► How to be a great glamour photographer

Glamour photography is an ever growing industry. More and more magazines seem to be hitting the shelves and websites are being created everyday and each is filled with glamour shots of all kinds.

How does one become a “great glamour photographer?” Assuming you already have a firm grasp on composition and lighting concepts, the first thing to do is study what’s out there. There are a wide variety of styles within the field of glamour photos and not all of them will appeal to everyone. Find a style you like and dissect it. The idea isn’t to outright copy existing images but to imitate them and innovate them until you have created a style that’s all your own.

One of the best resources you can have to get you through this is a model that you are mutually comfortable with. At first you are going to be paying so much attention to technical details that it may be hard to coax a model into reflecting the mood you’re after. Someone that you already have a good report with will help relieve this burden.

The technical things you are looking at all the while are things like lighting, composition and focus. Presumably you have an idea of what kind of mood you want your photos to reflect. Choosing and positioning the right toned lights is great and making sure you don’t lose sight of the end result. Everything looks good, but did you meter properly? For most glamour shots you’d want to take your light readings off of the models flesh as opposed to their clothing. Don’t let your model get too caught up in the shoot and move away from this metered light or you’ll just be wasting time and money.

I mentioned focus which seems obvious, but a lot of glamour photographers like to shoot with a remote switch. They keep their eyes on the model, often making eye contact, in an effort to keep things more intimate. The less experienced photographer can let this situation get away from them and by not looking through the lens they won’t notice the model moving out of the focal range.

When composing the shots it’s almost always a good idea to fill the frame. A glamour shot is about the model and nothing else. Taking a glamour shot where the model only takes up half the picture is rarely worth effective; however, this doesn’t mean you should ignore the background. On the contrary. The background can make or break any glamour photo. While a plain backdrop is easy it might take away from the desired effect. If you decide to take the picture in a certain setting, make sure the surroundings work with the model and not against her.

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