Photo 101 – Glamour and the art of model interaction

19 Aug 2012 admin In G+ Posts

This goes for any model you shoot – not just the example in the photo below….

Scroll to the bottom to take the test and reply in the comments……

I began my career in the glamour photo marketplace about 8 years ago and since then I have learned much, dispelled many more rumors than truths and also learned that in the end there is only one really happy person if you do your job correctly.

Let us start with the only person that will ever truly be happy with your work, that is your model. One of my rules when I shoot glamour is that if I cannot make the model happy with the images we shoot then I have failed as a photographer. My job as a glamour photography is to make an image that shows that model in their best most sensual or sexy light possible. You can accomplish this in many ways and those ways are based on how you implement and plan your shoot, what your subject matter is or simply what the client you are shooting for actually requires.

With those criteria in place it comes down to using your skills as a photographer and as a human being. Let’s be frank about it – you as a glamour photographer are asking your model to be incredibly intimate with the camera, and to play into a mood and feeling that they might not be fully comfortable doing with their significant other let alone a complete stranger as you could easily be in most shoot scenarios. This is where your rapport with the model becomes so very important, and without it you will never get the results you are looking for in your shoot.

Rapport (thanks to +mark daughn for getting me to think about model interaction) is a very interesting topic I can talk for hours about so I will try to just summarize my thoughts and feel free to contact me if you have points you would like to add. My attitude when shooting any living human subject is that I treat them as I would want to be treated. That said it is very important to note that there are very important guidelines to not cross, one of them being touching. The rule for most photographers is that there is no touching of the model allowed without explicit consent of the model. I have this rule for a simple reason, for most people touch is equal to trust and trust needs to be earned and you cannot earn trust when you have only known a person for less than a short interview at the beginning of a shoot. The flip side of this is making the mistake of breaking a models trust; this could easily ruin your career as a glamour photographer. You will find it is truly amazing how the internet can ruin you forever when your model leaves the shoot, hops onto Facebook and Twitter and tells all her model friends that you are a creepy untrustworthy photographer. Thank you for playing, your career is done.

Lighting is important, proper technical photo skills are important, but in the end when it comes to glamour the mood of the image is most important. Photos tell stories, mood evokes emotion and emotion will equal the viewer looking at your photo longer. Mood is created by achieving trust between the model and the photographer, having proper rapport with the model to achieve that mood that is desired and simply to be open and honest with the model about the shoot and the content of the shoot. If you follow those simple rules you will find your photography grow and your reputation in the industry to grow along with it.

Next will be about post processing and how the post process can affect your entire shoot and it's outcome..

I do not claim to be a pro – especially at photography – but others can learn from my mistakes…and experimentation….and trust me I do not have all the answers but I sure can listen…

Take the test below – Which image evokes what response? Are they both sensual and sexy? does one represent something different than the other?
Is your personal prejudice about color or tone affecting your judgement?

Comments: 16

  1. haythem wederni 19 Aug 2012 Reply


  2. Darryl Van Gaal 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    B&W here does the trick!
    Her eyes are piercing.  No need to comment on other aspects of the models looks, I'm sure I'd not be enlightening anyone about something they haven't seen for themselves…. lol

  3. Brent Burzycki 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Darryl Van Gaal thanks – you must be speaking of the attribute mentioned in the first post…

  4. Angel Acumen 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    I think that's probably the issue why photos taken of me when not in a group come out horribly – there is no rapport between me and the photographer.

    Granted I am no model – just an ordinary person but I found that most of the pictures taken of me are godawful but then in a few shots where I am unaware that a pic was taken or if I am with a person or group I am comfortable with or if the one taking the pic knows me (my sis) – then I look nice in the photos.

    It also doesn't help that I am not your typical beauty. Most photogs that I know around here are lazy. It's easy to make beautiful pics of beautiful people  or beautiful scenery but it takes skill to bring out the beauty of something not normally considered beautiful – like say the face of an old man-weather beaten and filled with lines of his life experience, or the eerie beauty of a flooded place after the rains have stop and there is only silence.

  5. Olav Folland 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Saving this for tomorrow +Brent Burzycki.  My brain hurts too much now.

  6. Brent Burzycki 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Angel Acumen take it from me – I hear your pain.. I have not ever liked one photo of me that has been taken and I think I actually have a true aversion to photos being taken of me… no idea why but this is also why I have very few if any photos of myself growing up…

    This is I assume one reason why I enjoy taking photos so much ….. and probably why part of me tends to very much care about the outcome of those shots..and of the people in those photos..

    My biggest compliment after a first shoot with a new model I have never met is.. "OMG I love them" you cannot beat that feeling… my other jobs just go on and on from project to project and never have a real outcome or finish… photography for me is a project with a set finish or logical end point where you either blow it and learn something or win and impress…..

    Like cleaning your car or the house… it is nice to have the reward after the struggle…

  7. Brent Burzycki 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Olav Folland to much chicken parmigiana… I assume… would it not be nice to have a star tag or favorite to come back to posts you want to read later or just follow…

  8. Olav Folland 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Angel Acumen I take photos of 'normal' people all the time.  It's my preference.  

    Grace, stature, attitude… so many little things will make the "average" person so much more beautiful than the model.  And to be honest your people – my people (as a Pinoy at heart) – I wonder how a bad photo could be take.  I learned that at age ten.

    +Brent Burzycki on of the first things I have my mentorees do is a self-portrait.  There is so much to learn when looking down the barrel of your own gun…

    And I opened this in a new tab.  Crude, but effective 😉

  9. Bill Gerard 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Brent Burzycki B&W makes it more sensual, dark & mysterious! Deffinetly the sexist of the two!

  10. Rita Rai 20 Aug 2012 Reply


  11. Brent Burzycki 20 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Rita Rai ?

  12. Jessi June 28 Aug 2012 Reply

    I do claim to be a pro, and am a pro, and I approve this message! Good Job +Brent Burzycki 

  13. Brent Burzycki 28 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Jessi June hey thanks.. 🙂 I like that fact I am +Jessi June  verified…..

  14. Olav Folland 28 Aug 2012 Reply

    Conrats +Brent Burzycki 🙂  +Jessi June just loves me for my cheeseburgers 😛

  15. Jessi June 28 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Olav Folland You make it sound like that's a bad thing! 🙂 Lol

  16. Olav Folland 28 Aug 2012 Reply

    Nah, I'd gladly accept that 😉

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