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Mannequins and Why I Love to Photograph Them

Updated on December 28, 2007

Free Models Galore

You see them everywhere you go in the city, and even many country shops have them: mannequins. They are as ubiquitous as they are unique from each other. They are the perfect subjects for an amateur photographer’s delight.

Why photograph mannequins, you ask? First, like human beings, they are all unique. Well, within a given window you might have “clones” but between 2 shops the mannequins are quite dissimilar, and are usually quite interesting as photographic subjects.

Interestingly enough, most mannequins are based upon the faces and bodies of actual people. This is why mannequins, strange as it is to say, have nipples, just like the gods they emulate. Male mannequins, however, as far as my knowledge goes, are not entirely anatomically correct, which might be a good thing.

The artists who create mannequins –and there truly is an art to styling the faces of these “creatures” have often proven themselves quite prolific and artistic in their creations. Now not only are there mannequins styled after nearly every ethnicity and skin coloration known, but also the facial features and hair styles have come a long way in the last few decades. Further, the inventiveness has even led to the use of “extraterrestrial” mannequins, S & M mannequins, those of children and babies, and even of older people.

So the variation is there, much as with human subjects. Further, the clothing styles are usually the latest fashion, and the settings that they are to be found in are as stylish as the store that they advertise for. This includes mood lighting, decoration, weird to downright bizarre poses, and even “nude” mannequins. No modesty here (though it makes one wonder what exactly the store is selling when their dummies are without garments).

Those who seek variation in their work, the added dimension of a window can make for many different effects and challenges.

For the beginning photographer and even the aspiring professional camerasmith, photographs of these “models” will add well to a new portfolio or may also make for surprising photos in a photography class. Further, storefront mannequins make a good, cheap source of models (that is, free), and models that don’t complain or ever get tired!

Some Free "Models"

Dance Ladies
Dance Ladies
S&M Dummy?
S&M Dummy?
Pregnant Mannequin!  Note the intersting double image
Pregnant Mannequin! Note the intersting double image
Winter Lady
Winter Lady
Tres Chic
Tres Chic
Could They Be Dating?
Could They Be Dating?
Meet the Ultra-hip
Meet the Ultra-hip
She's Just Left the Club
She's Just Left the Club
Good "Bone Structure" on this Guy
Good "Bone Structure" on this Guy


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    • Sean Fullmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Sean Fullmer 

      8 years ago from California

      Dave, thanks for the feedback. I'd not thought about that movie in a long time. I'll have to revisit it; thanks.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hey Sean,

      This is a hilarious hub! I trust that in another life you might have starred in the 1987 cult class movie "Mannequin".

      Jonathan Switcher is a young artist who creates a mannequin so special (played by Kim Cattrall from Sex and the City) that he is actually proud to call himself an artist. He manages to get a job in the shop where his mannequin is displayed as a store boy. One evening his creation comes to life and he falls in love with her.

      I'm sure you'd appreciate it.

      Thanks for a big chuckle


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Well, interesting point, will have to rethink about that such an great idea.


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