Glamour photography is a genre of photography where the subjects of photography, usually female, are depicted in a romantic or sexually tempting way. The subjects may be fully clothed or semi-nude, but do not intentionally arouse the spectator and indulging in pornographic photography. Usually still photographs, this sort of photography is most used for commercial purposes - for men's magazines, pin-ups, or as the trend goes, calendars. Personal and private use of these photographs is not uncommon either. Usually, professional 'glamour models' are used for this purpose. However, amateurs may also be used. The rationale of glamour photographs is making the subject of photography, that is the model, appear sexy and alluring - hence it is important to note that this genre of photography uses a combination of cosmetics, lighting and airbrushing technique to make the photograph as appealing as possible.
The term 'glamour photography' was not much in use till the 1960's, before which 'erotic photography' was the terminology more commonly applied. Early modeling was often seen in association with French postcards sold by street vendors in France. The early 1900s saw the pin-up becoming most popular, most of which depicted scantily clad women aiming to overwhelm viewers. Betty Grable is a name many people from the era of World War II would be familiar with. Through the course of the 1950's, Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page became the known faces in the field of glamour photography. Playboy, still the most popular men's magazine, featured nude glamour photos for the first time.
The crux of this genre of photography is that it uses beautiful models as its subjects - but the models look good only with the help of a good glamour photographer. Professional glamour photographers use an array of techniques to capture and enhance the subject of the photo shoot. While indulging in glamour photography, one needs to keep certain things in mind. Composition control is of utmost significance. The photographer should make the model the center attraction of the photograph and choose backgrounds wisely. Clashing colors are not beneficial. Busy backgrounds can take focus away from the model as well. Patterns are good if they aren't too extreme.
The photographer can also use a wide aperture so the background is out of focus, which lessens the distraction from the subject. It is vital to communicate with the model. Talking to the model and making him or her comfortable is one of the most important techniques one can use to bring out the best in photo shoots. Talking to the model and relaxing them while one is shooting often yields unexpected shots one might not get with poses. Glamour photography also uses feature enhancing techniques, namely lighting and angle to accentuate the features of the model. Using lighting to darken one side of the model's face with shadow, not so much that it takes away from his or her face, but enough to bring more emphasis to one side is also advisable.