As with any other form of photography, apparel photographers have unique needs to effectively do their jobs properly. Beyond the required skill set, there are a number of tools that are at the disposal of the apparel photographer to aid in effectively communicating the image of the cloths. However, it does raise the question, is all of it necessary? We decided to break down the list of “Must Have Tools for the Apparel Photographer” created by Peter House to see if all of them are essential or if anything is missing from this collection.


  • Steamer – I’d imagine that even the most pristine of clothing items get wrinkled over the course of a long shoot. Come prepared with an industrial strength, 1200-Watt steamer.
  • Clothing Rack – Where are you gonna keep all those cloths if you don’t come prepared with your own rack? Peter recommends a rack with wheels for easy transport around the shoot.
  • Lint Brush – You know that reliable old hoodie in your closet that has always been there for you? Yeah, you don’t want the cloths in your shoot to look like that sweatshirt. It kind of goes without saying, but don’t leave this tool at home.
  • Scissors – An age old trade tool that is still indispensable to this day.
  • Pins – Peter recommends you bring pins of all shapes and sizes. Don’t prick your finger!
  • Flat Iron – For de wrinkling the corners of cloths. Nobody likes wrinkled cloths.
  • Corkboard – A surprisingly useful tool for positioning the apparel. The corkboard is an ideal companion for your backdrops.
Peter-House, Photography, Art, Apparel, Fashion

Image courtesy of Rico Shen via Wikimedia Creative Commons


Helpful, Not Essential 

  • Fill – In apparel photography, fill is the material used to give the cloths shape. If you’re an industry pro, you need this. For everybody else, it can be a major help but don’t go running to the store for it just yet.
  • Tin Foil – According to Peter, this item can be used in a number of ways. It is especially useful when ironing out wrinkles. If you accidentally leave this at home during your shoot, no harm no foul.
  • Clear Tubing – Used to complement the fill. Can be purchased at any hardware store. Unless you know how to use it well, can end in disaster.
  • Compressed Air/ Tweezers – When the lint brush just isn’t enough, these tools can be used to get a more detailed clean. When you need perfect shots, bring it along.
Fashion, Peter-House, Apparel, Photography

Image courtesy of Deron Meranda, via Wikimedia Creative Commons


Missing Items

  • Clear Tape – Performs similar functions to the pins. However, you never know when you’re gonna need some tape to make random quick fixes in the studio.
  • Hangers – A no brainer if you use the clothing rack.
  • Wardrobe Boxes – Furniture movers use this item when transporting the contents of a closet from point A to point B. If you shoot on location and move from place to place often, this is the cheapest and best bet available for safely moving your product around.
  • Sewing Needle/Thread – If the apparel rips on shoot, you can make a quick fix and keep on truckin’.

All in all, Peter House provided a pretty comprehensive list on the tools that apparel photographers use in their day to day operation. You can check out the original post  here on What do you think? Did Peter nail it with the list? Is their anything that you use that can be essential for others? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out Peter’s blog.