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Peter House
Toronto, ON, CA
Followers 317 Karma 1915.3

Peter House is a commercial fashion photographer from Toronto, Canada. He shoots over 10,000 pieces of clothing every year for a variety of lookbooks. Clients range from small local boutiques to international brands such as Target, Winners, and Sears. In addition to that Peter runs one of the most popular rental studio's in the Toronto area.

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Dimi Ferrest's picture

Hi Peter,
I recently came across some of your articles about apparel photography.
https://fstoppers.com/fashion/how-light-clothing-product-photographer-9524
https://fstoppers.com/product/must-have-tools-apparel-photographer-2579

I thought they were very interesting with a ton of usefull tips!

I'm looking to invest in lighting for apparel photography to take with me on location.
Already did a ton of research but the one thing I can't figure out is how many Watts my lights need to be.
There's a big price difference between 150W and 400W lights... therefore my question.
Depending on that information I can decide to go with speedlights or studio flashes.

Thanks again for your articles!
I just signed up with Fstoppers so I can follow yours.

Looking forward to your answer.

Bye,
Dimi

Peter House's picture

Hi Dimi!

Glad to have you on board Fstoppers! Welcome :)

Here is the thing with your question. Generally when shooting apparel you want to use an aperture of at least f5.6. On deeper pieces you may find that shallower depths of field dont keep everything in focus, and with product, you generally want to. In jewelry photography you have the option of focus stacking, but for apparel it is not really useful.

You also want to shoot at a lower ISO to minimize artifacting and to preserve the color fidelity of the product.

Since your shutter speed only affects ambient, and knowing you should keep ISO at a minimum and your aperture above f5.6, that can help determine the power of the light you need.

All that said, 150W should be ok. I use 640W lights but generally have them set to around 100W at F8 and ISO 64. Mind you, I also use 3-4 lights on most setups. Also, keep in mind that you'll need nice large modifiers to diffuse the light, and that will eat a fair bit of power as well.

Studio strobes will give you greater flexibility, but you should be able to get by with a few speedlights just fine.

Hope that helps!

Dimi Ferrest's picture

Thanks a lot Peter. That's the answer I was looking for :-)
Usually I shoot interiors, so I'll have to figure out what type of lights might be useful with an interior shoot as well... It would be ideal if I could use these lights with my interior shoots.
Thanks again!
Dimi

Andrea Santamaria's picture

Congrats for your works, fantastic!

Hugh Tull's picture

Great work Peter! Keep it up!

Hello
I found yours article and it's really useful
https://fstoppers.com/product/must-have-tools-apparel-photographer-2579

Would you mind sharing more detail about how to hang clothing to have the arm area like you ?
Can i have some sample of tubing ??
I shoot clothing alone in my studio.
I have alot problem when hang them on the wall.

How can i hang clothing like this ?http://www.cosstores.com/Content/ProductContent/0337822002/0337822002_12...

https://d1w5usc88actyi.cloudfront.net/styles/large/s3/comment/2015/11/19...

I really need help.
Thanks so much.

Peter House's picture

I have replied to your FB message. Hope it helps :)

Peter,

I came across one of your articles for "Must Have Tools for Apparel Photographer". I'm coming across shooting apparel here at the studio I work for. I've only helped assist on previous apparel photo shoots before and those have always been with a stylist. Currently, it's just me doing all the photography, assisting, styling, etc around the studio.

I have pins, a steamer and batting. I'm very curious about the tubing you use though. Most of the clothes that I will be shooting is kid's clothing so would you recommend a smaller diameter of tubing for this? I've also used the cork board in the past, but we didn't use cork board, we used some pink insulation wrapped in white paper and stuck the clothes to it.

Are there any tips you could give me? I'm not sure if they will want it shot on the floor or on a hanger, so any advice would be greatly appreciated! I'm really interested in the tubing though

Thanks again,
Dan Czempinski

Peter House's picture

Hey Daniel,

Sorry about the late reply. I'll try and keep it short and sweet. :)

I use all sorts of tubing to be honest. I see a variety of clothing, ranging in weight and dimension. So I keep a variety of tubes on hand depending on the situation. For smaller lighter clothing I have found clear plastic tubing to work quite well. It is a soft plastic, so it will bend more under longer sleeves and heavier fabrics. For heavier pieces, such as wool coats, I have found white plastic tubing that is a little thicker to work very well. Generally it is about an inch to two inches in diameter. Cut to length.

All these tubes can be found at your local hardware store in the plumbing section. I would avoid rubber tubes as they are too heavy and sag causing pulls. As you can imagine though, stick to white or clear tubing due to color cast. On thinner fabrics, even the white can show through. This is where the clear tubing comes in handy.

If you shoot on the floor, you don't really need the tubing. The tubing is mainly there to counter the gravity which pulls on the sleeves and prevents them from having shape. If you shoot on the floor you avoid this problem and have a much easier time styling. My clients insist on hanging shots though. If you have the freedom to shoot on a floor, it will be easier to style. :)

The only other tip I can give you is to watch the details. Make sure the tags are flipped down. Piping is straight. Loose threads gone. All that "fun" stuff. Haha.

Hope that helps!

Peter,

Thanks for all the advice. Most of the stuff over the past few days I have shot on the floor which makes it a little easier to stylize. But I know in the future that they will want stuff shot up against a wall on a hanger. I used some filler to help give the items some dimension rather than being just flat on the white background.

I know exactly what tubing you are talking about. I will have to go and pick up a few different diameters. Probably on the thinner side as most of the clothes are for kids. These are all flexible tubes, correct? Not PVC?

I like how mentioned you use it to counter the gravity on the sleeves. I will keep this in mind when this comes up in the future.

I'm very detail oriented so I'm all over the loose threads or if filler poking out just a wee bit where it shouldn't. Very informative and helpful.

Thank you again!
Dan

Chelsee Taylor's picture

Love your work always Peter!

Peter House's picture

Thanks Chelsee! You rock :D

You know I'm a big fan of yours. :)

Peter, I like your group. something I would like to see at this site and would like to pass along. First I can see that every one in the group are excellent photographers and have must talent and advice to pass along. I would suggest that everyone take a very very critical approach to the photos. Critical but Kind. most all the photos are excellent. How good it would be to take a great photo and with the advice of experts explore how to make it even better. there are hundreds of sites online that you can comment on photos. Most comments, even on Fstops are one work evaluations that are meaningless: good, excellent, unique, that kind of comment is useless . See some of my comments to illustrate what I am talking about. Again if we attempted to give in depth critical suggestions it would make this group a real asset. thanks for hosting.

Chris Soo's picture

Beautiful work!!

Sohan Dewan's picture

Great Job !

Peter, thanks for your EXCELLENT article, "Stop Over-Thinking" on fstoppers,com. I've read it twice, but this is one I'm going to print and keep. I know from now that it's one I'll refer back to when i need the encouragement, confidence and hope you offer. Thank you for freely sharing your wisdom and experience.

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