Of all the styles of photography in the industry, perhaps the most misunderstood one out there is “glamour”.
By modern definitions, the word glamour means: “alluring beauty or charm (often with sex-appeal)”. In photographic or modelling terms, “glamour”, concentrates on a model’s appearance and presentation rather than the clothes she may or may not be wearing. It is about creating sexually provocative images, with the model often appearing to be in a constant state of near-orgasm! It is about the attitude, the eroticism, the mood, and sometimes nothing more than a particular look in a model’s eyes.
It is also the most popular market where the majority of models can earn a relatively profitable living. There are no height or age restrictions (though you have to be at least 18-years-old before a photographer will even consider working with you on a glamour shoot), nor are there any size issues. All those pesky rules that are associated with the world of fashion simply don’t apply, which accounts for the sheer number of glamour models out there. In a sense, it is perhaps the most democratic form of modelling in the industry that exists – everyone can give it a go! Those models that do succeed in this field reach the top not necessarily by their good looks or stunning figures alone (although both help), but often by the sheer force of their personality and the professional attitude they bring to their work.
In recent years, the glamour industry – once the undisputed province of the “Page 3 Model” – has been accepted more by the mainstream media due to the rise of the “lad’s mags” (or “mid-shelf” magazines), such as FHM and Zoo, to name but a few. Every industry has its stars, & the undisputed queen of glamour has to be Jordan (Katie Price), who probably has the most cannily planned career of any model out there. Men want to be with her; women want to be just like her! Jordan has tried just about every entertainment outlet available to any self-respecting celebrity, and like Madonna has marketed herself as a brand to be reckoned with. Unlike other glamour models however who outstay their welcome, Jordan has also wisely seen that her days in this field are numbered, and has moved into fashion with consummate ease – recently working with top fashion photographer, David Bailey.
It has to be stressed however, that
Jordan’s career is very much the exception, rather than the rule. One has to think long and hard to find a similar success story – Sam Fox
springs to mind, though the years have proved that she has had none of the enduring
appeal or longevity of Ms. Price’s.
The irony of the glamour industry, however, is that for many models, it is anything but glamorous! For the majority, it is about the inevitable travelling (be prepared for a lot of it!) to and from shoots in cold, inhospitable studios and locations – as well as the inevitable dangers present for impressionable young women on the road to fame and fortune. It doesn’t help, of course, that the term for “glamour” has been hijacked by the more extreme ends of the industry to make porn sound more palatable as a product for both photographers and models alike. This lazy and convenient categorisation of the industry itself to label everything that is neither fashion nor wholesome, as “glamour”, leads to inevitable confusion.
We can’t tell you the number of first-time
models we’ve worked with, who’ve either assumed that “glamour” meant “porn”, or
that it involved some kind of nudity.
On the other hand, we’ve also encountered models who’ve assumed that “glamour” simply
meant nothing more than wearing lingerie (nope, that’s modelling lingerie,
which isn’t the same thing at all). So the long and the short of it is this: “glamour”
modelling can range from lingerie to nude work, but it does NOT insist on
nudity of any kind – implied or otherwise.
What a model is prepared to reveal is based sole on the requirements of a photographer
offering work, but more importantly, it is dictated exclusively by what is agreed
between both parties beforehand.
Finally, “glamour” is not about how much you see, but how much you think you are going to see…