My basic lens kit for shooting glamour is simple and the specific lens used is determined by whether I’m shopping indoors or outside. One of Farace’s Law’s is that there is never enough space indoors to shoot and I often find myself pressed up against the opposite wall when shooting. This translates into shorter lenses than I might otherwise prefer to use but that doesn’t mean you can’t make great portraits.
The corollary to this dilemma is that there is also never enough light to shoot indoors. OK, you can use speedlights and I occasionally use one for fill, but portraiture, to me anyway, is about soft light and there’s nothing softer than window light. The only problem is that there isn’t always the proper amount available. This translates into using fast lenses. Indoors, I prefer using 85 or 135mm lens but don’t discount the so-called “normal” 50mm lens that may be bundled with your camera. Even a normal lens cheapie can be used to make great shots.
One of my posing tricks is to ask the subjects to hug themselves and watch what happens. As I’ve mentioned before about “shooting though a pose” this was not the first shot that I made of this setup but was number three of the eight in this sequence. The above photograph was made in the north-facing bay window in my (old home’s) kitchen with an exposure of 1/60 sec at f/4.5 and ISO 400 with an EF 28-105mm lens (at 105mm.) 580EX speedlite with a Sto-fen diffuser was used as fill.
Joe is the author of the out-of-print film-based book Part-Time Glamour Photography: Full-Time Income, which you can get for less than five bucks on Amazon and more recently, “Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography,” which is available from your friendly neighborhood camera store or Amazon.