What is Glamour Photography? Tips on How to Get Started

VD October 10 2021

Imagine a Hollywood actress photograph from the 1990s. It properly outlined curves, cheekbones, and perfect beauty that’s the general idea of glamour photography.

The Hollywood type of glamour photography is the kind that was popularized in the 1950s where all individuals were seen to be perfect, beautiful, and pose like models. Glamour photography has evolved since then into many different genres (to name a few: pinup, nudes, suggestive poses). Glamour photography has developed into a style of art that can be achieved through conventional cameras, film cameras, and the most recent digital cameras. A new form that has recently emerged is mirrorless camera shots which include selfies.

With time, glamour photography has evolved, and in the modern world, the entire meaning of glamour photography has changed. Stay with us till the end to understand what glamour photography today is and how to get started.  

The actual meaning of glamour photography

Although opinions on glamour photography can vary greatly, it's generally accepted that glamour photography has nothing to do with fashion, location, or props. When it comes to glamour photography, the beauty and charisma of the model are imperative. Clothes and location can be a little contributing factor in this genre. In simple words, glamour photography will highlight the beautiful features of the model. 

At the same time, some people think glamour photography is all about revealing and making pictures sexually attractive, but the reality proves that wrong. Beauty is not always about showing skin or making the photograph sexually attractive. You will see it for yourself, as we have created a list of tips and tricks to take a successful glamour shot.

Glamour photography is not limited to still pictures; it includes videos too. For some time now, there have been tutorials on how to photograph women in different glamorous poses using various techniques involving artificial lighting systems turning this simple photoshoot into a Hollywood movie on its own. This tutorial will focus on the basics of glamour photography with an emphasis on natural light techniques.

Plan before the glamour photography

Glamour photography is not like saying “cheese”. You have to take care of multiple things, so planning is compulsory.

Before you take the shot, understand what the goal of the image is. It's like asking three questions: What type of beauty will you outline? What look would be the best? What are the demands of the client?

After deciding these three things, now it depends on your creativity how you achieve your goal.

Steps on how to get started:

  • Know the basics of Photoshop: Glamour photography is all about capturing the perfect photo which requires a lot of editing, retouching, and post-processing using various software such as Adobe Photoshop CS6 or higher versions. Basic knowledge of photo editing and effects will greatly help in achieving desirable results in glamour photos.
  • Avoid harsh lighting: Harsh lighting is one of the most common problems that novice photographers face when taking pictures outdoors during the daytime. The best way to achieve glamorous shots with natural lights would be to use filters just like how Hollywood stars apply aftershave balm on their skin before their close-up shot in movies to give them a fresh-looking skin tone for big-screen viewing where everything is visible.
  • Dress to impress: Whether you’re taking photos indoors or outdoors, it is important for the model/subject to wear clothes that show off their beautiful body features and make them look as sexy as possible without revealing too much skin (revealing too much skin might end up looking tacky). Clothes that highlight curves and other physical attributes should be worn and not those that hide them (i.e., baggy shirts, loose pants).

Although glamour photography is not like fashion photography but as mentioned earlier, multiple factors altogether create a perfect shot. It’s not like the model in the photograph should wear a branded garment by any designer, but she should wear something that highlights her/his beauty.

Just like that, the make of the model should be done in a manner that should highlight her features. The make-up and clothing should be the least distracting, they should not steal the focus and prevent the viewer from admiring the beauty.

  • Be open-minded: The first few shots will probably turn out disastrous but this should not discourage anyone from pursuing glamour photography. It takes time before one could achieve desired results so it is advisable to take things slow and learn from mistakes.

Location doesn’t matter, either 

There are no limitations in glamour shooting. You can choose to be in the studio or in any old building. However, the clothing should match the look of the model. It's like if you are a glamour photographer and you are doing a shoot in an old factory, the clothing should be torn jeans and a loose boyfriend shirt.

Clicking a good shot even at the worst locations tells how skillful you are.

Why is posing important in glamour photoshoots?

Glamour photography will highlight the body features, and without accurate posing, that’s impossible. Candid photographs will look good, but they don’t highlight beauty.

Therefore, an excellent posing game will help draw the viewer's attention to the beauty, and simultaneously it will hide any flaws.

It is recommended to work with experienced models because they already have some knowledge about posing. They know how the chin, shoulders, and hands play an essential role in a perfect shot.

Some models/subjects find it hard to take sexy poses on their own so hiring a glamour portrait photographer is very ideal. Glamour portrait photographers are professionals when it comes to working with natural lighting and they use different techniques in achieving perfect shots (front, back, side angles). Most of them use only natural lights since these are the most affordable type of lighting systems; however, some will utilize artificial lighting equipment depending on what type of outcome they want for each photoshoot.

No matter the method used in taking glamorous photos (hiring a glamour photography specialist or doing it alone), one thing’s for sure: pictures will be more pleasing to the eye if the model/subject is comfortable with the pose being taken. If they are not, then it will show in the photos which would be a total waste of time, effort, and money.

Glamour photography is an art that has evolved with time. It is more than just taking photos for fun; it requires creativity (in choosing poses) along with knowledge of using photo editing software to achieve desired results making every shot versatile. It takes some time before one could master this type of photography but once successful shots are achieved, all the hard work will definitely be worth it!


If you have chosen glamour photography as your specialty, you have done justice to yourself. It's all about beauty, and who doesn’t appreciate beauty? However, your work should be flawless if you want to excel in this field.   To get started on this, you need to spend a lot of time learning the ropes of glamour photography, and post-processing is one field that can help you achieve that. Learn from the best tutorials available on the internet, and make sure that your clients are always satisfied with their work. Keep updating yourself, don't turn a deaf ear to their suggestions and requests, and remember: beauty lies in details.