, you must have got a basic idea about “what” is expected out of an eCommerce model photoshoot for sarees or any category in general to arrange the catalogue images of your fashion products. Let us now provide you with a basic idea on what goes into organizing a typical eCommerce model photoshoot project for sarees or any other fashion category.

A Typical eCommerce Model Photoshoot Project

Broadly, we can divide the project into three phases –

  • Pre Model Photoshoot – budgeting & planning a model photoshoot.
  • Model Photoshoot Day – on the day or during the day of the model photoshoot.
  • Post Model Photoshoot – what is required after the model photoshoot.

Pre Model Photoshoot

This phase is all about budgeting, planning & scheduling the model photoshoot. Below are a few aspects that can serve as a guidance.

  • Deciding on two or three flexible date(s) on which the photoshoot should happen based on the stock availability.
  • Searching, shortlisting & finalizing the required artists – one or more fashion models, a professional photographer & an ecommerce friendly studio.
    • Depending on the product categories, we may need to hire additional artists. For example, women’s product categories need artists like beautician / make-up artist, hair-stylist. In addition, for sarees, we also need a saree drapist separately.
    • Further, you may also hire a fashion stylist who can help in styling the model in coordination with the other artists.
    • We also need an assistant who can help us steam-iron or press the garments as and when required.
  • Agree on the final date(s) on which the photoshoot should happen that is convenient to the fashion models, required artists & you.
  • Keep in mind that if the number of your products (stock) are high then, you will need to book the fashion models & other professionals for multiple days. The number of days depends on the product category & the volume of products that require the model photoshoot.
    • For categories – especially sarees, we need one full working day of model photoshoot for about 25 sarees.
    • For readymade categories like shirts, trousers, t-shirts, we can manage even 50+ products in a single day.
  • In a city like Bangalore, the per day cost for various artists would be like the below. Please note that these are indicative and will vary based on the city, artist’s experience level, time of the year, product category, etc
    • Fashion Model = Rs. 12,000
    • Professional Photographer = Rs. 10,000
    • eCommerce Friendly Studio = Rs. 15,000
    • Make-up Artist / Beautician / Hair Stylist = Rs. 10,000
    • Saree Drapist = Rs. 8,000
  • In addition, few other expenses you may incur would be –
    • For arranging the lunch, tea & snacks for the entire team during the day of the model photoshoot.
    • Travel & lodging expenses in case, if the fashion model or any other required professional is not from the same city then.
  • Gather the model’s body vitals / measurements so that we can arrange the right size of the garments that they can wear on the day of the photoshoot.
    • On a separate note, if the photoshoot is for women ethnic product categories like sarees or unstitched salwars then, we need to take a few more additional body measurements to get the saree blouses or unstitched salwars stitched for the model.
    • Do not forget to procure an additional quantity of the product for the photoshoot. Also, identify a good, local tailor for the stitching.
  • Purchase all the related accessories you would like the fashion model to wear during the photoshoot. The accessories of course would vary based on the gender of the fashion model & the product category. Ex: watches, footwear, belts, ties, necklaces, chains, bracelets, ear rings, hair clips, saree pins, etc.
  • If you are doing the photoshoot for the product catalogue images for listing on the online marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Tata Cliq, Reliance Ajio then, take some time to go through the image & photoshoot guidelines recommended by them on their seller websites. At times, these guidelines may vary category to category also.
  • It will be nice if you can spend time going through the catalogue images of different fashion products online & download the ones you like.
    • You can show these samples to the fashion model & other artists on the day of the photoshoot. It can be a good starting point to set a broad expectation of what you potentially expect out of the model photoshoot on that day.
    • Having said that, this field being an art, we recommend that we should let the fashion models, photographers & other artists in the team take their own freedom to deliver the final outcome based on your broad expectations.
  • Keep in mind that we need an eCommerce friendly photo studio and not the regular studio. Ideally, an eCommerce friendly studio means, it has sufficient space for –
    • The fashion models to stand and give poses; the photographer can take the photos of the models at a right distance allowing to set up the lighting equipment.
    • A change room that is well lit for the fashion model to change the garments quickly one after the other. In case of sarees, we also need to think about a space that is enough for the saree drapist to help the model in draping the saree perfectly.
    • The artists like make-up artist / beautician, hair stylist to keep their cosmetics to groom & get the model ready.
    • Keeping the stock during the photoshoot.
    • Steam-ironing the sarees or garments as necessary.
    • The team to sit & relax during the breaks as well as serve food & beverages.
  • Finally, prepare a checklist while planning the photoshoot. It will serve as a quick reference for the actual day of the photoshoot – in terms of what is required to be taken along with you to the studio on that particular day.

Model Photoshoot Day

This phase is all about execution. It is a lot about teamwork & coordination among the photographer, fashion model, other artists & yourself.

  • Time is really precious on this day. We might have planned to do the eCommerce model photoshoot for 50 sarees or any other products. But, things may not go as per the plan. So, spending a lot of time in detailed planning & preparation for this day is key. Else, we may end up requiring an unplanned, additional half-a-day or full day of photoshoot.
    • So, the first thing needed is making sure your stock reaches the studio one day in advance or a night just before the day of the model photoshoot.
    • Next is to ensure the fashion model, photographer & other artists reach the studio on the agreed time. For categories like sarees, even the saree drapist, make-up artist, hair stylist are also really important. Without any one of them, the photoshoot cannot begin.
  • Prioritizing or sequencing the products from your stock helps a lot. That way, we attempt to make sure we get the catalogue images for at least the top 80 to 90% of the products on the planned day.
  • Before the start or during the photoshoot, do not hesitate to have informal discussions with the entire team in terms of making the changes to the make-up, hair style, saree draping style to the model keeping in mind the product range of your stock.
  • Now & then, keep an eye on the photos taken so far in terms of whether the model poses are coming out well portraying the product design & fabric; colors in the photos are matching with the actual products, etc. Of course, this will generally be taken care of by the photographer. Still, doing a very quick review from the camera directly can help you make course correction – if required.
  • Try your best to have one more person along with you on the day of the photoshoot. Else, you will be alone running pillar to post for a lot of support work for the team.
  • As & when the photoshoot is done for a product, try to do a quick quality check of the product, fold it properly & place it in a separate corner. Leaving the products unfolded until the end of the photoshoot creates a pile of new sarees or garments. This adds to your last minute & effort before leaving the studio.
  • Depending on your contract terms, consider necessary time for agreement signatures with the fashion models; payments to the artists, etc.
  • Keep in mind that standing on high heels, in front of a camera when bright light is falling directly in the eyes & still, getting the right pose during the photoshoot is stressful. So, allowing the fashion model, photographer & other artists to take very short breaks during the shoot is necessary. Else, the subsequent product photos end up having the models appear stressed out in their eyes, body language, etc.
  • Ensure you are leaving the studio with all your stock in good shape (hopefully).

Post Model Photoshoot

There are few more aspects that we will need to take care of before we consider the photoshoot as logically closed.

  • The catalogue images taken during the eCommerce model photoshoot need touch-up, cleaning & adjustments. Ex: removing the unwanted background noise; background changes; cropping to get the right resolution; fine tuning the brightness / contrast, etc.
    • The photographer may take the responsibility of doing a basic touch-up but may not be an end to end requirement meeting the catalogue needs recommended by marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Tata Cliq, Reliance Ajio, Meesho, etc or your own ecommerce website or social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp.
    • Hence, there is a need to find a local graphics designer who does image editing to meet the basic, ecommerce friendly guidelines or to the extent of meeting the guidelines recommended by the online marketplaces.
  • Re-inventorying the stock used during the photoshoot. Basically, what this means is –
    • Ensuring someone does a detailed quality check of every product to see if there are any damages – loose button holes, missing buttons, zips not working, stitches coming out, fabric condition, etc. For categories like sarees, it is really difficult to drape perfectly without using pins or clips.
    • Few products would have got crushed & soiled. This is severe for sarees due to its length & requires dry cleaning.
    • Finally, updating your inventory system indicating that the stock is now ready for listing and selling.
  • Sharing a soft or hard copy of the mutually signed agreement (if any) with the fashion model.
  • Making any pending instalments (if any) to any of the hired artists, studio, etc.

Hope we covered the important aspects & you are now familiar with the basic understanding of what it takes to arrange or organise an eCommerce model photoshoot for sarees or any fashion category all by yourself.  Please do not forget that if you are running a fashion business – be it manufacturing, wholesaling or retailing then, there would be a need for you to arrange the catalogue images of your fashion products periodically to do your business either online or even offline; either for B2C or B2B orders. So, we recommend that you establish, maintain & nurture long term relationships with all the artists, professionals & service providers whom you come across during your model photoshoot journey.

Before starting Drapezy, we had personally experienced eCommerce model photoshoot for sarees & readymade categories multiple times while working for multiple, large & small fashion brands who do online and / or offline as well as omni channel businesses. During this journey, we realised that the challenges small & medium businesses (MSMEs) face with the eCommerce model photoshoot for sarees or in fact, any category are different compared to large, enterprise fashion players globally. We also realised that for women categories in general and especially, ethnic categories like sarees & unstitched salwars have more complexity in organizing eCommerce model photoshoots. Hope you noticed a few of such nuances mentioned above.

Keeping all this in mind, we started Drapezy using Artificial Intelligence to build a digital draping platform that can drape any fashion garment digitally. To start with, we launched with complex categories (from eCommerce model photoshoot perspective) like sarees & unstitched salwars as our initial categories. In parallel, we also noticed that MSMEs in India have gradually started to use more technology in their day-to-day business needs. Hence, offering our service using an easy-to-use mobile app to generate the ready-to-use, on-model, catalogue images digitally at a fraction of cost & time made a lot of sense to us.

For more details about Drapezy, feel free to browse our website or watch this short video. You will be able to understand the benefits of Drapezy. You may also download our Drapezy mobile app to personally experience our service. In the app, you will be able to register & onboard your business, avail free trials & then, subscribe to one of our paid plans. We look forward to processing your first trial & then speaking to you soon.

Categories: photoshoot

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