Glamour shots are designed to make you look and feel—quite simply—glamorous. Glamour shot portraits are often given as gifts to husbands, boyfriends, or significant others and may include elements of sex appeal or appear reminiscent of Hollywood movie star portraits. In addition, they help improve self-esteem because you feel fabulous after you have glamour shots of yourself taken!
As opposed to a snapshot or character portrait that might utilize hard or harsh lighting or flash, a glamour shot utilizes soft, even lighting that will be flattering to your features, minimizing wrinkles and blemishes. The lighting set-up may involve just one light or it could include multiple lights. The lighting could be either flash or continuous lighting and may include accent lights like a hair light plus a main light and a fill light.
Glamour shot sessions typically include a hair and makeup session during which you are given a glamorous, fashionable hairstyle and makeup is expertly applied to highlight your features and downplay any flaws. Makeup is typically applied heavier and bolder than the makeup you would use for normal daily wear, similar to acting or movie makeup, and it helps minimize the appearance of blemishes and draws particular attention to your best facial features.
The second part of a glamour shot session is where you will select several wardrobe items from a collection of items the studio has available for portrait use—including clothing and jewelry or accessories—that you will wear for the actual photographs. These items are often in sizes that will fit many different people and are simply clipped in at the back or sides to look more fitted for the photos. Often these wardrobe items will be very glamorous, as well, and not the typical kind of attire worn by people every day. Rather, it will include selections like leather jackets, real fur wraps, tops with sparkly sequins, soft sweaters with maribou trim, and feathered boas. A consultant will usually help you select items you like that also flatter you.
The Photo Shoot
Finally, you come to the third—and presumably most important—part of the glamour shot session: the actual photo shoot. This is where the skill of the photographer and the use of appropriate lighting techniques come into play. A good glamour photographer knows how to pose and position you to create the most flattering lines and body shape possible, to downplay obvious flaws, and to play up nice features. Most glamour photographers are very particular about the poses they use and will often help pose your head, face, and limbs to achieve the desired effect.
Since glamour shot portraits are, by their very nature and name, designed to make you look even better, more glamorous, and flawless than you are in real life, your final portrait will likely undergo some professional touch-ups, airbrushing, and digital enhancements. Some studios may even alter features ever so slightly to make them more attractive, such as subtly shortening or narrowing a prominent nose or chin, for example, or slimming the torso a bit. In these cases most people cannot tell their portrait has been altered; they simply rave about the talents of the studio and staff in making them look so good.
Viewing and Selection
In all likelihood, your photos will have received some preliminary touch-ups prior to your ever seeing them and you will typically view them on a monitor or computer screen. In most glamour shot sessions today, ordering takes place at the end of the appointment This is the critical time when sales staff must appeal to your emotions, gift-giving needs, and vanity to make the highest sale possible. This is typically very easy to do because people love to see themselves looking great and in a glamorous light.
Fun and Easy to Do
It’s easy to enjoy a glamour photo session. You can simply arrive as you are with clean hair and a clean face, wearing your normal street clothes. Then a stylist will help transform you from the everyday you to the glamorous you, and the photographer will do her magic. But don’t forget your money! Chances are you will love your portraits and want to order them all.