If any of you have some time to kill and you're up for listening to someone babble on about photography, mostly glamour photography, you can do that, through the magic of
Jim was nice and said he enjoyed the interview, using words like fun and great and incredibly insightful and boffo!
Okay, maybe I'm lying about the incredibly insightful and boffo! parts but Jim did seemed to really enjoy the interview... or he was simply being nice. Regardless, I'll take compliments, sincere or otherwise, where I can get them although I know Jim was being honest and sincere cuz, well, cuz that's how Jim rolls.
In his email, besides kind words, Jim asked, "By the way, when was (glamour) photography ever honest? It's always been enhanced. Just not to the casual degree that Photoshop has allowed."
But then I started thinking. (I have a bad habit of doing that, thinking that is, often when it's least important to do so.) So, I wrote Jim back, tackling the "dishonesty in glamour photography" issue-- Not that dishonesty in glamour photography truly qualifies as an "issue" in the normally-used context of the word. But it does in my world, dammit!
There's nothing new about enhancing glamour shots. Its been done for a very long time. I do so nearly all the time. After all, I'm not a photo-journalist. There's no rules of ethics for glamour photographers. Leastwise, not in terms of the results. My job is to make the best glam photos I can manage to make. That's one of my rules.
When shooting, I'll use whatever tools--tools sometimes used to produce dishonest results--at my disposal. (As effective or sometimes ineffective as they might be.) I use those dishonest tools and processes cuz that's how *I* roll, dishonestly... but only as a photographer, of course.
In glamour photography, dishonesty is often the best policy!
There. I said it.
If you don't find using the word "dishonesty" palatable, try thinking of the dishonesty I'm refering to as "tricks" or smoke-n-mirrors" or "skill and experience" or even the "secrets of the pros" some would have you believe are actual secrets.
Okay. Here's my response to Jim. Thought it would make for an easy and on-topic update:
Obviously, glamour photography has never been honest. That's the whole point--To produce images that glamourize the subjects. Glamourizing a subject requires dishonest techniques to create, what should appear to be and in more than a few ways, seemingly honest results.
(Please Note: Glamorizing a model is not the same as frosting a turd. I'm just saying. In case anyone has that confused.)
In general, life--except for the lives of a few--is not, as a rule, overly glamorous. Glamour photography is escapism, much the way so many movies and books and so much more are purposely escapist.
Certainly, Hollywood's stars, often referred to as America's royalty, have always, paparazzi aside, been presented in glamorous ways. I talked about that in the interview, i.e., the origins of glamour photography in 1930s and 40s Hollywood.
Later, Hugh Hefner came along and the rest is history.
Hollywood stars, supermodels, and glamour models as well, are not common folks like you and I. Well, they might be, and in many ways often are, but not if producers, advertisers, agents, PR people, publicists, spin doctors, many photographers and a whole bunch of the stars and models themselves have anything to say or do about it. Hence, glamour photography is one means to that end: That end being to promote the glamorous aspects, the regal star qualities, the way-more-special, beautiful, sexy, and/or much less common than you or I, aspects of the subjects.
Dishonesty in glamour photography isn't simply accomplished with lighting and makeup and processing and that kind of stuff. Sure, that's part of it. A big part of it. But the dishonesty of glamour photography is in the overall presentation of those so-called, make that creatively-enhanced, "glamorous" people." It's about style and feeling and allure and more.
(A guilty confession: I might have expanded a bit on what I wrote to my friend, Jim, in my email to him. Being somewhat long-winded and fairly opinionated is also how I sometimes roll. Can't help it. They write me this way.)
The pretty girl at top is Cody from a year or two (or three?) ago. Time freakin' flies! I snapped Cody using a few dishonest tools and techniques at my disposal--from production to post-production--including a fan used to subtly blow her hair, dishonestly creating the illusion that her raven mane was slightly moving about in some gentle, in-studio, breeze. (Like someone left a studio window open on a windy day or something.) Here's a BTS shot, below, for those who enjoy BTS shots.
NOTE: if you're a Canuck and still residing in your home world, you might notice I've added Amazon-Canada to my links in the right-hand column. A big thanks and tip-of-the-hat to reader, RovingRooster, for suggesting I also become an Amazon-Canada associate.