How do I turn my living room into a Glamour Shots?
October 15, 2019 8:42 AM   Subscribe

For an upcoming birthday, my friends and I want to fulfill our grade school desires of getting glamour shots done. I know some basic props - wigs, silk gloves, feather boas, shirts with huge collars you can grab on to - but I'm less sure of how to get that characteristic "glamour shot" look.

I've tried to get into photography before and I have some equipment that, frankly I'm not entirely certain how to use.

Quick rundown of what I have available to me:
Canon Rebel T3i
Various lenses (55-250mm, 18-55mm, 50mm prime )
Tripods of varying heights
This lighting kit

Although I'm mainly looking for guides, I'm not opposed to getting more gear. Also is this the kind of thing I should hire a makeup artist for? Should I really put vaseline on the lens? Am I forgetting obvious props? So many questions!

I also very much plan to do a dry-run to make sure I can get the look I want before the day-of.
posted by bookwo3107 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I did something in this vein -- in a studio with a pro photographer -- for a birthday a few years ago. I was able to hire someone who did both hair and makeup and it was a really fun addition to the day. We got the photos from the pro, but also lots of candids of people getting done up that were fun, too. I would definitely recommend that option if it's in the budget.

Do you have a backdrop to pose in front of? The glamour shots ones were mostly ombre or other gradient single tone backdrops with a bit of fuzz in them, afaik.

A sailors cap or other fun hats? Silk scarves?
posted by jacquilynne at 9:38 AM on October 15, 2019

I got Glamour Shots as a gift for a birthday long long ago. There was a makeup artist there who slathered me with foundation, heavy heavy eyeshadow and powder (probably what we today would call contouring) and a lot of lipstick. Then, there was a hair person who curled my hair and hair sprayed it into really big curls. As part of the package, you pick out a “theme” for your photo. There was anything you could think of. I was 10? 11? at the time, so the vamp-y stuff did not appeal to me, I went for something that ended up with a straw hat and gingham “dress.” The dress was not a real piece of clothing, they pinned it in the back with big binder clips. Then they posed me in front of a background of blue sky with clouds (lol) and took a million photos in different poses, as goofy as you can possibly imagine (hands posed under my chin, eyes gazing up at the sky). I remember the lighting was VERY bright. It felt like what I imagined a “real” photo shoot was like (this was in the mid 90s). The pictures are incredibly corny. It was everything I dreamed of!

I don’t think you need to hire a makeup artist, I would have another friend play makeup artist and go super over the top “glam” (“glam” in the way a teenage girl imagines “glam”). Get some paper or other background set up to take the photos in front of. Maybe you can get a bright spotlight or one of those umbrella-looking things photographers use to bounce light onto your faces?
posted by sallybrown at 9:44 AM on October 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

i do think a makeup artist is a great idea. My sister and i did glamour shots back in the day and they made us up - lots of makeup but in neutral tones and shit tons of ratting of hair and hair spray.

my oh so kind husband found a 8 x 10 the other day and hung it in the dining room. I have floofy hair, lots of late 80s makeup, a white fur stole off my shoulders and a come hither look that makes me look like i am stoned out of my mind.
posted by domino at 9:45 AM on October 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

I am not a photographer, but a photographer once told me it was all about a lot of light and sometimes some artistically placed shadows. But mostly light. And then you need an incredible amount of make-up to make the features, mainly eyes, cheekbones, lips stand out. You think you put on a lot of make-up, put on more.
posted by mumimor at 10:42 AM on October 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

As for props I'd get a rolling rack for wardrobe changes maybe some earring and necklace stands, a large solid color shower curtain as a backdrop with stools to sit on or a ladder covered in a cloth to adjust the height or stand on. You can get some plastic bowl covers that look like shower caps and that should filter the shot in different hues just fine or spray cooking oil on it to gloss it up a bit.
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 12:14 PM on October 15, 2019

Look up "3 light portrait set up" on you tube. It's kind of a classic set up and that lighting kit should be perfect. Pick up some white poster board to bounce light in case you get odd shadows. And you'll need a backdrop and something for people to sit on. If you have a flash keep it on hand too in case you need more light.

You're going to have to put those lights very close to the models as they aren't very strong and make sure to turn them off during any down time to keep them cool. But practice a bit first and you should be good.
posted by fshgrl at 12:36 PM on October 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I would definitely spring for a MUA, I'm not sure you will get the look you want without them. Someone who will also do simple hair would be great.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:54 PM on October 15, 2019

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