In glamour/nude photography here in Europe the subjects are still portrayed in alluring and exciting ways ranging from fully sexy clothed to nude.
Glamour is primarily meant to tease and flirt with the viewer. GlamNudes are not crossing the borders to pornography and erotica at all! Tasteful glam displays maximal full frontal nudity. More explicit shots (open legs) already fall into the category of erotica.
Images are generally composed of a subject in a still position. The subjects of “glamour” photography for professional use are often professional models, and the photographs are normally intended for commercial use, including mass-produced calendars, pinups and men’s magazines; but amateur subjects are also used, and sometimes the photographs are intended for private and personal use only.
What Makes a Glam Nude Look?
Beautifying & Styling
The character applied is pretty special and distinct in this case. We tied up the hair on purpose; thanks to this styling we expose a long neck line, a very nice décolleté that we nevertheless beautifully cover up with sexy lace fabric.
In total, we have 4 lines – or visual breaks – that make it all very exciting. We have the décolleté followed by the repetition of the styling line before the straps begin. The corset itself provides a very nice overall form anyway. The bright ensemble as contrast to Kristina’s tanned skin is just gorgeous.
In order to support the styling lines with the makeup, we work with a relatively dark, strong and signaling lip color that corresponds very nicely with her finger nails. To top it off, this red is a very nice complementary color to Kristina’s eye color that ranges somewhere between blue and green.
The whole setting is very juicy!
The lighting design is arranged to accentuate the styling ensemble and most of all highlight the colors.
Effect Light First: In this set, I am starting with implementing the effect light first. I am doing this so I can judge this light correctly – I need to see whether the effect is too strong or smacks the model’s face too much from the side. I must ensure that it does not burn up her face.
For the effect light, I am using a standard reflector, a close-meshed grid to further limit the light beam and an orange gel (CTO film foil). The orange color cast is a beautiful complementary color to this rather greenish surrounding here.
Key Light: On this set, I am using a silver coated beauty dish as key light, not a softbox. The light becomes crispier with a dish; it simply fits the glamour look better, it defines shadows more accurate. Want to learn more about lighting characteristics, modifiers and lighting in general and in depth? Consider to buy my comprehensive guide “ESSENTIALS. Studio Lighting for Nude Photography“.
Just as with the effect light, I have attached a honeycomb grid so that the light beam does not illuminate the whole room – the beam is focused on the model.
The illumination is good for a three quarter shot. The key light’s beam is rather narrow and the model’s freedom of movement is not too big. I will shoot along the same axis as the key light’s direction towards the model.
Balancing Key Light & Ambient Light: In this series, I have the advantage to make use of a spare ambient light provided by the windows on the side and in the back. Now it is important to find the correct volume of the key light in balance to the ambient light as well as the orange effect light.
Catch Lights & Plasticity: Another important point of the glam look is the reflection (catch light) in the model’s eyes. This is the main feature; this is what the glamour look is all about! Liveliness must come across – there’s got to be something going on.
For this reason, I am placing the key light coming from the front. At the same time, the axis is slightly to the side. This creates certain shadows, meaning a dimensionality. The result may under no circumstances be flat light.
Since the styling shows strong lines, the model does not need to do too much in the beginning. We start with S-curve posing. Then we will work more distinct with hands or arms. As said, the overall interplay with the camera, the model’s facial expressions and striking alluring poses are now key.
Even though it should not simply look like a striptease (the posing and undress order) – but at the very end it is just that: performing a striptease. However, you can break-up a boring “get-rid-of-the-clothes” by implementing different compositional elements.
Lighting Gear & Specs Used
- Key: Monolight 400 Ws @280 WS / with Beauty Dish, Silver Coated, w/Grid, Ø70cm/27’’
- Effect: Monolight 400 Ws @90 WS / Standard Reflector Ø 18cm/7’’ + Orange Gel (CTO)