Shooting Glamour Photography with Mirrorless Cameras

by | May 6, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain.—Helmut Newton

I get lots of e-mail from photographers who are interested in trying glamour photography and it’s one of the reasons that I wrote, Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography. But the book was published before I fell in love with mirrorless photography and, for the record, almost all of my glamour photography over the past few years has been using mirrorless cameras. I would love to update that book with new mirrorless-shot images, like today’s feature portrait, but the state of the photo book industry is somewhat similar to that of photo magazines…

That’s not to say it’s been a smooth ride. One of the reason that I recently joined Lumix PRO services is to get easy access to some repairs and sensor cleaning that I think/hope will make my Lumix GH4 a more usable, dependable camera and put those woes behind me. This is something I also hope my new (to me) Lumix G9 will provide in a glamour shoot that’s scheduled for this weekend. Even if the shoot doesn’t go will, expect a report from me —good or bad—sometime next week. If all else fails, I’ll have my Olympus E-M10 Mark I and E-M5 Mark I standing by as back-ups. Speaking of which, I realize there’s a Olympus Pro Advantage program as well as the one for Lumix shooters but currently there is no free membership option, so I’ll have to pass on it for now.

For those of you who’ve been asking, the good news is that glamour photograph is not all that difficult and doesn’t require lots of expensive equipment: All you need is a camera, mirrorless or DSLR, and a subject. Heck, you might be able to shoot glamour with a superzoom. Once upon a time, Nikon sent me a Coolpix P1000 to review for Shutterbug and if you poke around their website you can find my review of this camera.

Although you can shoot glamour photographs with available light, there isn’t always enough light available so having some kind of lighting gear can help a new glamour shooter. Two of the three lights that were used to make the photo at above left were a pair of inexpensive LED Rotolight RL48’s.

How I made this shot: Lighting for this glamour-style image of the always wonderful Pam Simpson used the following setup: An AC-powered Rotolight Anova was placed in the center rear of my 11×15-foot home studio and bounced off its 9.5-foot ceiling, acting as a soft fill light. One battery-powered Rotolight RL48 light was placed at camera left while a second RL48 with a magenta filter was directly behind Pam. Background is a Savage Infinity black vinyl backdrop suspended by my forever falling-apart JTL background stands.

The image was shot with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 and Olympus’ Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 lens with an exposure of 1/50 sec at f/2 and ISO 800. It was retouched in Photoshop and enhanced using the Vivenza and Color Efex Pro plug-ins.

My book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography with new copies available from Amazon for $22.39, as I write this. Used copies start for the bargain price around nine bucks, which seems like a hard-to-beat price for this useful and practical book. The Kindle version is $19.99 for those preferring a  digital format.