The term “glamour” shot originally referred to a type of advertisement that stemmed from old Hollywood. They typically involved famous actresses whose usual job was acting in films. However, now it’s used much more generally to refer to any photograph involving a beautiful person, no matter the context.
The definition says it all: photography involving glamorous people or subjects. Unfortunately, glamour photography hasn’t always been well-regarded by other photographers because they feel it’s too commercial and not enough art.
For this reason, many glamour photographers do their work mostly for commercial purposes (e.g.: fashion magazines), where creativity isn’t an issue. That doesn’t mean you can’t be creative if your goal is to shoot glamour portraits, but it’s important to understand the conventions before you start trying to break them.
How to Shoot Glamour Photography
Now that we’ve established what glamour photography is, let’s talk about how to shoot it. The most important thing is to make your subject look their best. This means understanding lighting, makeup, and posing.
Lighting is key in any photograph, but especially in glamour shots. You want to create a flattering light that brings out your subject’s features without making them look too airbrushed or artificial. There are many ways to do this, but some of the most popular techniques include using a softbox or beauty dish, directing light from above, or using a reflector to bounce light back onto your subject’s face.
Even if your subject is beautiful, they still need makeup to look their best in a glamour portrait. This doesn’t mean going overboard with the makeup; you just want to accentuate their features and make them look polished. It’s also important to choose the right foundation colour that will match their skin tone.
Posing is another essential element of glamour photography. You want your subject to look confident and sexy, but not too posed or unnatural. Many different poses can be used for glamour portraits, but here are a few of our favourites:
- The sultry gaze: Have your subject look directly into the camera with a smouldering expression.
- The windswept look: Have your subject tilt their head back and run their hands through their hair for a sexy, carefree look.
- The come-hither pose: Have your subject lean towards the camera with a coy expression and pouty lips.
Here are a few tips to learn how to shoot glamour photography
- Start by finding a location that has a lot of natural light. Glamour shots are usually shot in daylight, so make sure you pick a spot that will give you good lighting.
If you’re shooting indoors, use a window as your main light source and place your model so that the light is hitting her from the front.
If you’re shooting outdoors, find a spot that has good lighting and shoot during the golden hour (about an hour before sunset). This will give your photos a beautiful warm glow.
- Choose a simple backdrop that goes with your subject. Usually, you’ll want to avoid busy or distracting backgrounds, because glamour photography is all about highlighting the beauty of your subject, not the details of the background.
If you want to create a glamorous feel, it’s best if your subject is either naturally beautiful or wearing makeup and hair that enhances her. If she isn’t wearing makeup, then glamour photography can benefit from having bright red lips (or even black), because it draws the attention of the viewer away from any blemishes and onto the face. Makeup can make or break your shot, so be sure to ask your model before shooting!
- If you want to get creative, consider shooting in one shot and cropping it for Instagram. This will give the photo a more candid feel by cropping out extraneous details like camera straps or selfie sticks. You can learn how to do it here.
- Use artificial lighting indoors if natural light isn’t available, but be careful! Using too much light can wash out your model’s face and create harsh shadows on her body. So if using artificial lights, use them sparing and diffuse them as much as possible.
Ewww, icky lighting is not flattering in any way. Soft or diffused lights are the best types to use when taking glamour shots for this reason.
If you must use a light source directly above your model, be sure that it’s far enough away from her so there are no hard shadows on her face and body. Even a softbox close up can leave nasty shadows if it’s not big enough or positioned correctly! So watch out for those small hot spots on the model’s skin… they’ll have everyone squinting their eyes at your image!
- When you’re photographing your model, play with her facial expression to showcase different aspects of your subject. Play up the eyes for an intense gaze or soften the look with a slight smile to create a dreamy effect that shows off more of your subject’s personality. You can learn how to pose your subjects here.
When styling your glamour portrait, keep the clothing and accessories simple. Pick one or two pieces that will make a statement instead of cluttering up the photograph with too many details. A plain black dress can be just as glamorous as an elaborate outfit with lots of frills and lace. Likewise, choose understated jewellery over big, flashy pieces.
- If photographing someone other than yourself, make sure they are comfortable posing in front of the camera. A little direction can go a long way, but it’s always best to get all the help you can get from your model when it comes to glamour shots!
When lighting your subject, try to position as many lights as you can so that they reflect off of as many surfaces as possible. This will help soften the shadows and create a more flattering look for your model.
- As far as lens selection goes, do what feels right for the shot. This is a versatile type of photography, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different lenses and angles.
Different lenses will distort the photo in a different way, so it’s a good idea to have a variety of them for this kind of photography. A great lens to use is the 50mm – which is known as a “standard” lens because it can capture the most detail and information regarding the depth of field, sharpness and background blur. Being able to selectively focus on something inside an image gives your subject that extra pop!
Above all, have fun with it! Glamour photography is a great way to show off your creative side and produce beautiful portraits that will make your subject look their best. So get out there and start shooting!
How do you take Glamour pictures?
Glamour photography is all about capturing the beauty and allure of your subject. This type of photography can be used to capture both people and objects.
The key to taking great glamour pictures is to make your subject look as beautiful as possible. You can do this by using flattering poses, lighting, and makeup.
What is Glamour fashion photography?
Glamour photography is a type of fashion photography with a theme based on attraction. It’s usually used to show the beauty of a model – it can be anything from face to the body or even both and to suggest certain emotions, such as seduction.
A glamour shot will almost always include some kind of dress, makeup, poses, etc., even if those things are not necessary for the main idea/message of the photo. Glamour can have many topics but they all relate in some way or another with beauty and attraction.
What’s the difference between Glamour and boudoir?
Glamour photography is all about making someone look as beautiful and sexy as possible. This might be done with a lot of makeup, lighting, and post-processing. Boudoir photography is more intimate, often focusing on nudity or implied nudity.