Portraiture blog

The Evolution of Glamour Photography

(image courtesy of Sue Bryce)

The Evolution of Glamour Photography

“Beauty… it’s the light that shines out of people’s eyes when they look at you…
when you hold their gaze, and then everything else falls away… you see their
true self and it’s just staring back at you, and it’s magnificent… and everybody
has it.
– Sue Bryce

Modern glamour photography maestro Sue Bryce speaks beautifully in a video on her website about the beauty that exists in all of us. She speaks poignantly about her experiences as a photographer, where she experiences that moment where she sees a light that shines out of
her subject’s eyes. This light and beauty that she witnesses in her subjects is ordinarily hidden and concealed, but surfaces and breaks through when they are photographed. Today our lives are so busy. So full of things that require our time and attention. Particularly
for women who have to juggle the seemingly never-ending and exhaustive list of tasks to make it from one day to the next. Amongst wrangling the children, school commitments, working and work at home, where, one may ask is the opportunity for these women to feel
special, beautiful and feminine. Trapped inside each one of these busy women is someone beautiful waiting to be revealed and explored.
Right here lies the beauty of glamour photography. That is its power, to bring out and capture that light, that essence and that beauty that lies within all of us. In years gone by, in a golden era glamour photography was the preserve of the rich, powerful and influential, the stars of Hollywood or people who were making a name for themselves in some important sphere of human life. In later decades glamour photography became more risque and perhaps more controversial as it became tied to sex and sexuality. During the 1980’s and 90’s glamour photography died away, lost in a wave of hairspray and shoulder pads. In the process the genre lost much of its elegance and appeal. But this is not glamour photography today. Things have certainly changed.
Today glamour photography has undergone a metamorphosis of sorts thanks to artists like Sue Bryce, Christa Meola, Mario Testino and Lara Jade. It is no longer the preserve of the rich and influential and no longer is it solely connected to sex and sexuality. Owing to its rich
and varied history, (think icons of the genre Ruth Harriet Louise, George Hurrell and Bruno Bernard); glamour photography has many throw backs and connections to its earlier forms but today’s glamour photography is much more than a reproduction of the past.
It’s all so simple – no one believes me … you strike a pose, then you light it.

Then you clown around and get some action in the expressions. Then, you
shoot.
– George Hurrell

Today a glamour photography shoot can represent much more. It represents an opportunity for a woman to move outside her comfort zone, generate self-confidence, celebrate her femininity as well as celebrating her individual beauty. Today this can be achieved through a
tasteful and elegant glamour shoot that takes all the hallmarks of those black and white beauties from a bygone era and presents them with a modern twist and sophistication. Others may opt for a retro-style pin-up photoshoot that borrows from the rich legacy of pin-up models
of the past, while others may choose to do something more sensual and seductive like a modern boudoir photography shoot. Other contemporary artists like Bryce and Liebowitz have brought an artistic approach to the genre, taking the portrait picture and transforming them into works of art and beauty in their own right. Whatever a woman chooses a glamour shoot has the potential to make every woman feel like a star, for every woman to be able let her light and her beauty shine and capture that forever on film.

Modern glamour portraits – a work of art

‘The more I photograph women, the less it is about transformation. Women
are beautiful. All that matters is enhancing that.’
– Mario Testino

In its purest form, in its golden age the glamour photograph relied on the vision and artistry of the early pioneers of the form to capture captivating and enduring images that had a power and beauty all of their own. Their approach to the portraiture, lighting and staging was artistic and innovative; as much about the artistic process as the subject themselves. Over time due to a number of factors this focus on artistry was lost, replaced by the type of imagery that proved more popular, commercial and lucrative. Today artists of the genre like Mario Testino and Sue Bryce are returning to a more contemporary, creative and artistic approach to portraiture, signalling a return to the past whilst simultaneously moving the field forward in leaps and bounds. Testino in particular creates individual pieces of art whose work has
graced everything from glossy magazines, advertisements and billboards to the collections of major museums and galleries. If you have ever flicked through the pages of Vogue or Vanity Fair and been captivated by the striking imagery blending fashion, beauty and modern
glamour you have probably encountered the work of Testino. He is one part of the modern resurgence of glamour photography that calls on all the hallmarks of the past to capture images that are beautiful, striking and timeless. Testino’s iconic Vanity Fair shoot of Princess
Diana shortly before her death in 1997 is testament to the enduring quality of glamour photography to capture a moment in time and preserve it for prosterity’s sake. Bryce’s style centres on the empowerment of women. She uses her art as a vehicle to explore the beauty that lies within all women, this she states is her goal. Her approach to glamour photography is inspired by fashion and couture clothing, and uses these to enhance the natural beauty of her subjects. What Bryce is able to create are individual works of art, pieces that can stand alone as captivating, enduring and glamorous masterpieces all of their own. Her models if you can call them that are those everyday women, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, wives and partners who are transformed through her contemporary brand of
portraiture. This is the reality of much of the glamour industry today, photographers aim to accentuate a woman’s beauty in a classy and sophisticated fashion.
Modern glamour portraiture photography is the closest that most women will get to looking and feeling like the women that they see in the pages of magazines and websites. For the busy mother or career woman the images in these places seems so far removed from their reality and experience, they find it hard to envision themselves looking like that. A glamour photography session today is a wonderful blend of fashion, beauty, and fun. It is fun that is at the heart of good modern glamour photography. It allows any woman to transform themselves
for a day into a model. It allows any woman the chance to embrace her body and her beauty and capture that forever in images.

Boudoir Photography

Cultivating sex appeal and looking great naked is not about crash dieting or Photoshop, but rather is about a woman’s attitude, confidence, playful personality, and feeling good in her own skin.
– Christa Meola

Glamour photography originated in the golden years of Hollywood as a byproduct of the publication machines of the major commercial studios as they looked to market their major commodities, their stars – the actors and actresses that would define the era. Over time
portrait artists would seeks to create idols of their subjects; living, breathing embodiments of style, elegance, beauty and glamour. Over time as the glamour photography grew and adapted to society’s expectations and appetites a new and exciting photographic style
emerged as an offshoot of glamour; boudoir photography.
A modern boudoir photography shoot is a blend of intimate, romantic and sexy where any woman can transform herself into a desirable lingerie model. One of the major differences of the boudoir style is that the women who commission these images are normally far removed from lives of glitz and glamour. They are mothers, daughters, grandmothers. They are the working women who want to experience and capture their own sensuality. For many women this is a private expression of their own femininity, captured for themselves or given as intimate gifts to a partner. One of the modern glamour photographic maestros specialising in boudoir photography is Christa Meola and she describes a modern boudoir shoot as being about ‘transformation’. She goes on to explain, that a boudoir shoot is ‘for each woman to recognise her individual beauty, provide an opportunity for her to break through her comfort zone, honor her body, and celebrate femininity.’

Lingerie is my next love after clothing; I think it is what is worn underneath
that really inspires a woman to feel beautiful in her clothes – that inner, secret
glamour.
-Alice Temperley

Boudoir photography gets its name for the French word for bedroom and here in lies the allure of boudoir photography, it takes the sensual, intimate elements of the bedroom that normally remain behind closed doors and captures them on film. A modern boudoir
photoshoot will capture intimate and romantic images of the subject in a tasteful and classy way, it is reliant more on suggestive intimacy rather than the overt or obvious. Where erotic imagery generally involves nudity, boudoir photography typically involves lingerie and implied nudity. As the model is typically also the person commissioning the portraits they are only ever exposed to the degree that they feel comfortable. They are able to guide the process and be dictated by their own limits and boundaries. This type of photoshoot revolves around fantasy making for the person or people sitting and then later for the person viewing these intimate images. These final images are often kept for personal use or given as a beautiful and timeless gift to a loved one. The gift in turn gives the sitter the ability to know and
recognise her own beauty, to celebrate her body, her spirit and her femininity.

The History of Glamour Photography

The History of Glamour Photography

Greta Garbo hollywood glamour

(Greta Garbo, photo by Ruth Harriet Louise)

A young Greta Garbo lays effortlessly within the frame. Her legs are angled to a point and her body twists and curves slightly upwards at the hip. Her dress fits her frame perfectly leaving a trail of feathers and beads. She looks directly at the camera. Her arms are outstretched beckoning the viewer to look closer. Look a little longer. She is all that appears. The white of her limbs shot in stark contrast against the completely black background. She is beautiful. She is alluring. She is glamorous.

There is something special about these images. The images that speak of the Golden-age of Hollywood. They are black and white, but are vivid in a way that other photography is not. What they lack in digital quality and resolution they make up for in their almost universal appeal and the story that they tell. They speak a language of memory, they induce waves of nostalgia. Their power lies in their ability to conjure images of times gone by, they are immediately both alive and timeless.

 

When you close your eyes and think of Hollywood glamour or the Golden Age of Cinema perhaps your mind wanders to the iconic images of femme fatales and sirens, Garbo, Davies, Hepburn or Crawford. Perhaps you think of those
handsome leads, Keaton, Bogart or Gable.

 

Wherever the mind wanders it remembers in black and white. It calls on the collective body of work that we refer to as early glamour photography. Your memory whether conscious of the connection or not almost certainly draws on the extensive bodies of work of two of the early pioneers of glamour photography, Americans Ruth Harriet Louise and George Hurrell.

 

These two loom large as the preeminent artists of the 1920s and 30s whose images and iconography are synonymous with Hollywood and glamour. The multi million dollar modern glamour industry owes a great debt to these two artists, whose work helped to forge a path forward, to establish and legitimise the glamour photography industry.

The Early Pioneers of Glamour Photography

 

Both Ruth Harriet Louise and George Hurrell arrived in Hollywood in the same year, 1925. This was a pivotal time in the Golden-age of cinema. The first ‘talkie’, a full sound film, ‘The Jazz Singer’ (1927) was just around the corner and this advancement along with the improvement in production equipment meant that the movie landscape was about to explode and ultimately change forever.

 

MGM ( Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) famously advertised that it was the studio with ‘more stars than there are in heaven’. These stars were larger than life figures who represented an escape from the harsh realities of life in the Depression Era into the world of glitz and glamour that was Hollywood.

 

It was Hurrell and Louise’s photographs and portraits that captured this glamourous other world and it was their images that were circulated to millions of moviegoers, magazine and newspaper readers, around the world each year.

 

Ruth Harriet Louise

Ruth Harriet Louise

(Ruth Harriet Louise, Self portrait)

Movies, before the introduction of the video recorder and later the DVD and now the digital content stored in the cloud were typically seen by a member of the public only once or twice. The film’s stars lingered long in the memories of moviegoers thanks to the still shots, portraits and promotional material that accompanied a film and not solely through the fleeting images people saw on the screen.
Over the course of her short career at MGM from 1925 to 1929, Louise captured an incredible 100,000 stock images. The vast majority of her images were shot and used in the direct promotion of the studio’s films during this period but it would be unfair to treat them as secondary to the film, they were integral and critical to the movies’ success.

 

Hollywood glamour portrait

(Greta Garbo by Ruth Harriet Louise)

 

The promotion of movies during this period fell almost directly to artists like Ruth Harriet Louise. The cult of celebrity, after all, started at this time through the portrait photograph. These images were then transformed into promotional posters and imagery that filled theatre lobbies, pages in magazines and newspapers and promotional material sent out across the world.

 

Fans would plaster these images across bedroom walls and fill scrapbooks full of images of their favourite celebrities. Without the iconic photographs of Ruth Harriet Louise we would be without the foundation and cornerstones of what we associate with Hollywood, style, fashion and glamour.
For most of us, we would probably have encountered Louise’s work, if at all, through reproductions. She was the photographer to the best known 1920’s film stars like Joan Crawford, Buster Keaton, Norma Shearer and Greta Garbo. These iconic faces featured in Hollywood histories and celebrity biographies that defined an era were shot for the most part by Ruth Harriet Louise.

 

Her natural style was typified by painstaking framing and composition of her subject as well as the ethereal and angelic qualities she captured within her female stars. She creatively played with lighting and shadow to reveal a depth of character and to enhance the beauty and allure of the stars she captured. Her photography oozed an elegance and sophistication that adds to the timeless nature of her work.

 

Vintage glamour portrait

(Joan Crawford by Ruth Harriet Louise)

 

Louise’s work was pivotal in shaping MGM into the most important studio in Hollywood. MGM’s success was due to the fact that they had the most powerful publicity machine in the film industry and Louise’s images and iconography were what fed that machine. Her photographs bear witness to the early ages of celebrity when a single photograph was everything and a star’s career could be made, or broken, by a single picture.

 

George Hurrell

George Hurrell glamour photographer

(George Hurrell)

At the same time that Ruth Harriet Louise was working shooting Hollywood’s elite another artist was making a name for himself. George Hurrell diverged from the cool elegance of Louise’s style and began to forge his own romantic and glamourous portraits that would become his own trademark style, the ‘Hurrell style’ of glamour photography.

 

Hurrell’s unique style of portraiture marked a departure from the type of imagery from those who came before him.
Hurrell is recognised as establishing the gold standard for the idealised Hollywood glamour portrait. Many of the trademarks of the ‘Hurrell style’ are the foundations and guiding principles that modern glamour relies upon to this day. His work forms the bedrock of what the average person associates with the term glamour photography andhis legacy lives on in this way long after his death.

 

For example, Hurrell was responsible for making the close-up an inextricable and defining component of glamour photography. Hurrell also introduced a bold and exciting new look to the genre, immediately sexier and more seductive. He used a mixture of clear focus, shadow, contrast and seductive and languorous poses to catapult the Hollywood glamour portrait into the hearts and minds of the average person.

Hollywoood glamour portrait

(Joan Crawford by George Hurrell)

 

His style was also innovative in his use and application of lighting. He invented the boom light and made precision lighting, spotlights and heavy shadow his signature. Hurrell sculpted his subjects’ faces with light and shadow, using an easily movable boom light that he modeled on a boom microphone, to illuminate cheekbones and create shadows under the eyes and nose. This shadowing and soft lighting added a sense of intimacy and intrigue that was not typically seen in Hollywood glamour photography prior.

 

Hollywood glamour

(Jane Russell by George Hurrell)

Most significantly Hurrell was able to reshape and redefine what it meant to be glamorous. He achieved this by turning his subjects into idealised versions of humanity, the living embodiments of glamour. His subjects, the stars of Hollywood became more remote and untouchable, idols to be adored and worshipped. His images have the type of seductive power and allure that have come to define glamour photography today.

The Vision of Hurrell and Louise

 

The true artistry of Ruth Harriet Louise and George Hurrell can be found in their eye for composition. Both of these artists took the photograph and elevated it beyond the ordinary or mundane. They were able to make photography beautiful and alluring and above all else they were able to create glamour through their lense. Both artists were able to showcase the inherent beauty of their subjects and allowed this to shine off the page.

 

In the process the two simultaneously helped to create and shape society’s expectations of beauty, fashion, glamour and prestige. This is the true genius of their vision.

 

Also significant is the understanding that Hurrell and Louise had of their unique place in time and history. The two artists were uniquely placed at a time where America entered into the dark hours of the Great Depression. At a time where unemployment skyrocketed and people were losing their homes and a general sense of dread and fear for the future clouded people’s day to day lives Hollywood shone brightly as a beacon of hope, and prosperity.

 

Hurrell and Louise as well as the studios and clients that they worked for understood the need for the average American to escape the grim reality of their circumstances, even if only fleetingly. Hurrell and Louise understood the power that they held and the ability that they had to create idealised visions of humanity that would speak of better times ahead. Through the lens they were able to create an image of America that spoke of prosperity, prestige and glamour in a time where the reality differed greatly.

 

Former United States President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt summed up this sentiment when he said, “During the Depression, when the spirit of the people is lower than at any other time, it is a splendid thing that for just 15 cents an
American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles.”

 

It was the photography of Hurrell and Louise that helped to commodify this important brand of escapism, packaging stars as idols and symbols of hope in a brighter and better tomorrow.

Innocence Lost

 

The Golden Age of cinema of the 1920s and 1930s that bore the type of glamour photography synonymous with Louise and Hurrell gave way to a more liberal and sexualised form of glamour photography in the 1940s. Publishers of glamour photography were forced to meet the growing demand of their audience for increasingly seductive and provocative images, far removed from the relative innocence of the decades prior.

 

The associations with seduction and sexuality forged in this era have also endured and form yet another cornerstone of modern glamour photography today. Models like Bettie Page and Rita Hayworth helped to ease attitudes towards nudity and sex as glamour photography became increasingly risqué and overtly sexual.

 

Pin up glamour

(Bettie Page by Irving Klaw)

 

This new form of liberated glamour photography now focused largely on the female body as a source of attraction and temptation and was immediately more mischievous and playful. This progression away from innocence was marked from Louise to Hurrell and then into the type of glamour photography produced in the 1940s.

 

One of the chief artists working throughout the 1940s and 1950s was Bruno Bernard who moved glamour photography forward immortalising the ‘pin-up’ style of photography that is still popular today.

 

A German born photographer who moved to California in 1937 Bernard was able to open his own successful studio on Sunset Boulevard. This marked a major departure from the days of earlier photographers who were employed solely by the major Hollywood studios enabling both the photographer and the celebrity to gain greater control of the types of images they were creating.

 

Amongst his clientele were the likes of Clark Gable, Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe.

 

Bruno Bernard who became known simply as Bernard of Hollywood’s biggest successes came with his connection with a young Hollywood hopeful named Norma Jean. It was his initial photographs that catapulted the young girl who would later become Marilyn Monroe into the spotlight and national consciousness. He shot Marilyn in candid poses even capturing one of her first nude shoots that emphasised her femininity and heightened her beauty and sex appeal.

Marylin Monroe

(Marilyn Monroe by Bruno Bernard)

Today Bernard is remembered as the man who mastered the art of pin-up photography and has left a lasting legacy on the glamour photography industry. Aspects of his defining style have become synonymous with the glamour shot and have become part of the fabric of the genre.

 

He is attributed with being the pioneer of the portrait style, ‘the posed candid’. Here Bernard would film the subject in more casual, everyday settings aimed at capturing a moment rather than creating one. He was on the set of ‘The Seven Year Itch’ in 1955 to catch the iconic candid ‘flying dress’ shot that defines Hollywood and glamour.

 

Another feature of his style that stems from his directorial approach to photography evident in this shot is the ‘elongated leg.’ Bernard himself wrote in his diary that, ‘ photographers can create a similar illusion by elongating the legs from a low perspective, but not so low as to distort the proportions of the head too much,’ which demonstrates the exacting precision and skill he exercised in creating the perfect shot. The elongated leg, wrapped in a beautiful heel that seems to stretch on and on is one of the hallmarks of Bernard’s style of glamour photography that has endured and continues to be a major part of glamour photography today.

Monroe by Bruno Bernard

(Marilyn Monroe by Bruno Bernard)

Both ‘the posed candid’ and the ‘elongated leg’ are indelible marks of Bernard’s on the glamour photography industry.

 

Glamour Photography Today

Glamour photography as a term and as a style of photography is hard to pin down and define easily. It is because the genre is one with a deep historical and cultural legacy with a rich and diverse tapestry of images and iconography woven into it through generations and decades of images in this style.

 

It is simultaneously beautiful and alluring, sexy and provocative, fascinating and captivating and elegant and glamorous all at once. The fact that it can be all these things is a testament to the rich history of the genre and the early pioneers of the form. The fact that the glamour portrait is still as popular today as ever is testament to its enduring qualities. The glamour photograph is important today in recognising individual beauty and ultimately celebrating femininity.

 

Today glamour photography is the domain of a vast cross section of society and its uses range considerably from high end fashion labels, advertising companies, glossy magazines to the regular woman who might produce boudoir portraits for personal use and private enjoyment.

 

Boudoir photography as an offshoot of traditional glamour photography is one way that the form has evolved over time. The boudoir shoot also celebrates the feminine mystique, highlighting the beauty and allure of women’s bodies using many of the tried and tested methods of glamour photography throughout the decades.

 

Today modern glamour photography and boudoir photography is about creating a fantasy. It calls on the iconic imagery and power of the stars who sat in front of the camera beforehand, it evokes a sense of elegance, sophistication, beauty and glamour that lies in the associations with the past.

 

Today for a brief moment, a fleeting instance, any woman can become a glamour model, in front of the camera, creating her own piece of magic.
As for those early years of glamour photography – the years of Ruth Harriet Louise, George Hurrell and Bruno Bernard – their legacy lives on. This is in evidence in the retro glamour shoots still in proliferation today, the popularity of the pin-up style and in the modern divas, the Dita Von Teese’s of the world.
Without the iconic work of these and other early pioneers in the genre who knows what our definitions of
beauty, elegance and glamour would be today.

 

$95 CONTEMPORARY GLAMOUR PORTRAIT SPECIAL

glamour photography special

 

Glamour portraits Perth

Which one is your favourite?

Here are five before/afters we have picked for you to choose from (we shot a lot of young women recently). Comment below with the name of your favourite one. All participants will also be rewarded with a gift voucher that entitles them to a free glamour makeover and a two hour fully guided photoshoot in our heritage listed studio in Midland. Just send us an e-mail to admin@mikebeltrametti.com.au or fill out the contact form and the voucher will be on its way. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Anna

Anna is a Polish born Relationship and Contract officer by profession. She has also been acting as a supporting actress in student films, music videos as well as a web series and a charity advert since 2009. Anna gained a series of speaking roles in local independent films too. Doesn’t she look like an actress?

Glamour portraits Perth

Blainy

Blainy is a young Australian woman with roots in Zimbabwe. She is studying to be a nurse. Love how her makeup matches the blue of the traditional dress and her purple hair!

Jay

Jay is a lovely, gorgeous woman and a mother of a beautiful model who happens to be a math genius. She also has a son. Both her children are neuroatypical and very creative. Sorry for the blurry before shot (courtesy of Jay).

Glamour photography Perth WA

Valerii

We photographed Valerii on a number of occasions. She is an artistic person with many talents amongst which are cooking, baking and painting. She has an eye for detail and decided to do her own makeup for this outdoor glamour shoot.

Glamour photography Perth

Rayana

Rayana is from Sudan and wants to become a model. We had a great time photographing for her modeling portfolio and got some awesome photos of this Nubian princess.

11 memorable events in your life you will wish you captured in photographs

Professional photography is not just for your wedding day. Here is my list of eleven events in your life you will wish you captured in photographs. 

1. You in the flush of youth 

“Oh, sweet youth, how soon it fades! Sweet joys of youth, how fleeting” (Thomas Moore).

Youth is beautiful but very brief and capturing that beauty professionally is something every woman wishes she had done. Those mobile phone pictures just don’t do women justice.

I understand that few young adults can afford a professional photoshoot on their own so sharing a shoot with mum or with a couple of friends can bring the cost down. You can always ask for a deal.

The flush of youth is an ephemeral time in our lives and should definitely be captured in nice photographs before the worries of adult life leave their permanent mark on the face. This is my number one life event that must be photographed and preserved forever.

2. Those first months of your budding love

Falling in love is the most exciting thing that can happen to us! That incredible feeling of loving and being loved, especially the first couple of months when you are still swooning, is definitely worth capturing. Those adoring gazes is something we all wish we could have caught in photos even if it is just to remind him or her how much you once worshiped each other.

We can all dream of keeping that kind of love for our whole life! Surprise your love with a photoshoot. There is no better way to keep your relationship strong than by being fresh. Keep surprising each other!

3. Your engagement

Engagement photography is something many miss out on in favour of a wedding photographer. It is less formal but just as beautiful. Going out into nature and doing a beautiful shoot on the beach or amongst the trees or at a garden or any other place you love to hang out together really lets photographers create timeless images of your young love. Professional pics of him on his knees or however he pops the greatest question of all, is priceless. Use these photos to make the announce to your family and friends.

4. Your pregnancy

Women never look as full and flushed and gorgeous as when they are creating Life! Those beautiful artsy maternity shots you so love are totally doable even if you do not feel beautiful yourself. My wife brought three children into this world and I know about the discomforts women experience during their pregnancy.

Trust me years down the track you will be happy that you captured this precious time in your life and be grateful for the lovely photos you have.

5. The first month with your newborn

Those first weeks of being with the newborn are perfect for capturing amazing baby photos.

Newborns are mostly sleeping and let photographers pose them and dress them in cute clothes all whilst looking extremely serene. These photos will always put a smile on your face and warm your heart! So don’t forget to book a photoshoot for the first month of your baby’s life.

6. Your young family

Time flies for us all and it is by how fast our kids sprout that we realise how fleeting life is and how precious and short our time together. Don’t regret not booking a professional photoshoot with your family to capture your quirkiness or to do a lifestyle shoot and tie you all together in your uniqueness.

7. Before they fly the nest (your teens)

They want to be hanging out with us less and less as they enter into young adulthood. They have their own thing going on now and we cease to be cool. We may even be fighting with them a bit more nowadays but having one thing that we can do together to create a lasting memory is something they and us will never forget.

A photoshoot is a beautiful way to bond with your daughter at least. Boys are mostly lukewarm about photoshoots but a mother daughter shoot is a perfect way to show your love and acknowledge her budding womanhood. Of course if you can still compel your teens to join the whole family in a photoshoot you will not have to wait too many years before you look on them with tears in your eyes.

8. Your 50 and fabulous

“Happily there exists more than one kind of beauty. There is the beauty of infancy, the beauty of youth; the beauty of maturity, and, believe me, ladies and gentlemen, the beauty of age”. (George Augustus Henry Sala)

Women always do a photoshoot either as young girls or as young women but what about as mature women? They still have so much beauty plus more confidence, wisdom and understanding than ever. This is the time to do the 50 and fabulous shoot and rediscover just how beautiful you still are. Too many forget that fact amongst the raising of family, running of relationships and business as they steer the ship through the storms of life.

It’s time to remember yourself! Pamper yourself with a beautifully tailored photoshoot that will prove to you there are still a lot of great times ahead!

9. You with grandchildren

Kids and babies are such a joy, especially if you can give them back! Seeing the next generation come along and knowing you are in them, your eyes, mouth or even mannerisms makes you fall in love with the little rascals.

Having photos with your grandparents is something we all need. I loved my grandparents and I wish I had photos with them to go with the memories and the stories about them I hear at family gatherings. My nonno was a real character and I loved him dearly yet no photo of me and him exists anywhere. Don’t let that happen to you.

10. Reinventing yourself

Having to start over again can be daunting, even scary. Doing it in style gives you the confidence to step out into the world anew and own it. Be it a break up, a crisis, a new beginning of any kind really, if you are unhappy where you were then a fresh start can work wonders for your morale. Go find that new dress, get your makeup done, style your hair, capture it in beautiful photos and hang them on your wall to remind yourself every day that you are fabulous and that you deserve to be happy.

11. Possessions (for men or women)

When you slave and save for years to buy yourself that dream car, boat or motorbike then you should organise a professional to take those slick high-key shots of you with your dream-machine.

A photo of you squatting next to your Harley-Davidson, lit up with two Profoto flashes to overpower the sun, looks absolutely magnificent! Or your polished beast with a model leaning up against it, good enough for a calendar!  Capture your pride and joy and put it on your wall.

Conclusion

There are many moments in life that are worth photographing. People use mobile phones to capture the first steps of their child, their good times with friends, birthday parties etc. But some life events need to be taken to the next level and photographed by a professional.

Did any events described above resonate with you? What would be your top 3 events to be professionally captured?

 

Fears that stop women from booking a photoshoot

Top 5 fears of photoshoots

Let’s face it, women are very hard on themselves when it comes to their appearance, no matter what their age is. I know as I’m hard on myself too.  I don’t like the bags under my eyes due to lack of sleep, the acne scars on my cheeks an inheritance from my teenage years, and the appearing wrinkles on my face (I’m 32 by the way).

We all have something we are not happy about, right? For some women it’s easier to accept the changes in their body for others it’s not. But even though I’m not happy with the certain aspects of myself I still like being photographed under controlled lighting conditions.

I made a deal with my husband Mike. Every year on my birthday he is going to photograph me in the studio. That way we can capture the changes in my appearance throughout the years. 🙂 It will be interesting to go through those photos when we are old.

We photograph a lot of women and all of them have some insecurities. I’ve prepared a list of the top five reasons why women avoid professional photographers or cameras all together and how we help them overcome their barriers.

 The most common fears of photoshoots are:

  1. “I’m not photogenic”. We hear this a lot. When you show women nice photos of other women their first reaction is “Beautiful but I will never look like that!”

    My answer to this is; there is no such thing as being unphotogenic. Anyone can look amazing under the right circumstances. And those specific conditions are totally under the control of the photographer and his team -the makeup artist, the hair stylist and the photography assistant who happens to be me. I’m also the in-house stylist who will be guiding you on all the relevant issues before the shoot.

    Being photogenic is something that can be manufactured and it starts with the right wardrobe. No matter how uncouth or stylish you are in real life, when it comes to photography certain things need to be taken into consideration. For instance, plain colors look best in photos. Body hugging garments enhance the S-curve of the female form and work beautifully on skinny and curvy ladies. These are the things I will talk to you about and we will discuss during the initial in person consultation.

    The great wardrobe needs to be complemented by beautiful hair and makeup. We have a makeup guide in the studio for you to choose from but hair is probably the most important part of the equation. Great hair makes any woman look glamorous even with simple makeup.

    The final part of making you look your best (and definitely photogenic) happens during the shoot. Mike uses posing and lighting techniques (some of which I discuss in the next sections) to bring out the best in each woman. The relaxed atmosphere of our little heritage listed studio will put you at ease. And when you are relaxed you connect a lot better with the photographer, that connection is vital and makes for a great photograph.

  2. “I need to lose weight” is another common reason why women don’t want to be photographed. With the right posing, lighting and a bit of post editing curvy women look great on photos too.

    I’m going to shed some light on the tricks we use to slim curvy women on photos.

    One of the things we do is pose bigger women on a 45-90 degree angle to the camera. That technique alone slims down the body straight away. Also leaning women with their upper body towards the camera and dropping the front shoulder down changes the perspective and evens the proportions. In camera the parts of the body that are further away seem smaller.

    Photographing plus sized women at or above eye level and having them tilt the head slightly downward slims their jaw line and, at the same time, the eyes appear bigger.

    Using body hugging clothes (as mentioned above) is important for bigger women too as we want to enhance those gorgeous curves or put them in perspective.

    Props are also a great way to cover some parts of the body that you want to hide. We can use shawls, scarves, hats, jewelry and other things you might have a liking for.

    And of course we use crops and some slight editing after the shoot to enhance certain things that we couldn’t fix with the techniques described above.

    Here is the link to a good article that I found  – “10 steps to posing curvy women – no Photoshop required”. If you are like me and understand the concepts better visually you will enjoy reading this article as it has a few photos illustrating the techniques that we use. You can try these while photographing your family or friends or even on yourself.

  3. “I’m camera shy” or “I get stage fright”. It’s normal for everyone to feel that way but as soon as the camera starts clicking the fear washes away.

    We see it all the time. There is always some tension on women’s faces when the shoot begins and by the time the session is over the women are all at ease and relaxed. That is the reason why Mike picks the best photos from the session starting from the end of the shoot. This is where the best shots are!

    To make you feel more comfortable we offer champagne to relax your nerves and music of your choice to listen to during your photoshoot session. We also chat with you and have a few laughs. So don’t stress, you are not alone!

  4. “I don’t have adequate wardrobe”. If you are worried about your wardrobe, borrow some clothes from your friends, hire, buy or have it tailor made depending on your budget.

    The thing is you do not need an elaborate wardrobe to do a photoshoot. Simple garments that look great on you will work a treat. Of course if you are tired of your old clothes and would like something new (I know how much women enjoy new outfits) then start looking around. Ask your friends if you could borrow some nice clothes from them, hire from a few shops in Perth (just google “clothes hire places in Perth” and a few companies will come up), buy in-store or online or, if you are very particular about what you want, have your garment tailor made.

    If you want to find some classics or some retro items don’t forget to check out second-hand stores . You’ll be surprised to know how many photographers find clothes at second-hand stores like Salvos for their projects.

  5.  “It is out of my price range”. If money is your concern we have a couple of solutions for you.

    The first one is to pay the photos off over a period of a few months. We all find the money for what we really want. I’ve spent years paying off things I could not really afford but just had to have.

    The second option is to book a mini session that lasts 30 minutes. We have set dates and locations when on the same day between 10 and 12 clients come with their hair and makeup done and each shoots for 30 minutes with one change of clothes. For $350 you get six professionally retouched photos on a USB. This is the only time (at this stage) that we offer digital files on their own for sale. To learn more just contact Mike on 0401 849 596, send us an e-mail to admin@mikebeltrametti.com.au or fill out this contact form.

Hope this article helped you in some way. If you fear something that I haven’t mentioned here please let me know by commenting below. I would like to know your thoughts!

Photoshoot sessions for curvy girls!

Photoshoot sessions for curvy girls

Photoshoot sessions for curvy girls!

Curvy ladies stop hiding from the camera! Come and do a photoshoot with us, you have nothing to loose. If you are conscious about your body size or shape do NOT worry.

During our private pre-shoot consultation we will discuss your worries (and address them), how and where you would like to be photographed, what to wear and other things that will ensure a successful outcome of the photoshoot.

We take it seriously. You are the centre of our focus and our aim is to make you feel and look the best. During the photoshoot session we use posing and lighting techniques that are flattering to women of all ages, shapes and sizes. You will love the photos of yourself!

Still worried? Rest assured our service comes with a satisfaction guarantee! If for some reason you are not happy with the results we will re-shoot for free or give you your money back. Seriously, there is nothing to loose! Make a day out of it! Bring a friend!

Come and enjoy the music of your choice, drinks, nibbles, professional makeover and a friendly chat with our team members followed by the fully guided photoshoot session in a relaxed atmosphere.

If you would like to learn more about the process visit our glamour page.

We also have some specials on. If you are interested in a glamour or boudoir shoot we can offer a full makeover, photoshoot and one of your favourite prints (8×12″ size) for $95 with no obligation to purchase any extra photos. More details are here.

Special offer

“Be confident in the skin you are in, because that is the only body you will ever have, the only place that will ever be solely yours. Even if you will never be as skinny as those super models, or the beauty who makes everyone stare, you can be beautiful in your own way. And you have to accept that, and own it.” (Deejae Harper)