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Clothing photos: folding, styling, and branding solutions

Clothing photos: folding, styling, and branding solutions

Rachel Petersen Replica Surfaces clothing photography tips

Guest author Rachel Petersen of xo, Rachel

Full-time reseller, content creator, and thrifting educator. Rachel has sold over 6000 secondhand items on Poshmark and eBay, owns nearly every Replica Surface, and uses an exorbitant amount of dry shampoo.

Developing a recognizable brand is crucial for small businesses. This is especially true when your photos are displayed among a sea of other shops on a platform like Poshmark, Etsy, or eBay. Developing a recognizable presence will not only get your listings noticed by new customers, but will also keep your customers coming back - even if you make small tweaks to the look of your brand as your business grows.

Logo and website colors aren't what make my brand recognizable - it's the photographs of the items I sell. People tell me all the time that they stumbled across one of my Poshmark closet photos while searching on Google and immediately knew it was my listing, even though my face wasn't visible! 

They recognized the styling props I include, how I fold my items, and the backdrops I use (Replica Surfaces). 

So let's talk about those three elements: props, folding, and backdrops!

Styling props

Adding a few small styling props to your photos is a great way to pique your customers' interest among a sea of other photos. It also communicates to potential customers who YOU are as a reseller/seller. By using the same props in all of your photos, you also create consistency across your shop.

But remember that blank space is still your friend - you want the main focus to be on what you have for sale.

When placing your props, let them extend off the edges of your frame - you don’t have to show the entire prop in the photo. It’s actually more aesthetically pleasing to have some of them just peeking off to the side.

As you can see below, my favorite props are the perfume I wear, greenery and florals, jewelry, and small handbags. Think about objects you already own that can communicate to potential customers who you are and the style of clothing you sell.

My actual Poshmark photos styled on the White Marble (top and bottom) and Vintage Wood (center) Replica Surfaces.

Folding tops and pants

The key to photographing large clothing items like tops and pants is to learn creative folding styles that showcase the item's unique details. If there is anything I’ve learned in the last 2 years of photographing clothes, it’s that sterile, flattened out items are less appealing visually. 

Learn to embrace natural shadows, folds in the fabric and texture. It draws the viewers eye and catches their attention better. And really, all potential customers need to see are the tag, hardware, leg/sleeve style, and unique features like beading or distressing. Seeing the entire length of a leg or sleeve doesn't give them any more information.

Once you get the hang of folding, pants and tops of any size can easily be displayed on a original-sized Replica Surface. You don't need any more space than that! I've spent years scouring Pinterest to learn creative folding techniques. So here you go - years saved!

Folding pant legs at an angle. Start by folding pants in half at the waist (top). Then fold legs at the mid thigh, approximately 6 inches below the crotch (bottom).

Fold remainder of pant leg up at opposite angle (top). Alternatively (bottom), this is what the final fold looks like if you start folding higher up on the thigh and angle in the opposite direction.

Folding pant legs straight up and down. Start by folding legs at the mid thigh, approximately 6 inches below the crotch, but without angling them (top). Then fold the remainder of leg in half again without angling. Roll the cuff for added style (bottom).

Getting fancy about it! The examples below are just variations on the steps above. They can all be created by changing your folding angles or the number of folds you make. Your homework? Go replicate them all (as Mandy loves to say) and see which ones work best for your current items.

Folding tops is all about the sleeves peeking out from behind in an attractive way. Start by turning the shirt over and folding both sides in (top). Then fold in half, leaving the sleeves out (bottom).

Turn the shirt over to the front (top). Cross the arms and tie cuffs in the the front if you like that style (bottom).

Here are the final shots (below). Instead of tying sleeves, try overlapping them or only leaving one sleeve out. You know your homework - try to replicate each one! Mandy says you get bonus points for replicating the last one since I didn't show you how.


I attribute a significant portion of my branding to Replica Surfaces. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I came across this product early last year, and immediately fell in love. I ordered a Surface, and as soon as it arrived, I knew my photography had instantly improved. I suddenly loved flat lays again, and product photography became something I looked forward to.

These Surfaces are portable, easy to clean, and sturdy. I frequently travel to other cities to source for my Poshmark and eBay inventory. Since my Surfaces are portable, easy to clean, and sturdy, I can take them on the road with me so I can continue to list as I travel.

When I’m at home, I set my surfaces up everywhere — in my living room, dining room … shoot I’ve taken them out on the porch if the light out there is good. As a photographer, I am constantly chasing the light. My Replica Surfaces allow me to find my best light without changing my brand at all.

The other thing I truly love about my Surfaces is that, as I’ve incorporated new content into my social media (i.e. lifestyle, food, etc), I’ve been able to maintain a consistent style throughout my photos.

My actual hotel room setup when I traveled to Atlanta to source (below)! This is where I took the photo of the jeweled jeans I showed you above. The light was soooo good, how could I not list on the road?

And that's that! I hope you learned something about styling, folding and backdrops that will benefit your clothing photos and ultimately your sales. I share a ton more tips on Instagram @xo_xorachel, so come join me over there for more!

Hey guys, Mandy here! I wanted to let you know that Rachel just released a set of Lightroom presets specifically for clothing sellers/resellers that help combat common issues like yellow cast, dark lighting, lack of detail on blacks and blues, and overall brightness. I haven’t used them myself, but the photos I've seen with them look spot on! If clothing-specific presets sound like your jam, click here to learn more about them.

1 comment

  • FaLena C. on

    Omg! This has seriously been amazing to read! To be able to see ah-ha moments and tips to make images more appealing to an audience, Brilliant! Thank you so much! I’ve been working on branding my salon, small business & just opened a Poshmark account. Haven’t started selling, but with these amazing advice! I am in high hopes for the future! Thank you & I am so excited to be receiving my Replica surfaces

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