The Eye of the Beholder

Glamour photography is the process of photographing a model with emphasis on the individual instead of a product or piece of clothing. It is about capturing the model at her best. It is meant to be erotic without being pornographic, though some glamour photography appears in softcore magazines.

Many advertisers use glamour photography to catch people's eyes in advertisements. This makes glamour photography a very lucrative medium. Because of this, many higher institutions of learning are offering courses in glamour photography. Models pose for glamour shots for their job portfolios, while advertisers use it to sell products. It is also a popular way to present a spouse or loved one with a unique photographic gift.

Glamour or Pornography?

Glamour photography is not meant to be pornographic. It relies on the power of suggestion without actually showing graphic details. Playfulness and flirting are also part of the technique. The crudeness of pornography should be avoided. Proper scenery and lighting also help prevent the misconception.

Posing for Glamour Photography

Most people feel self-conscious when posing for glamour shots. A good photographer will be able to ease this fear. The subject should first discuss what type of photo is desired, including what poses; dress and attitude will be used. It is important to the shot to access beforehand what degree of nudity you are comfortable with, especially if you are an amateur.

Check for straps and stings before the shoot begins. Changing into something loose at least 30 minutes before the appointment helps alleviate lines or redness from tight clothes.

Try different poses to see what looks best. Also, keep the background as simple and uncluttered as possible.

History of Glamour Photography

Early glamour photography dates back to the 1800's when the first photograph was taken. It is also associated with the term French postcards, which were small postcard sized photos that were sold by street vendors in France. They were most often purchased by foreign tourists and soldiers.

Pinup girls such as Betty Grable became popular in the 1940's when hundred of GIs carried the pictures to war. These war era photos featured models that either wore swimsuits or were fully clothed. By the 1960's this changed as models posed in smaller bathing suits, lacey lingerie or partially nude. Today pretty much anything goes.

Other famous glamour photography models include: Mae West, Marlene Deitrich, Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth, Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe.