You wanted to know…. getting a glamour shot and posing.

Sometimes I will give the blog topic to the people on social media, being Facebook, twitter etc.
Yesterday I asked people what they wanted me to blog about and today I will incorporate a few of those questions in this blog post.

But first.
Make sure to check out the LIVE! page today, we will be broadcasting LIVE from the studio today during our shoot.
It’s not a workshop, or educational, it’s just a backstage look which can be very educational of course due to the fact we have a chatroom running where you can ask whatever you like.

Frank, did you ever blog about a 101 simplest ways to get a glamorous image
Well actually I did, many many times.
In fact, it’s in almost all blog posts….. 😀
Now without kidding.
What you have to realize is that photography is an art form and although some people treat it like it’s rocket science, in reality it’s not. Of course we have to understand light, we have to know how to measure it, how to manipulate it etc. but in essence it all boils down to just the simple fact that we play and tell our story with light nothing more and nothing less. Now think about this.

We have two people, both writers. We give them both a piece of paper and a pen and an assignment to write a funny story. One will give you a story that you will have trouble keeping your pants dry and one will probably produce maybe a little bit of a smile. Are they both writers ? yes they are, however what I did not tell you is that one is writing serious pieces in the financial papers and one is a writer for comedies. Suhagra

The same will go for photographers. As a photographer we should see things happen before our eyes, or in our minds eye and translate this to the final image. This however is were it get’s tricky. Some people will see an image almost instantaneous while the other struggles to see the image at all. When we talk about glamorous we already make a definition of course.

What is glamour?
Now a days one should be careful when talking about glamour. For some people (especially non photographers, or the “wrong” kind of photographers) glamour is an excuses to get naked girls or girls in lingerie in front of the camera. For me (and I hope most photographers) glamour is however something completely different, a well executed glamour shot is of course something that will please the eye, but for me it should also cover everything, or at least not show too much. There will always be people that will label the images as NSFW (Not Safe For Work) but I think that is often a bit overreacted. A good glamour shot is not perse playboy (although you can see some stunning glamour in playboy, especially the older playboys) but can even be a shot you take with a model in a dress. A good glamour shot means it’s better than real live, but for me personally should always have something “naughty”. It could be bride showing just a bit “too much” leg with a nice eye/expression towards the camera, but it can also be a shot of a model in lingerie or nude, for me as long as it’s not nude for the nude (I hope you know what I mean).
Remember this is my PERSONAL opinion.
Myself I’m more a fashion shooter, although some people label my work glamour because it all looks “better that real life” and I can live with that, that’s why I always label myself a Fashion/glamour shooter. But sometimes a really nice shoot with a more “daring” glamour theme is something that can work really well. Buy generic Viagra

Now to your question, how to make a simple but yet good glamour shot.
And if you don’t mind I will also take another question with this :

Frank, what about posing and models?
The reason I take both questions in one post is actually really easy to explain.
When we look at a good and simple glamour shot one should realize that we don’t need 100 strobes for it (well ok, also not 10). What we do need is a connection with our model and something that will “please” the eye of the viewer. We can do this without any budget at all to be honest, we could even shoot this with our iPhone. It’s all about pose, expression and attitude. Let’s take a look at this shot:

Nothing more than natural light in the models bedroom, the connection to the camera is there, the shallow DOF helps a bit and the color combination works for me. There is nothing showing and still the image (for me) looks glamorous. But what happens when we change the pose just a little bit and add some more “naughty” but without being too revealing, or in other words let’s keep it for a general public. Where I have to add again that some people will already freak with the first image.

With this image it all boils down to suggestion.
You can’t see a thing, everything is covered, you can’t even see the shape of a breast because we move the sheets up to block this. But still this images breathes more glamour that the previous one for me. Just the simple fact you see there is hardly any clothes on the model, and the way the heels lift up the underwear gives the images for me something that is giving my viewer a story to imagine for him/her self. Add the expression of the model and I think we can say we have a glamour shot here.
Again no expensive lights, just a little thought about clothing, pose and color. Using the natural light and any camera you have available.

So for me glamour is about interaction or suggested interaction. And of course a glamour shot will sometimes show a bit more skin than a fashion shot, although I have to add that some fashion series I’ve seen lately are showing a whole lot more than most of my glamour series 😀

So on to posing
This question I actually get a lot.
For me it’s not that I can say try pose FD1 or FD2 and if that not works go for FD3.
Although I love Cold Steel number 2. (inside joke for people knowing the movie :D)
Posing is not something that is universal, although there are somethings that will work and won’t, but even that is thrown out of the window every year or so. What I always try to do is look for curves. I’m very much looking out for the way the model tilts her head in comparison to her body, it has to “flow”. But I also love to add a little bit of motion. Especially when you’re out of ideas, inspiration is lacking and you’re banging your head against the wall (please don’t try this at home, or the studio or wherever…. just don’t) adding some motion to the posing can rock your world and bring the images to a higher standard.

It can be some simple motion by letting the model just turn her head very quickly

Or adding some motion with the whole pose.

Or adding some “serious” air time

But also when the model is posing on herself I try to find the curves, like for example these samples.

This can be enhanced by using a wall :

Or other props for posing

Like some simple wooden blocks

A simple chair will give you a lot of options, and you won’t even have to show the chair.

Even the stairs in your studio can be something that can give you a lot of options for your model to pose on, under etc.

I could go on and on, but for example only the stairs are giving me so many options I could probably fill a few days with just experimenting with that, however as mentioned before, for me it will always be about the flow of the image, the curves in the body etc.

This were the first two questions.
There will be another blog post this week with two other questions.
Feel free to comment, share and discuss this topic.


PS on I have several videos that go into depth in these topics.
Also via our webshop you can order our DVDs that also have many topics like this.


6 replies
  1. Paul Tortora
    Paul Tortora says:

    Frank, great post as always. Can you tell us a bit about the lighting setup you used for the model on the Marshall amp with the guitar. The more detail the better (lighting configuration, fog machine, background…) Awesome image! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

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