When I do an online search for glamour images, so many of the photos I see are what I would describe as sexy-glamour, lingerie-glamour or boudoir. This is in no way wrong. But I do worry that only these kinds of images will be associated with the words glamour photography or glamour photographs since it is all too narrow of a perception, and too limiting of an understanding.
I prefer the more 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 ) which leads to a more elegant description as described in the video cited . This defines glamour as a condition or state of mind, in which anything having grace, mystery and is transcendent of the everyday is considered to have glamour or be glamorous.
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.
Hollywood Style Glamour Photograph by Von Trapp Photography | Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio Boudoir-Glamour-PinupI created this in the film noir style, this glamorous photo of Broadway Ballroom, presented by the Ruby Princess Dancers, captures the mystery and grace of the cabaret scene.
Many different kinds of subjects can be photographed in a way as to qualify them as glamour photographs. In fact we often see examples of this in poplar magazines. The next travel, fashion, or leisure magazine you look at, notice how many images are used that have grace and mystery, and this is a short list of where one can see examples of glamour photography.
Engagement Glamour shoot photographed on the stage of the Aztec Theater in San Antonio Texas.
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.
Glamour and Romance captured in this engagement session photo taken at the Aztec Theater by Von Trapp 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 further 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. But I know that glamour photography is so much more. The next time you look at your favorite publications consider finding the glamour in many of the images. Look for the elements of glamour as I have set forth here and learn to see the glamour in our world.
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.