How I Approach a Glamour Session, Part 2

“The whole series is black-and-white, so when I went to shoot one of the women I only had black-and-white film with me. She had reddish hair and was a very pretty girl, a nice girl.”—Helmut Newton

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 pretty, nice and has red hair.

As I have written before, there are two types of models—inner and outer dir-ected. You can read my thou-ghts on the two types of portrait sub-jects here. What I didn’t know when I wrote that original post is that there are 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. The main thing to keep in mind 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.’

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.13.43 AMIf you’re interested in shooting portraits and how I use cameras, lenses and lighting in my in-home studio, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from with, as I write this, new non Prime copies selling for $17.50 (plus shipping,) cheaper than the Prime price.

Author: Joe Farace

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