Sunday, January 17, 2016

Glamour Photography IS NOT FOR YOU!

Well I now that I have your attention. I don't mean everyone, I mean the vast majority of photographers should not bother pursuing glamour aka boudoir aka nude/implied type of photography, unless you know its purely for hobby/fun/fine art purposes. And when I say the vast majority I mean, men... yes men... I know, I know men were the first to photograph women in glamorous ways back in the days, but today's reality where more people can get into photography this allows more women to enter it too. When there is more women specifically working in glamour the obvious choice for more consumers will be a female photographer. You as a male CANNOT compete most of the time. 

The only real way to actually get consumers as a male photographer for glamour is to not have any female photographers in the same marketplace. It's sexist, but its reality. The consumer can legally be sexist and choose any gender they feel most comfortable working with. Reasons are...

  1. Self-confidence and self-comfort. It's obvious glamour photography is female clients hiring a glamour photographer. So what is the obvious option here... for a female client to work with a female service personnel/photographer.
  2. The client wants their other half (which is generally another male) to not be offended, so to play it safe they'd prefer to hire a female photographer.
  3. In some cases the other half (male) is paying the services as a gift like Valentines Day or Birthday and such... what is their obvious choice in most cases?... yes you guessed it, a female photographer! 
Now granted the few 5% get by the cracks, which could be easily explained logically...

  1. Those male glamour photographers started before the big boom of the digital camera age began. Which could give that photographer huge advantages when in the film days a lot less female photographers existed.
  2. As for the modern age, and that male photographer started recently or such, they can still succeed in the modern ages.... just depends on the geographic market if that marketplace has any female glamour photographers its likely a difficult market to compete for that consumer. Not worth the headache honestly. 
You have the option to look for a geographic market lacking glamour and does not have any female photographers, but then you'd likely need to move/travel there. Depends on your personal artistic interests and business goals. I say its not worth it, and here's why...

  1. To break into glamour you have to know someone with a great body, such as a model, fitness competitor or trainer, or even just a "normal" person with a great body... I know you'll say you don't need that, and you don't but to get the most attention to your brand that is what you need to do. Granted a lot of glamour photographers have clients that do not have the "perfect" body like a professional model so you can also have other "normal" persons to model to show that you can do that too and it would confirm a client you can do a less than perfect body look.
  2. Now the problem if you do not have any available to provide a great body for you can shoot some glamour photos for a portfolio then you'll have a huge expense breaking into the market... you need a solid portfolio and you need great looking people to convince consumers to buy into the service.

    Granted you can possibly photograph the aspiring glamour models, but generally speaking they are not easy to photograph with lack of experience being a glamour model and a big part of being a great glamour model is being super comfortable in their own skin, so to excel in portfolio progression is to hire a professional glamour model or going to glamour workshops/shootouts. And yes, these are not cheap. I've hired models, all were glamour based. I thought I could make my money back by selling prints and such but in reality they never sell cause the model's fans do not buy from the photographers they buy from the models only and getting a model to sell for you is slim to none unless you paid them to sell on top of paying them to model for you. So I tried it, couldn't break even, for me it was not smart business with the negative ROI (return on investment).

    Plus glamour wasn't my main passion and focus in my art and business, so pushing even more would be a complete waste of money. As for my regular readers, they know my passion is fashion, both lifestyle and advertising fashion. If I had fashion models in the area I would so hire them instantly! But I do not sadly... I do not live in a fashion capital currently so I have to move or change focus temporarily from fashion to another genre. Which if you want to know its not much different, at least for business, its senior portraits with a heavy fashion focus. So I can still do what I love, just not to the exact pinpoint level as the fashion industry demands of course, but its not like I have any fashion clients in my area so its no real loss, but I am losing out on building a solid fashion industry standard portfolio.
  3. Another reason is pay... if you're looking to work strictly with magazines like Maxim, Playboy, etc... type of men's magazine are known to pay very minimal, heck even less than the expense of the shoot. Based on my research on many photographers whom have been actually published and worked with Maxim, Playboy and Penthouse... pay is laughable. I've been told the numbers in 2010 to 2015 its $100-$300 inside pay to the photographer and cover $200-$500, magazine and theme of the issue dependent. So clearly the pay is not photography industry standard where you charge a one time use based on number of units sold, no... the magazine industry is in charge, don't like it they got tons of people willing to do it free or less than what they generally offer too, so yes they're in charge, not the photographers. At most... using the magazine industry to market your glamour business such as an advertisement and resume builder to bring in private/non-commercial clients could work (especially for female photographers).

Well I hope you now realized from my experience on glamour photography from the past 5 years. I tried it for the first 3-4 years of shooting, but in year 4 (2015), it was not my future and went more towards working on my craft in fashion type imagery. Plus in my area had many female glamour photographers, so logically to not even try... for me. Now it was fun shooting glamour, and I got tons of attention to my images (obviously). I even have a website under a different name to ensure it doesn't bite my back side (lol), but I haven't shot real glamour in over a year and do not regret it at all. 

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