depends on the situation... if you've taken a portrait of someone and they look good (maybe better than real life) and someone describes it as 'glamourous' then I'd think that was a good thing, you've probably captured a bit of them in the pic and people are seeing that.
A 'glamour' feature in a photo mag means something entirely different... usually scanitly clad women in inappopiate situations... generally not good (although I'm sure to have a look to make sure!) :)
should have asked a couple of weeks ago.
"Glamour" photography in the years after the Hollywood Glamour days of Hurrell etc has gotten the connotation of rather cheesy pin up swimsuit stuff made popular by people like Peter Gowland. His "Rigid Tool" pinups that graced the wall of every mechanics workspace is an example. It was not done in the Hurrell style with dramatic lighting. It was usually pretty flat lit with wholesome girl- next -door types. Books of Gowlands are still around.
It was always pretty cheesy and peek-a-boo ish. But this was the days during and before Playboy Magazine. It was pretty tame stuff.
The mall glamour stuff is pretty bad but certainly not glamourous. There were a few people doing "boudour photography" in the 1980s and 1990s doing a soft lit, soft focus style and attaching the "glamour' word to it.
I guess the Golden Era was the Hurrell era, but since then "glamour" is not really done with dramatic lighting. The dramatic lighting stuff is usually called "Hollywood Glamour" by the people doing it today.
I think if someone now calls your work glamour, they must be complimenting you and thinking it looks glamourous. Just because the label has a questionable connotation, historically among photographers, doesn't mean that it means the same to the general public.
In your case, maybe your viewers think the idea of photography itself is kind of "glamorous" and that being photographed is a special occasion, usually reserved for people who are important. The formal portrait session bestows a kind of "glamour" on the subject. Interestingly, this harks back to a much older sense of "glamour," suggesting "magic" or "witchcraft." The word "glamour" comes from "grammar," which originally referred to a kind of occult knowledge (and perhaps still does).
In the Hollywood sense, Hurrell said that under the decency code, the celebrity photo had to suggest sexuality without any nudity or anything explicit, so all was done with light, suggestive poses, light, immaculate retouching, light, and more light.
Gowland of 60's and 70's "glamour" fame is still alive and kicking. Check out his website at www.petergowland.com. I own two of his ultralight view cameras (4x5" and 8x10"), though his most famous innovation in the equipment arena is the Gowlandflex 4x5" TLR. He's a very approachable and congenial fellow and loves to talk about his cameras, perhaps even more than shooting centerfolds for _Playboy_, which he once said felt more like doing surgery than anything "glamorous."
Today "glamour" seems to mean mild nudity for people who seem to prefer to get their ummm.... "personal entertainment products" from the back of Petersen's. Here they have these things called "shoot outs" where a bunch of guys pay big bucks to stand around and take pictures of mediocre models with fake breasts. They all claim to be taking "glamour" shots or worse yet..."art"....
Ummm... EWWWWWW :Sick:
People like this stuff???
Those women are going to have SUCH bad back problems in a few short years... not only the load in front but, really, how healthy to walk on your toes all the time? (And how attractive, truly?)
Anyhow, I can see where people say glamour when referring to your photos. They remind me somewhat of high school senior portraits. Straight forward, flattering headshots of attractive young women. And I suppose when people think of the type of studio/photographer that shoots that genre of photography, one might think 'glamour'. Just a thought...
I think that the definition could go anywhere from very *unoffensive* swimsuit, where there is exposure - gasp!! - of feminine (blush, blush) ankles-- to Playboy's "Diet Lite" pseudo-nude semi-pornography. I sat "semi' because the model's actual bodies are hidden under pounds (kilos) of body paint.
Here is something to ponder: What about the work of Bette Page? There is a whole cult of afficianados that will argue -- and I'm not at all sure groundlessly -- that this work is *ART*!!
Bette Page was a "glamour model" for people who were doing the swimsuit stuff on a lower scale than Peter Gowland. The well publicized work she did with Irving Klaw made her a cult hero of the bondage set. She was one of the most photographed people of the 50s and 60s. in swimsuits and in the buff.
Probably part of her mystique is that she was a very beautiful woman, and the fact that the camera loved her. She always looked like she was having a good time and her trademark haircut and beautiful body made her a cult hero. Adding to the fact is the way she basically disappeared at the top of her game to a life of obscurity, made her kind of a Jim Morrison and Marilyn Monroe type phenomenom.
I think that her incredible looks were what has made her a lasting image. She kind of transcends the looks of different generations. If you look at someone like Harlow and others of different generations we sometimes don't get what all the noise was about. With Bette Page I think she ages very well.
As for the "art status" it is possibly that she was kind of an original. It's very hard to name a model from that time period, and especially one who was doing the cutting edge or over the edge stuff that she was, and looking so fresh doing it.
Klaw was certainly instrumental in her "name recognition" if not really from a favorble, sleaze-free position.
Bette was a "bright light" personality above all else. She really started as a "Camera Club" model - and one of those found on the bulletin boards of art supply stores.
I think her attitude towards being the nude figure was amazingly well balanced, and a sort of island of sanity in the over-repressed **up tight** American society of the 40' and 50's.
I might be wrong, but I think Gowland worked with her, as did Andre DeDeines (sp?), but the best work, In My Most Humble Opinion, was by Bunny Yaeger.
Yes, I am a fan, bith of Bette Page and Yaeger.
The greatest tribute to her is that so many of the aspiring models of today, motivated by yellowing photographs - want to emulate her work - and "look".
BTW ... One of the models I worked with recently spoke about the one phrase that invariable sets models off against a photographer - the incredibly trite, "Make love to the camera!". She said the the last time a photgrapher said that to her, she replied, "No, I won't - It's NOT my type!"