Submitted by Michael on Sun, 2010-03-21 12:07

Beauty Photography Instructions: Shaping your Inspiration in 8 Easy Steps

Beauty Photo of Chinese Actress SashaEven for established professionals of beauty photography, let alone aspiring artists, it is sometimes hard to go through all the stages of photography production smoothly and with no hindering. The fact is, a lot has been written about studio shooting, handling photography gear, lighting equipment, posing and post-processing; but very little attention has been paid to the whole process of creating glamour pictures. That’s why many would-be glamour images professionals get stuck in the very first phase, not knowing what to begin with.


    To make the task easier, I have prepared a small piece containing some easy photography instructions for you to follow – in 8 simple steps, from giving birth to an idea to becoming a legal owner of the glamour images you will have created.

You will see that there is nothing difficult about the objectives that any photographer has to complete for a successful creative process. Having understood the logic and the tasks required for shooting glamour pictures, you will be able to do it again and again, never getting short of ideas or resources. Let’s begin then!

Step 1. Finding your Big Photo Shoot Idea

Start by brainstorming ideas. Ask yourself a question: what photo would you ideally like to shoot? Don't limit yourself. Go crazy! Just write down whatever comes to your mind. After you got a list of ideas, pick the one – or even more – that you like most.


Step 2. Making your Big Idea even Bigger

Use Google image search and similar services (Picsearch.Com, stock photography sites etc.) to see what other photographers already shot similar to your idea. Which of their photos jump out to you? What are the elements that you like most? On your favorite photos, what would you even improve if you could?
 


Step 3. Engineer the Photo

What did they need to do in order to shoot it? What light do you have to make? What light did other photographers use on their photos? If you are not sure about that, team up with more experienced photographers on websites like Facebook or in your local camera club. Ask them for help, especially when reverse engineering a given photo in order to find out about lighting. But also: What are the characteristics of the location and of the models shown on the photo?


Step 4. Choose the Location

Ask people for suggestions. If you need an outdoor location, ask people on a local hiking forum. You can do test photos in sub-ideal locations, but your real photo will need a location that 100% matches your idea. You definitely have to visit your location prior to your shoot. Take your camera with you and snap some photos before you bring all your gear and you model there. Imagine how exactly you are going to shoot. What will your camera position be? How exactly are you going to arrange the lighting?


Step 5. Find Models

If you want to hire models, find candidates on websites like Modelmayhem.Com. If you are an amateur searching for talent, type in "model" or "photo model" in your local social websites and browse through the people that show up - usually amateur, hobby or wannabe models. With this kind of approach, you will find a score of good-looking prospects in no time – just choose which model will fit your artistic purpose best.
 


Step 6. Communication

When communicating with models, makeup assistants and others, you should be 100% honest and open – as well as very specific. You would like to make a shoot in which you want to make photos like [show some examples]. The shoot will happen on this location [show or name the location]. When exactly should your model arrive? Should / may she bring somebody along? How long will it take exactly?

Who will be on the set? Will you do post-processing of photos? When? What are you going to use the photos for specifically? What do you give to the model specifically? The more open and honest you are, the easier it is for a model to commit to your shoot.
 

Step 7. Run the Shoot Smoothly

In order to use your time and resources efficiently, you need to have a plan developed – some “photography instructions inside photography instructions”. Have this script prepared which details WHO, does WHAT, BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the shoot. Stick to the script during the shoot and keep it always at hand. Of course you can deviate to use chances for photos, that were not planned before. Sometimes chances unfold ones you are at location and start shooting. But try to stick to your script as much as possible. Never lose your cool and take everything easy. Once you are concerned, everybody else will be. Especially models tend to think that whatever fucks up in a shoot it's always their fault. Even if the technology fails, the model will feel somehow bad. Reassure them quite often that their performance is really good.


Step 8. Use a Simple, but Clear Model Release

ALWAYS use a contract. Even for TfP (Time for Prints). A lot of model releases state that the photographs are to be used non-commercially. However, will their use really be non-commercial? Are you going to put the photos onto your website? Does the website feature online ads that potentially could create revenue? If yes, then this is commercial. If the model is going to put the photos into her sed-card or website with which she is going to attract customers who pay for modeling, that'd be commercial too.
Consequently, in the contract you’d better cover more aspects of the photos’ usage than less. Once this issue has been dealt with, you can rightfully consider that you have produced some decent glamour images that match the initial idea and your expectations. Congratulations!

As you can see, it was really not that difficult as you thought it might. True, this blueprint is not a perfect one, but it can give you all the necessary guidelines for successfully shooting glamour images. Based on the above described you can always develop your own photography instructions that suit your personal needs! The art of glamour photography is very flexible, and it depends a great deal on your inspiration; yet the very process of creating glamour images from bare ideas is pretty much the same, just like it was laid down in our 8-step photography instructions.
 

Good light!

-- Michael
 


Good post. Thanks for the information.

That is a really comprehensive list for becoming an expert photographer. I will refer to this again when I want to increase my abilities.

This is a great pose for a picture and looks classy. I like how there is a reflection from the table. I have found that you can't just turn any picture into black and white and have it come out great. there really is a mood you have to set and that takes some talent.

Realy gret tips, I was longiko for something that.

Thanks for the tips! I've been trying to start my own photography business, and I was having some trouble with my models. I didn't know how to talk to them and what their problems really were. Thanks so much for your help!

This is a great pose for a picture and looks classy. I like how there is a reflection from the table. Thank you for sharing on it.

Thanks a lot. I wanted to show her as strong as she really is.

I would love to mimic this picture. Black and white is my favorite type of photo. The hair is exotic and beautiful at the same time. Great job on catching the moment.

Sure, go ahead, shoot your own version and let us know how it worked for you.


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