[Placeit] Creative Brief: Photos for Mockups

Item Tagging Code: ApparelMockup 

As we move through these challenging times, we are seeing a strong movement of creativity and ideas starting at home. It’s become a time for people to nurture the things they’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s a creative hustle or launching a side business. 

It’s also provided an important time to experiment, diversify and really connect with ourselves and our customers, shaping the brands, technologies and opportunities of the future. 

Stay creative during this time and check out the latest creative brief brought to you by our team at Placeit and Envato Elements!

What are Photos for Mockups? 

A mockup is a full-size model of a design, used for product presentations or other purposes. It’s a way of showing what your design will actually look like once it is released on the market.

For this reason, it is necessary to have high-quality, authentic photos for mockups to capture models and the variety of places and activities that would support the delivery of the product.

Placeit is the online design generator that helps to make this branding work happen alongside photos from Envato Elements. This collaboration is a unique opportunity to access a whole new customer base and a whole new stream of earnings by tapping into a growing market with excellent earning potential. 

So, How Does it Work?

This creative brief is open to all photos authors on Envato Elements. If your photo is selected for Placeit, it’ll go through our proprietary conversion process. This will transform your photo into a mockup; ready to showcase any design, and easily customisable directly on Placeit!

This means you’ll be able to profit from both Envato Elements and Placeit with no additional effort needed on your side, other than creating and uploading your photos to Elements as per usual. 

Placeit Mockups Usage and Earnings Stats

  • Mockups are Placeit’s top selling product!
  • 20% of item revenue goes to authors.
  • The top 10 mockup authors receive monthly earnings of $1200 USD on average.
  • Top 10 authors earn on average $9 USD per mockup, per month.
  • Each mockup of the top 15 list generates monthly earnings of $300 USD on average.

What Are We Looking For?

We are looking for technically viable photos to make high quality apparel mockups. These include:

  • Different ethnicities models and profiles.
  • Both vertical and horizontal shots.
  • High-resolution, authentic photos at least 3,000 px wide.
  • Print-on-Demand Garments, such as:
    • Rounded neck t-shirts (highest-performing in downloads)
    • V-neck t-shirts
    • Hoodies
    • Sweatshirts
    • Tank tops


The audience for apparel mockups includes a range of small to medium enterprises that specialise in print on demand products. Whether it’s a clothing brand or an artist looking to showcase their merchandise through mockups, visually communicating ideas through diverse, multi-purpose imagery, is in constant demand.

Trends Inspiration

Not sure what to contribute? We have a roundup of the top trends based on the best performing mock-ups and customer requests on Placeit!

  • Music: We believe that musicians will be Placeit’s most important niche very soon; especially hip-hop & rap genres. 
  • Streetwear and Urban Lifestyle: In recent surveys, 50% of Placeit users identified their e-commerce brands as ‘streetwear apparel.’ Look for alternative-looking models and urban environments. Check out the moodboard here for more ideas. 
  • Diversity: Consistently, the most frequent request by Placeit users is to expand our catalog of models of color. We’re looking to offer a wider diversity of model profiles, by expanding to all demographics and featuring in any type of context.
  • Studio Shots: Among our top seller mockups every month, we consistently have these types of generic studio shots, which are perfect to represent a wide range of different brands. Try incorporating some styling and/or art direction to add a unique point of difference to your photoshoot.
  • Snow: It can be hard to come by, but if you happen to have access to locations with snow, try shooting anything from snow sports, lifestyle to family activities. All things snow-related will be very popular given the limited options Placeit currently offers.
  • Single Garments: Also highly popular among Placeit users. We are currently very interested in more product shots with art direction, similar to some of the examples below.
  • Outdoor Adventures: This includes activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, bbq, road trips etc. We’re really interested in model diversity and a variety of different environments, from the mountains to the beach.
  • Love: Think young couples in their 20s and 30s with or without kids, elderly couples in their 60s and 70s, or LGBTQ+ couples from all around the world!
  • Social Settings: Another hard one to come by but again, with high demand and low offering at the moment. We’re interested in diversity, and not all models necessarily need to be wearing a garment suitable for a mockup.

A Snapshot of Top Items in June

Technical Requirements 

It’s important to be aware of these technical requirements when creating apparel mockups as there are specific casting considerations to ensure they are usable.

Please review all the following requirements and examples below:

  • Garment: Given that Placeit’s mockup users are mostly print-on-demand apparel sellers, they look for mockups in which the garment resembles those of the top print on demand apparel providers such as: Gildan, Bella Canvas, American Apparel, Anvil. 
  • Ideal Garment Colors: Pastel tones are the best option since they allow for the widest range of tone extraction for the mockup color changes.
  • Acceptable Garment Colours: Saturated tones, light grey or whites (as long as it’s not over exposed), are ok however not ideal.
  • Not Acceptable Garment Colors: Black & dark tones are not suitable photos for mockups given the fact that they don’t allow us to extract lighter tones.
  • Acceptable obstructions: As long as the obstruction over the garment is not difficult to mask (that is, it has a defined shape), or it’s not blocking the main design area too much, it’s okay!
  • Not Acceptable Obstructions: Intrusive hair, or any other obstruction which is difficult to mask around in Photoshop. Objects or part of the body blocking the main user’s design area.

Submission Checklist:

  1. Create a new photo item (one or more) for Envato Elements.
  2. Add ‘Placeit’ at the front of your item title (E.g. Placeit – Man jogging on snowy street).
  3. Add the custom tagging code ApparelMockup as one of your keywords. 
  4. Make sure all your items meet both the technical requirements outlined above and this guide to authenticity. This is very important for photos and mockups!
  5. Navigate to your dashboard and upload your item(s) via the PhotoDune Uploader
  6. You’re done!

From there, our team will then look through all tagged photos published on Elements and make a selection to convert them for Placeit. If your photo gets selected and published on Placeit, you’ll receive your first Placeit earnings two months after your first sale

If you need any support, don’t forget to visit our Author Help Center for more information or reach out to our Placeit Support Team

Good luck and we can’t wait to see what you create!

More Resources:

Graphics Trends | Illustrations [June]
Next article...

Graphics Trends | Illustrations [June]