Glamour Photography Takes Practice

by | May 19, 2020

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice.”Vladimir Horowitz

Vladimir Horowitz was arguably one of the finest classical pianists of all time, yet even he practiced every day.

The headline should really be amended to say that glamour, like any type of photography, takes practiceRegular readers of this blog know I believe that the best way to improve your photography by practicing.

I think you should photograph something, anything really, each day or at least every week so you can get to the point where you don’t have to think about how to operate your camera.

When I take a camera on my more-or-less daily walk, even when shooting the oft-photographed O’Brien Park gazebo or Bingham Lake near my home, I almost always learn something about the camera that I think will result in better pictures—next time

If there’s any secret to my suggestion about practicing your craft is that you shouldn’t worry about producing masterpieces every time you go out with your camera in hand. You can use that camera as a sketchpad to explore possibilities and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Sometimes these “sketches” will be successful, sometimes not, but you will learn something from an analysis of these photographs. As Yoda once told Luke “There is no try, just do.”

How I made this shot: I photographed Tasha, an aspiring model, several years ago in my former home. One of my favorite places to shoot portraits there was in the living room that had tall, narrow windows and produced interesting available light, that was always different depending on the time of day and time of year. Camera used was a Canon EOS 50D and the EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM lens (at 53mm) that I stupidly sold. It been discontinued by the manufacturer but you can pick up copies of this lens from many sources, including Amazon. The camera’s pop-up flash was used to provide some fill. Exposure was 1/60 sec at f/4.5 and ISO 400.

Tip: When shooting glamour portraits indoors, you should look for locations where the best light is found. While this may seem obvious, it seems to me that many available light portraits are made in locations where the photographer or their subject randomly decide to make it without considering what the lighting is or even what the background looks like.

You may have a similar location in your home and never thought that such a likely or unlikely location would be a great place to make a portrait. Think about it now.

You can learn all of my tips, tools and techniques on shooting available light glamour photography in my book surprisingly titled  Available Light Glamour Photography. New copies of the book are available from Amazon for $29.95 with used copies costing only $17.59, as I write this. The Kindle version is $16.99 for those preferring a digital format.