A Guide to Glamour Photography

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Model Photography, Photography Tips

glamour photography

The advancement of time has led to significant changes in the techniques used in glamour photography. Modern glamour photos tend to be risqué and often include nudes. While women are still the common focus of glamour photography, images of men are becoming more prevalent.

Relevance of Glamour Photographs

Glamour photography is a powerful tool for gathering attention. They are catchy, visually appealing, and often provocative. Many glamour shots are often included in the portfolios of models (as well as agencies) to attract more clients as they are a great source of additional publicity.

The Equipment Necessary for Glamour Shot Photography

Many professional glamour photographers will tell you that for a good glamour shot, the cameras, photo backdrops, studio props and accessories you must use are very expensive. Although photography backgrounds and lighting equipment are important, the fact of the matter is that attractive glamour photos can be taken without the breaking your bank. In all actuality, many photographers who specialize in glamour shots often prefer to shoot in locations outside of their studio using only a few pieces of equipment.

For outdoor photo shoots, locations such as beaches, mountains, groves and other similar places are perfect. All you really need is a good quality camera with manual settings, your model, and a couple hours of time.

woman laying across couch

The intent of a glamour shot is to pull as much attention as possible to the model, especially with indoor photography. Many photography backgrounds are too complex, colorful, or distracting. These can move the viewer’s eyes away from the model. Whenever possible, try to use simple and basic backgrounds with minimal breakup; seamless paper backdrops are a common and popular choice.

Advice for Glamour Shot Posing

The models pose and expression has a major impact on the tone of the picture. For glamour shots with a more serious tone, your model should maintain both ambiguity and romance, while including emphasis on the magnetism of the human body. Try to keep your posing both elegant and sensual. For more playful imagery, your model should try flirting with the person looking at the image. Smiles, winks and saucy looks are encouraged.

One of the most important aspects of glamour shots is the level of comfort a model has with the photographer. Your model may become shy and embarrassed, especially if they are wearing little clothing. This is particularly true if the model is not accustomed to working in front of the camera, or is somewhat self-conscious; it’s easy to feel insecure and ridiculous when posing for glamour photographs. Make sure to build a supportive environment and friendly atmosphere for the model.

glamour photo on black backdrop

Using Props

Despite the fact that props are not a fundamental part of photography, occasional use can enhance a glamour shot. Props should be used to enhance a glamour shot without distracting viewers from the model. At times, a large scale prop (cars, trains, etc.) can act as a frame or a background. Some photographers have even been known to place their models in front of a giant empty frame.

Lighting Glamour Shots

Good lighting is essential to your photo shoot; overexposure and underexposure can ruin a shot, and no amount of digital editing can fully replace good lighting. However, there are many variables that can affect the mood of the photograph. Darker lighting with strongly contrasted shadows can provide a photo with a chic and artistic touch, while maintaining seriousness. Inversely, brighter lighting emphasizes a more high spirited and cheerful type of glamour shot.

glamour photo on red backdrop

Taking the Shot

Although in most glamour photographs the model will be standing up, in some they may be lying down, leaning, or sitting. Your camera’s position should be dictated by the position of the model. If they are standing, aim the camera vertically, and if they are lying down, aim horizontally. For any given stance, you want the photograph to include as much of the model as possible; the background is not the focus.

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

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