The Only Way is Blackmore! Invisible Mannequins British Cycling Apparel
Blackmore Cycling Apparel’s official stance on design is simple and delightfully refreshing: less talk, more quality. Born and bred in Essex, they’ve built their entire coming-of-age story around cycling legends of past and present. And, what legends they are! Every Eastie has at least one to tell, and they are all imbued with rolling fields and coastal wind. That’s why our friends are all about tradition, and why Photography Firm has supported their dreams from the very beginning.
What we needed to do seemed difficult, though. Since Blackmore’s apparel is of the finest workmanship, our work had to be impeccably clean and polished as well. It’s not that product photography isn’t powerful enough to allow us to capture intricate details (on the contrary!), but that our professional challenge laid in a very specific request – the invisible mannequin technique.
Essential for ecommerce, this type of product photography leaves little to no space for discovering the lifestyle component of it all. How, and this was our main concern, to evoke that contagious pedalling thrill that’s so quintessential for Essex and its cycling heartlands, without any backdrops or props? Our worries were unfounded, and here’s why.
The whole idea behind Blackmore Cycling Apparel was to create quality clothing that real people could “ride in, train in, to race, to explore, eat cake and drinks cups of tea in”. Once we’ve removed any trace of the mannequin and saw how the apparel looked against the stark white backdrop, we realized they’ve done exactly what they intended to. Both tradition and lifestyle were still there, deeply embedded in Blackmore designs; the clothes themselves tempted us to mount our bikes and hit the Dunwich Dynamo route just in time to see the sunrise.
The entire collection was surprisingly impressive, even to us. Having been involved with Blackmore since their startup days, we surely expected quality. But, what our friends delivered went far beyond our expectations. Described as “bold and breezy”, the Diamond Jersey was exactly that: macho despite its duck emblem, and casual despite its sporty purpose. We assume that Ladies Candy Stars Jersey truly goes with anything you wear, while also matching those pastel-coloured and candy-pink cottages from the Essex scenery. Modern in weaving, but traditional in design.
Still, there was a job to be done. We sized their images so that they were web-ready and nicely aligned on their website grid shop pages, since that’s what we do. Luckily, the clothes don’t crease at all, which certainly saved us some time on retouching. As we made sure that both front and back shots were nicely styled and details like inside stitching were visible too – which calls for precision during the photoshoot and photoshopping alike – we were finally free to experience Blackmore clothing in real life.
What we found out is this: Blackmore Cycling Apparel truly is for all. You don’t need to be passionate about cycling to appreciate its panelled construction and heat seal labels; you can do it from a café too. Oh, and we’ve learned a valuable lesson: mannequin or not, product photography is only as good as the products are, and Blackmore’s are exceptional.
The Photography Firm have supported us from the very start.. They have always done a great job for us and been supportive of us since our start up days. Now we have developed a solid and personal working relationship and we don't llok any further for our product pphotography.