Creating Artistic Glamour Photography

Domestic portrait photography is one of the most popular forms of photography for the domestic services market. Many of these include weddings, newborns and babies, celebration, events and glamour photography. Glamour photography is very popular today. What are the main differences between commercial portrait photography, like fashion photography for example, and this stylish photography? Domestic portrait photography is quite similar but it’s not quite the same as glamour. Glamour photography is created for the home-based market and fashion is created for promotion.And how can we create classy and beautiful images for our glamour portrait?

Glamour photography is a stylised portrait. Stylised really refers to someone who had been made up for the shoot. In other words they are have had their hair and make up done to look a particular way. Glamour photography photographers also like to help them set the scene by using household furniture, clothing and props.

A lot of people really adore this type of glamour photography. It’s actually a lovely service to provide for someone. For the client, especially women, it is quite exciting to get made up for a photo to look as beautiful as she can. Many ladies employ a photographer to create glamour photos of them for their boyfriends, husbands and partners. As a photographer there is a lot of possibility for this kind of service.

In this glamour photography tutorial I will be talking about how photographers can develop firm and effective lighting and shooting methods to photograph the very best in people. To begin with, observe how people want to be characterised. I will also talk about the shoot I did with a friend of mine, how I set up the light and why I employed the use of fabric.

If you have a friend or customer who wants come glamour photos of themselves it’s important to ask them how they want to come across in the photo. To help them develop an idea why not ask them to show photo examples of what styles they really like. If don’t have any ideas them you can always have photo examples to show them. Once they have communicated what they like you can then look at how the scene should be lit. You can also recommend clothing and colour suggestions.

Colour matching is vital in glamour photography.  There’s nothing worse than awful colours in glamour photos. Colours need to br appropriate for the shoot so that they can help to create elegance and beauty. One of the best and most effective ways to get your colours looking real is to do a custom white balance. Why is this so necessary? For skin tone mostly. There’s nothing more distracting than skin tones appearing a little yellow or green because the white balance is incorrect. At all times use custom white balance with a  grey card.

Once you have done that you can create outstanding and flamboyant colour using bright clothes or fabric. In the recent glamour shoot I did, I used a long piece of really energetic ruby coloured chiffon. Chiffon is a fantastically light, semi-transparent material.  It hangs in straight lines. These lines are slimming when you use it against a female body. It has a fine and beautiful feel to it. I folded it over itself a few times to remove any transparency.

Next set up your lighting. More often than not glamour photography is done in a photographic studio using what we call modelling lamps, (or key lights as they are known), and fill lights. The key light is your most important light source. They dictate the intensity and direction of your main light. Your fill lights are the lights that help lessen some of the dark areas. As a rule your key light is brighter than the fill lights. This is how you identify which is which.

Many photographers use side lighting only to create a black background. You can do this too, but remember that side light can accentuate lines and put contrast on the face. A deep black background, a single light source from the side and a splash of colour is usually what distinguishes glamour photography from other kinds of portrait photography. This is usually done using a portion of black paper type of material that can pulled out of a huge spool attached to the top of the partition. That’s all very well if you have an expensive set up. If you only have your living room or garage to work with then you need to get resourceful.

Think about your light. Soft flash lighting from the side works well. If you can take your flash off your camera and link it remotely then do so. Each time you press the the shutter botton the flash will discharge. You can vary the intensity output of the flash manually. This is created shooting with  the manual mode on your flash.

Once you have your lighting set up, consider your background. If you do not have an appropriate background eliminate the background altogether. It’s better to use no background than a background that isn’t suited. Try tightly framing the photo by capturing a head and shoulders photograph.

Lastly, lets look at some glamour photography poses. These are usually created by making lot of angles of the body. A flattering glamour photo of a woman is not one where she is standing front-on. It looks flattering to have one shoulder lower than the other or her head slightly titled away from or towards the camera. For thoughts of posing, examine glamour photography websites. See how other photographers have requested their models to pose. If you get stuck for ideas use other photographers photos to inspire you.

Try to shoot from different angles. I shot my model from a higher angle for a few photos. I then got on the ground and shot from floor level as she lay in front of the camera. Finally I did the shoot at usual standing height as she positioned herself comfortably on a chair. You can get very creative. Make sure you have the setting to support this. If you don’t try some close focal lengths that remove the background.

Always remember your lighting. It is one of the most important things in glamour photography. Use flattering stances and opt for no background if you can’t find a suitable background. And most of all have fun!


About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time.

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