Photographing a Femme Fatale

A femme fatale is a character in film noir and is typically a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. The phrase is French for “fatal woman.” A femme fatale tries to achieve her hidden purpose by using feminine wiles such as beauty, charm and sexual allure, having power over men.

femme1Black and white is a wonderful media for making portraits because the lack of color simplifies the image, causing you to focus on the true subject of the photograph instead of their clothing or surroundings.

As I mentioned in my book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography, I didn’t start out as a people photographer. I originally photographed products and architecture but because of scheduling and availability I’d occasionally make a business portrait or headshot—but people were really Mary’s game. When she took an extended sabbatical from studio operations, things changed and I started making and enjoying making portraits.

fatale2I photographed Ashley Rae using only window light using  a Canon EOS 60D and EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (at 105mm) with an exposure of 1/200 sec at f/5 and ISO 400.

Back in the not-so-old days the only way to make a black and white photograph was by shooting with black and white film. Now you can have it both ways: Most digital cameras give you a choice of shooting color or black and white—even at the same time—or you can capture a color image and convert it later to monochrome using some of the basic methods available in Photoshop and other imaging tools. But sometimes you just need more power and that’s when it’s time to put down the manual tools and pick up a power tool like Silver Efex Pro

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.04.28 AMMy book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography is available from your friendly neighborhood book or camera store as well as at Amazon at very nice prices.

Author: Joe Farace

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