Glamour Photography…It's so much more then a pretty face. The misunderstood genre.
When I do an online search for glamour images, so many of the photos I see are what I would describe as lingerie-glamour, sexy-glamour or boudoir. This is in no way wrong. But I do worry that only these images will be associated with the words glamour photography or glamour photographs.
I prefer the historical definition of glamour (see this youTube video link which I also listed in my Part 1 blog on this subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhHePLaMP_k ) that is described in the cited video. This defines glamour as a condition or state of mind, in which anything having grace, mystery and is transcendent of the everyday, qualifies as glamour or is considered glamorous.
Using this definition of glamour photography is applicable to images in a multitude of subjects. It's not just about a pretty face. Lets explore the creation of a glamour photograph in its more pure state of the definition. A well-crafted glamour image, regardless of the subject, will have been carfully planned, meticulously photographed and artfuly post processed to create the glamour. In the days of camera film, what we call post-processing today was done by hand, utilizing specialized skills and techniques both in the darkroom and retouching the final print afterward. Today we also do the same kind of work by hand, but use a high-grade computer with specialized softwear, a graphic pen tablet and viewed on a precisely color-calibrated monitor.
The Power to be Transformative.
As mentioned, glamour has the power to be transformative--to allow the viewer to escape the everyday. It is the idealization, glorification, and dramatization of a subject, concept or scene that is the cornerstone to glamour and of glamour photography.
As a glamour photographer I desire to capture the world's glamour where I find it or can create it. When photographing a woman, I strive to create an image that allows her to love herself. The photograph should transcend her everyday and idealize, glorify and dramatize her beauty. I believe every woman deserves to be photographed in this glamorous fashion.
Everyday I view beautiful works of photographic art online; gorgeous images with lots of feeling that are classified as glamour. But often I feel they are not examples of glamour as I have described it here, despite the beauty of the photograph. I feel that there is a prevailing oversimplification of what glamour photography is, and it is associated in the minds of many viewers as only the boudoir or sexy style of photography of young women.
It is my hope to advocate successfully for a broader view of what is the definition of glamour photography--one that holds the classical definition as the primary understanding of what it could be.
In my next part I will break down how I have attempted to classify the many possible subcategories of glamour photography.
Richard von Trapp is a Texas glamour and boudoir photographer who uses the classical definition of glamour to see the world that he photographs.