Today’s Post by Joe Farace
The most important tip is this: The best way to improve your glamour photography by practicing. I strongly believe that you should make photographs each week until you get to the point where you don’t have to think about how to operate your camera, you just shoot. Here’s another tip: Don’t worry about producing masterpieces every time you pick up your camera, use it as a sketchpad to explore the possibilities and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.
While it may seem obvious, many photographs are made in locations based on where the photographer or their subject decides to shoot. This approach may work sometime when shooting outdoors but for indoor glamour you should place your subject where the light is best. Big surprise, huh?
You may find that have a perfect location in your home and maybe never thought that an unlikely location would be a great place to make a portrait. Think about it now. Here’s some more tips:
- Use wide-open apertures to soften and blur the background and focus attention on your subject.
- Keep lighting tools simple. Almost all my natural light images, like the one at right, use only a single inexpensive reflector. The less time you spend fiddling with equipment, the more time you can spend putting your subject at ease.
- Watch the background. It’s so easy to become so enthralled by the person you’re photographing that you forget about the background. This is just as important as when photographing people outdoors too. I believe that if you watch the background, the foreground will take care of itself.
- Talk to your subject. I’ll never forget the advice one of my mentors gave me many years ago. When I asked what was the worst thing I could do, I expected him to mention some technical mistake but his answer surprised me. “If you don’t talk to the people you’re never going make a good picture.”
How I made the above image: Camera was a Canon EOS 50D with EF 135mm f/2.8 SF lens and an exposure of 1/250 sec at f/4 and ISO 800. In this case, lighting was provided by a window in the back door to my former home. A 32-inch Westcott reflector is at camera left.
Photographing people combines elements of psychology as much camera technology and how you personally interact with your subject will have more to do with the success of your glamour photography session than the camera or lens that you use.
If you’re interested in learning how I shoot available light glamour portraits, please pick up a copy of Available Light Glamour Photography which is available new from Amazon.com for $16.22 with used copies starting at $11.76, as I write this. The Kindle version is $15.51 for those preferring a digital format.