Taking Glamour Shots: Photography Tips & Techniques

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Glamour shots photography involves shooting pictures in a tasteful, yet erotically suggestive pose. Many people, such as models, actors and woman wanting to surprise their partner, choose to have these shots done by a professional photographer, however with an ordinary camera and a willingness to learn, you can take these shots yourself or for a friend.


When you shoot a glamour shot photograph, keep your options open as to the model’s appearance. Hire a hair and make up assistant or if it is not in the budget, consider requesting an intern’s assistance from a beauty school in exchange for glamour shot photographs for her portfolio. Inform your client to arrive at the shooting location with clean hair and no make-up on her face.

Review the top fashion photography blogs and magazines to get hair and makeup ideas. Show these pictures to the the stylist and direct her to begin with an upswept hair style with definitive and elaborate make up. As the model starts to relax, have the assistant soften and smudge the eye makeup and apply a neutral color to the lips, with a tint of red. Continue shooting photographs as you pose the model and freshen nakeup and hair.


For an outdoor glamour shot, photograph in the early morning light to capture a surreal glow. Allow the morning rays to capture the tones of your subject in a soft flattering light as the sun awakens. Or, capture the brilliant hues of colors as the sun sets. Keep shooting as the sun sets to capture the last rays of the sun on her face while her body fades into a silhouette.

Glamour shot photography in studio lighting requires soft hallogen bulbs rather than the harsh glare of overhead florescent or regular light bulbs. Bounce the light off the sides of the face and body, rather than right into her face. This should prevent harsh planes across the face and squinting. Consider using diffusers over the flash. Set the flash to fill in shadows and incorporate alternate light sources, such as the sun, lights from windows and candle light.


Special equipment is not necessary for glamour shot photography, although if possible, choose a digital camera that shoots in “raw, ” as it allows for a more in-depth editing option. Another camera feature that works well is one that allows multiple shots with one snap of the button. This gives you several pictures of more candid shots while the model is setting and releasing her pose, which sometimes creates the best shot.

Charge all equipment fully before the shoot. Prepare your camera bag with additional batteries, lighting options and a tripod.


Incorporate props into your glamour photo shoot. Give the model a hat to play with and a mirror. A large ball for her to sit on, lean over, place in the air over her head. Have the model place a candy cane by her mouth for a Christmas shot. Use a fan to bring out her eyes as she places it to cover a portion of her face or accent her nails as she waves the fan. Give her a shawl to cover her head, blow in the wind over her head like a flag or angle across her body. Give her a flower to smell, hold in her hand or place behind her ear. A chair to lean against, sit in, place on leg on top of or straddle backwards and lean her face on the back. Use props to create different moods in glamour shot photography shoot.


Come prepared with a set of poses as the model looks to you for the initial inspiration. A classic pose is the hand resting on the chin with her eyes gazing just off to the center of the camera. Another classic glamour shot photo is the model with her legs crossed in a chair, with her body twisted toward you at a 45 degree angle. Select a reclining pose on her side with a draped cloth over her hips, or half turned toward you resting her head on a a pillow.

Shoot Vertically

Remember the model is the main focus of your picture. Force the viewers’ eye to focus on her as you remove distractions for the glamour shot. Photography shot vertically accomplishes this as it draws the eye into the picture and allows you to focus the eye on the model. It minimizes the background as there is no space surrounding the model to hold trees, other people or moving objects.

Take the Picture

Vary the shooting angles for glamour shot photography. Keep the model in focus and forefront at all times. Move around her as you direct her to arch her back to accent her breasts and minimize her stomach; turn her head slightly to memorialize the curve of her neck and bring out a different eye pose or twist her body to create curves. Shoot above the model and have her head tilt up and forward to minimize a double chin and emphasize her breasts, tuck her head to her skin and look up to open and focus on her eyes or pull lose facial skin taut. Stop occasionally and review your pictures with the client to determine the poses she prefers and discover any camera problems.