Glamour in your Lens
Story of a Photographer
WHAT SHOULD YOU have learned
by this time? What have you achieved?
At first you probably thought the main difficulty was going to
be finding models. It wasn't so. The greatest difficulty is getting
on to a piece of bromide paper all the charm of a pretty girl. Now
that you've had several spectacular successes in that line, you
find no difficulty in getting models.
The first time you had a girl in front of your camera you didn't
know what to do with her. Vaguely you'd thought she'd do things,
and you'd just take the pictures. Now you know that almost the
whole responsibility for every exposure is yours. Even if the
girl does the pose herself, it's the lighting, distance and
camera angle which makes the picture, and you must make your
choice from thousands of possibilities.
The Lessons Learned
But you have learned the kind of poses that look most attractive.
You are never at a loss. You also know the little details which
make all the difference between a picture that didn't quite make
it and perfection.
At the beginning you were pretty slow with your camera, having to
think about such things as exposure, focus, shutter speeds,
filters and camera shake. But you never have to think about these
things now. You handle your camera automatically, able to devote
your whole attention to other things.
You have learned, too, that you don't have to have film stars
as models to achieve magnificent results. Quite probably at least
one of your models is as lovely as any film star, and none
the worse photographically for not having been "discovered".
You have learned that photography is painting with light and shade,
and now you no longer point your camera at something and na´vely
expect to put exactly what you see on your film. If you want the
beautiful soft effects of the best glamour photographers, you must
develop the necessary technique. By this time you can look at a
girl and decide what to do to make her look her best.
If a girl asks you what she should wear, you know exactly what to
Even when the weather isn't all it might be, you know how to
make the best of it. You get first-class results even on dull
days, by knowing what to do and not pretending it's the
hottest, brightest day of the year.
You've had a lot of fun, and a good deal of success. If you've
had failures, every one has been worth while for what it taught
Most off all, you have graduated in a branch of photography
where evey triumph is shared, where every success delights at
least two people. Every time you take a good picture, both you
and the girl in it are proud and happy.
Not every branch of photography can claim as much.
If You Want to Keep Your Models
Let them know you really want to photograph them.
Show them pictures which make them look wonderful.
Give them prints promptly.
Concentrate on pretty faces.
Wait until you know what you're doing before contacting the more experienced models.
Blame your models because you can't take good pictures of them.
Show them ultra-revealing poses they never intended or insist that the pictures they don't like are the best.
Assume that in a beauty contest the winner is necessarily the best model.
Frighten off models by being abrupt or by taking them for granted.
On the Beach
Try simple poses first. Take a few pictures quickly and easily.
Plan for the next set of pictures while you're taking the first.
Arrange for your models to have plenty of changes of costume, and use them.
Use any props you can find. They add to the holiday atmosphere.
Look for fresh ideas. Without actually copying other photographers, learn all you can from them.
Get your model to wear swimsuits with high-cut leglines.
Watch the contrast in brilliant sunshine. If you are unlucky, shadow areas will block up.
Make the best of the weather. Instead of wishing it were different, take the appropriate type of picture.
Remember how colours are going to photograph--red will not not stand out against green in black-and-white prints.
Be too finicky with an inexperienced model. You'll only make her nervous and self-conscious.
Try difficult poses before you and the model are perfectly happy with simple ones.
Come too close--you'll get enormous feet and tiny hands, or vice versa.
Try too many action shots at first. These require considerable experience on the part of both photographer and model.
Expect the best poses for one girl will necessarily be best for another.
Let a plump girl wear a scanty two-piece--she'll look like the fat lady in the circus.
Leave jewelry on for beach pictures.
Attempt sophisticated unless you are sure of yourself.
See how you could have made them better. This will help next time.
Learn to print soft gradations so that they're really soft.
Make sure you've captured the sparkle of sunlight. Suspect your printing technique rather than your negative.
Press on regardless when you know there's something wrong with your technique--you are only wasting film.
Make two modifications at once.
Think your technique must be wrong because someone else get first-class results with different methods.
When There's No Beach
Use other locations where a bathing costume looks in place--outdoor pools or rivers.
Photograph your model in playsuits instead of bathing costumes.
Employ props to suggest the holiday mood.
Allow the "atmosphere" to overpower the girl.
Work without the sun. When there's no beach, sun is more than ever essential.
Look at someone else's pictures and decide you must have a location exactly like that.
In the Studio
Use at least two lights. One alone is nearly is nearly always too contrasty for glamour.
Have a dummy run with a friend before you get a model along.
Experiment first--refine later.
Keep your model happy. The pictures will show what she was feeling at the time.
Start with simple costumes and lighting.
Turn your model's shoulders so that they are not level and straight on to the camera.
Use props to suggest atmosphere or to tell a story.
Put your lights too near the model.
Use a photoflood as a fill-in light. It's far too strong.
Be too concerned at first over technique. You can't help making some mistakes.
Put the camera too near the model--distortion will result.
Let your lights fight. One must be in undisputed command.
Repeat mistakes. They are valuable happening once; they shouldn't happen twice.
Take lingerie shots unless you quite sure they are in good taste.
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