German photographer, Michael Zelbel, on his blog, Smoking Strobes, has come up with a clever way of describing one particular style of glamour lighting by calling it a "lighting sandwich." I love that! It's such a visually descriptive analogy! Saying the lighting is used to 'sandwich' the model nearly speaks for itself.
Personally, I do a lot of sandwiching when I'm lighting models. (I also do a lot of sandwiching in my personal life which isn't always a good thing. My belly will attest to that.)
Sometimes, when I sandwich with lights, the sandwiching is quite obvious and dramatic, much the way it is in Michael's description and video tutorial on his Smoking Strobes blog. Other times, as revealed in the photo of Dana I've provided for this update, the sandwiching is much more more subtle, barely noticeable in fact, and only targeting specific areas of the model's body.
Whether you sandwich in obvious or subtle ways, sandwiching your models with light is a very effective glamour lighting setup. In fact, it's often used and for good reason: Highlights resulting from the sandwiching are sexy, they call extra attention to the model, they add more interest to your photos, and they go a long way towards creating fantasy in your glamour photography. Sandwiching is also quite simple to employ -- I'm all about keeping it simple -- especially when working on a seamless where you don't have to worry much about your lights bleeding onto areas in your images you don't want to illuminate. BTW, sandwiching is also very effective for other types of portraiture beyond glamour.
Michael says he's going to update every first Thursday of the month with a new video showing various lighting setups. Sounds like a good reason to bookmark Michael's blog or subscribe to his feeds.