Glamour Photography Secrets: The Art of Shallow Focus

This is a classic glamour shot. In fact, it doesn’t get any more “Classic Glamour” than this: A blonde woman with red lipstick and black lingerie lying on a bed while seductively eyeing the camera.

To many, this shot would be close to the very definition of “Glamour photography”.

However, what I want to do is take a look at a specific aspect of this particular shot that will greatly help you in all your glamour, nude, and erotic photography (whether there’s red lipstick involved or not).

What I’m referring to is the concept of “depth of focus.” You’ll notice that in this shot there is a very shallow depth of focus. By this, I mean that the model’s face is in sharp focus, but nearly everything else in the image is soft (or “blurred”).

This technique can be used to add emphasis to certain areas of an image. When a viewer looks at a picture, the viewer’s eyes are drawn to the sharpest areas of the image. In most cases, you’ll want your model’s eyes to be the sharpest part of the image.

Using the technique of selective depth of focus will often result in much more interesting images. In today’s computer age, it’s possible to add “softness” to certain areas of images in post-production.

However, if you’re going to be a “true” photographer, I think it’s critical to know how to create selective focus in-camera at the time a photograph is taken (call me old-fashioned).

To put it as simply as possible, your camera’s aperture setting will determine the depth of focus. More specifically, the wider the aperture, the more narrow the depth of focus; the smaller the aperture, the less narrow the depth of focus.

And it never hurts to have a blonde model with red lipstick and black lingerie lying seductively on a bed nearby.


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