How I Approach a Glamour Session, Part 2

by | Jul 19, 2018

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

When last we left our intrepid photographer, he had zeroed in his lighting and was getting ready to photograph his model, in this case the wonderful Bella Fire, who is also nice, pretty and has red hair.

As I’ve written before, based on my experience there are two types of models—inner and outer directed. You can read my thoughts on these two types of portrait subjects here. What I didn’t know when I wrote that original post is that there are also variations on these types. Bella is inner directed but uses a thoughtful approach where she slowly moves from pose to pose allowing me to tweak each pose—if I want—much as I might do with an outer-directed model

How do I know this stuff about the model? It’s simple, I ask her. Some time after signing the model release and while we’re selecting wardrobe, I’ll ask the model how she prefers to work and we discus her posing style and how we will work together in the studio. That makes the whole process of posing go much smother and produces better photographs.

Sometime a pose works; sometime it doesn’t. We’re all different and what looks perfect for one subject won’t always work with another. And camera angle and focal length can have an effect as well as camera placement. Ansel Adams once famously said that the difference between a good picture and a bad one was “knowing where to stand.” The main takeaway that any failed pose is the fault of the photographer, never the subject.

During a typical two-hour session, I will do four or five wardrobe changes and shoot between 200-300 images. I also shoot RAW+JPEG files and use the RAW files to make the final images and when working with models give them the JPEG files as I explained in my post Proofing & TFP: How I Do It.

How I made the above image: Camera was a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with G Vario 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 45mm. Lighting was Paul C Buff DigiBee DB800 (with Plume Wafer softbox) and Alien Bee B800. Background was Savage’s Black Infinity vinyl backdrop. Exposure was 1/125 sec at f/8 and ISO 200.


If you’re interested in learning how I shoot portraits and how I use cameras, lenses and lighting in my in-home studio and on location, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere which is available new from for $23.34 and for the giveaway price of $2.31 used, as I write this. If you’re interested in learning how to shoot better portraits and would like some hands-on training, check out my one-on-one workshops