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Line Them Up: How to Consistently Align your Apparel Product Images


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Learn how to align your product photos like a pro in this quick tutorial!

Two of the biggest mistakes in retail e-commerce are disproportionate product images and inaccurate alignment. There are many ways to align your apparel product images depending on your branding and preferences, but one thing remains clear: consistency is key in product photography. By developing alignment guidelines and incorporating them into your apparel photography workflow, your images will become consistent throughout your inventory and it will become much easier for second parties like Pixelz to step in and provide help when you need it.

Follow along to see how something this simple can change the way that your product images cohesively thrive together on your ecommerce site.

1. Set alignment standards

First things first, you will need to decide on alignment standards for your apparel photographs. With set guidelines that are accessible to all team members involved in the image post-production workflow, bulk image requests can be processed quickly with the same alignment, cropping, and proportions.

Taking these questions into account, create your standardized guidelines:

What is the size requirement of the image files?

This will all be based on the specifications of your specific website you will be utilizing to sell your ecommerce products. This may range but most commonly will start no lower than 1000px by 1000px at 72 dpi. Most likely, your images will be larger than this straight out of your camera, which it should be. In post production, resizing to make web ready images is an important part of the process. Double check with your ecommerce platform as well as the marketplaces you will be selling your products on, to start setting your image guidelines.

What is the product that will be featured on the e-commerce page?

This is an important factor in deciding how you want to align your products on your webpage. When selling accessories, like footwear, jewelry or handbags, you have more alignment options. You may want to center or bottom align your product. For instance, footwear and purses can look nice aligned towards the bottom of the frame of your image making everything look lower in the image but when matched up on your website and consistently laid across your site, your product will look great. Apparel on the other hand may need specific attention to detail when aligning to make sure that your product images are accurately centered across but are aligned top to bottom as well.

Where do the images need to align?

Do you want your images to align at the top, the center or the bottom. In Apparels case, aligning to a proportioned outline of a body will help keep all imagery consistent across from the shoulders to hips to the ankles: from top to bottom. From here it is important to center the product within your frame.

Below are several examples of bad alignment:

2. Create an alignment template

Alignment Apparel Garments

Creating an infographic like the above is a fabulous way to communicate your alignment standards to your in-house and outsourced editing team(s). It is important that if you choose to align your images this way, to consistently use these infographics on all images moving forward.

For a more simple take on alignment, utilize your guides tool within Photoshop while setting up your image file.

Here you will see guides spaced 2 inches from each side top to bottom and centered within the frame. From here, position the product within this frame aligning the top or bottom of the product to the guidelines of the height. It is best to not allow your product to fall outside of these guidelines giving your product enough room to breathe and space for it to live.

You will then place each image of the product within this frame on your new image file continuing to align from the guide you chose.

3. Photograph your product

Now it’s time for you to photograph your product or products by utilizing the method you have chosen for your images. There are different methods of styling for your apparel product images: using a mannequin or on model. Choose whatever method you would like to continue with for your website. As you work, make sure to leave enough room around all sides of the product so that the image(s) can be cropped and aligned to your standards.

4. Put your standards into practice

Once you have your images and your guidelines, you will need to apply your alignment standards to your images during the post-production process to make your images web-ready. If you feel like you need a bit of extra help, watch the following video for a detailed walkthrough about how to crop and straighten images using the alignment standards infographic above.

  1. [File > New] Create your new document with your specific file size specifications to start your product image alignments.
  2. [Drag & Drop Alignment Guide] Place your alignment guide image onto your document so you can easily line up your product to your guide. To see the product under your guide- make this layer’s opacity soft to the layers under it can easily be seen.
  3. [Drag & Drop Product Images] Place your product images on your document and resize according to your new document guide.
  4. [Align Using Guide] Once you have your product to the right size, align it using your guide by matching up your points to the body proportions. Make sure the neck of the garment, the hips and arms are aligned accurately to align all imagery in the same way in the same spot.
  5. [Repeat] Do the same thing to the other images in your product set. All images should continue to align to these guides you have place in your document, helping all your images remain cohesive moving forward.

Ecommerce retail is a visually driven market and your product images are the leading factor in selling those items. Make it perfect by aligning your products across all ecommerce imagery to help your website remain cohesive and beautifully put together. Your customers will be satisfied with your services and ultimately return for more.

Keep yourself and your customers happy!