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Glamour Photography: A Professional’s Advice

8 min read

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guide for learning glamour photography.

As a fashion and glamour photographer in Los Angeles, I am passionate about capturing women’s beauty and glamour in my fashion shoot photography.

Fashion is a genre that is often related to glamour photography; the two genres focus on capturing the posing of beauty and style.

Fashion photography showcases models in the latest fashion trends and styles. It can be a fashion photo shoot outdoors or in a studio and use extreme lenses and other specialized equipment to capture memorable images.

As one of the glamour photographers in LA, I specialize in glamour portraits and boudoir photography, which are both related to capturing beauty. Sexy pictures sell, and let’s talk about that!

What is Glamour Photography?

A glamour shoot is similar to portrait photography with much flair and is a genre of photography that is great for showcasing the beauty of women for brand advertising, Cha-ching!

My goal as a photographer is to create beautiful, glamorous photographs with my camera that shows the posing and inner confidence of the glamour models using the brands products, the models often have an attitude in their posing, don’t they?

glamour shot of a model.

As a photographer, I have to say that glamour shots are incredibly useful for cosmetics and beauty brands as opposed to e-commerce shots because when a beauty brand wants to showcase its products, they need to have the right kind of images to do the selling.

That’s where glamour shots come in, now we all know glamour shots are full of hype, and it’s not what you see in real life the same way as runway couture.

Glamour photos can be used to show off a brand’s products, like makeup, hair, or skincare for women in a way that looks amazing and makes the products look like they’re making the model look even more gorgeous.

Glam is a great way to sell products because it shows people how they could look their best if they use the brand’s products, glam is hyper, it’s visual screaming, the opposite of journalism.

What is the Difference Between Glamour and Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir is a sub-genre of glamour photography that focuses on the intimate and private aspects of a woman’s beauty while posing in high heels and lingerie.

Boudoir shoots are also a great way for women to embrace their beauty and say it visually while posing for pictures without speaking a word.

boudoir portrait.

Let’s go into detail about these types of photography. A boudoir shoot does have a glam, but a glamorous photoshoot doesn’t have much boudoir, which is more intimate and focuses on capturing the sensual side of a woman. These portraits are often shot in a private location, such as a bedroom.

I want to shoot the model’s character with her outer beauty with my camera, and the photos aim to be tasteful and romantic, highlighting the model’s confidence and femininity but for private reasons.

Boudoir Shoots

I often shoot boudoir portraits with available light or in natural light with my mirrorless camera, using diffused light that flatters the skin and creates a romantic atmosphere. Unlike female glamour photography, the focus is not just on the face but also on her body, and the image is not retouched the same way.

My boudoir portraiture is usually held in private settings where the model can feel comfortable and confident. I like to use a textured background like wallpaper to give the photos depth and interest while keeping the focus on the model. I also like to use solid colors to keep the images simple and elegant, with the model’s face as the main focus while I avoid hard shadows.

There is a distinct difference between the two. Boudoir is typically more intimate and focuses on the model’s body, while glamour photographs are all about showcasing the model’s facial features and outer beauty. I have experience in both genres, and I can create glamorous images that get a second look.

Brands & Glamour

models posing with beauty products.

When it comes to working with beauty brands, my relationship with them is all about collaboration, and I work closely with the brands to understand what they’re looking for in their photos.

I use my expertise as a fashion photographer to make sure that their images are as amazing as possible, the brand’s art director and marketing director usually step in and give me feedback on styling, especially with hair and makeup, because that is all glamour.

So, why do beauty brands use glamour photography? The reason is simple: it works, glamour photos are a great way to sell products, and because these shots are stunners, they are not normal.

Stubbles

person posing for glamour photo.

There is a new twist to glamour advertising photography in the 21st century, men!

Glam is the exclusive domain of women like boudoir is, and it’s still mentally and visually synonymous with female beauty.

But like everything else, we are seeing some avant-garde beauty and personal care brands put male models into the glam advertising mix. Time will tell if this is a fad or if it will stick around for years to come.

Whether women or men, glamour is also about making the models look as stylish and sophisticated as possible, and showing off the products in a way that looks incredible to the eye, something you don’t see every day. Hence, the makeup and hair are overdone on purpose.

The Glam Squad

two female models posing for glamour photoshoot.

My photo shoots consist of various elements, from casting the perfect model to working with a professional makeup artist to create the desired look. The models I work with are professionals in their field, and their beauty is what sets them apart from others.

To enhance this beauty, I work closely with a professional makeup artist, hair artist, and stylist who can highlight the key features of the models.

Casting Couch

To create the best glamour shots, you need to choose the right models. This involves casting models who are comfortable in their own skin and able to pose in a way that flatters their bodies. You need to assess their physical beauty, as well as their ability to work with a professional photographer, makeup artist, and the rest of the team.

I often enhance the MUA’s makeup in photoshop. The makeup artist is key in bringing out the model’s features and focusing on their best facial features, it’s the photographer’s job to make sure that art is captured and enhanced for glamour photography.

Flyaways

hair brand advertising.

When it comes to hair brand advertising, the focus is on the models’ hair and how it looks in different styles and positions. As a professional photographer, I use a variety of techniques to capture the key features of each model and showcase their hair in the best possible light.

This includes using natural light, soft light, and most often studio lighting for glam to create the perfect setting for each glamour shoot.

One of the key components of hair brand advertising is the use of professional hair models. These models are typically hand-picked by the brand and are chosen for their physical beauty, great hair, and ability to pose in a variety of different settings.

I work closely with top hair stylists to create a cohesive look that showcases the hair and the model in the best possible way.

When it comes to advertising a hair brand, either glamour or ecommerce photography can be used. If the brand wants to showcase its hair products in a fashionable and sexy way, then glamour photography would be the way to go, and when a brand wants to create a more down-to-earth message, then ecommerce photography would be the choice.

To Wear or Not To Wear

clothing for glamorous look.

The wardrobe and the clothes a model wears during a photo shoot also play an important role in the final image. I collaborate with wardrobe stylists who help to choose the perfect clothes and accessories for each shoot along with the brand directors, a good stylist is a photographers best ally.

Glam is not just about making pretty photos, it’s about capturing the beauty and style of the models you’re working with in a way that sells the product by way of impression!

You need to be able to see the potential in each model and know how to bring that out in your photos, and that takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and skill.

Leaving an impression for the brand in the mind of the viewer/customer is what the business of selling with glam is all about.

Secret Ingredients of Glamour Photography

fashion photographer taking pictures of a model lying on a couch.

I use strobe lighting whenever possible, as it provides control and look, which helps to enhance the model’s beauty. I also work with professional models and professional makeup artists, who create a polished and glamorous look for each photo shoot, whether the shoot takes place in a private location or studio and now more often outdoors for social media.

I often shoot glam with telephoto lenses as it gives a flattering perspective and helps to focus on the model’s face, capturing their best features and beauty, plus avoiding distortions that can detract from the final image.

I like to also vary the lighting for glam shots. There are certain Hollywood cliché lighting that we all know and like, but I mix in lighting twists to get just a bit more of a stunner, more stares, and more thought when you see these shots.

As I aim to create images that are both beautiful and stylish, I work in a variety of lighting conditions, using diffused light to create a flattering look and hard light to create dramatic high-contrast images whether I’m working in the studio or on location.

Pixel By Pixel 

portrait of a women.

Another aspect of glamour photography that I must emphasize is post-processing. I use various techniques to enhance the images, from filters for smooth skin to highlight the model’s best features by painting with light, dodging, and burning.

I pay close attention to the model’s chin line. Photoshop is now an extension of glamour photography since there is so much I do to augment a model’s beauty to exaggerate or bring out the product features being advertised on a model for glam.

When it comes to post-processing boudoirs, I focus on enhancing the natural beauty of my subjects rather than changing or distorting their appearance. I of course do want to smooth the skin and enhance the model’s face.

I also experiment with different color gradings, working to find the perfect shot that brings out the models form, but for glamour, I exaggerate retouching and cheat more, that’s the truth.

Lifetime of Learning

Glamour photography is a beautiful and powerful art form that sells.

Whether it’s through boudoir photography, portrait photography, or fashion photography, glamour photography has the ability to capture a woman’s natural beauty and outer beauty in a professional and stunning manner.

As one of the successful fashion photographers, it’s important to have a passion for the art and to continually practice and hone your skills to create great glamour portrait shots.

If you’re one of the photographers who are interested in glamour photography, then you need to be prepared to learn, put in the time to learn your craft, and be ready to collaborate closely with the brands you work with.

Remember, practice makes perfect, don’t forget to always express your style in the mix, be a leader, and stand out to be counted as a successful photographer.

Heads Down, Hopes High

Glamour photography is something powerful for beauty brands and fashion magazines, and it’s all about working closely with the brand creatives to create images that showcase their products in the best possible picture and making sure that the customers are left with an impression.

Advertising is not about the information, always about the impression! I will be writing more articles about other genres of photography related to fashion, beauty, glamour, and more.

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David Victory is an American fashion photographer based in Los Angeles. He got his first camera, a plastic lens 120 roll film Diana at age 5, and printed his first black and white at 8. So far, David has traveled/shot in 75 cities worldwide and counting. He is known for complex and expensive projects.
David Victory is an American fashion photographer based in Los Angeles. He got his first camera, a plastic lens 120 roll film Diana at age 5, and printed his first black and white at 8. So far, David has traveled/shot in 75 cities worldwide and counting. He is known for complex and expensive projects.
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