Glamour photography is a genre of photography whereby the subjects, usually female, are portrayed in a romantic or sexually alluring way. The subjects may be fully clothed or seminude, but glamour photography stops short of deliberately arousing the viewer and being hardcore pornography.
Glamour photography is generally a composed image of a subject in a still position. The subjects of glamour photography are often professional models, and the photographs are normally intended for commercial use, including mass-produced calendars, pinups and for men's magazines, such as Playboy; but amateur subjects are also sometimes used, and sometimes the photographs are intended for private and personal use only. Photographers use a combination of cosmetics, lighting and airbrushing techniques to produce an appealing image of the subject.
In North America, glamour photography of models does not usually involve fully topless shots, whereas in the UK and elsewhere topless shots are generally considered acceptable in glamour photography.
Early glamour modeling was often associated with "French postcards", small postcard sized images, that were sold by street vendors in France. In the early 1900s the pinup became popular and depicted scantily dressed women often in a playful pose seemingly surprised or startled by the viewer. The subject would usually have an expression of delight which seemed to invite the viewer to come and play. Betty Grable was one of the most famous pinup models of all time; her pinup in a bathing suit was extremely popular with World War II soldiers.
In December 1953, Marilyn Monroe was featured in the first issue of Playboy magazine. Bettie Page was the Playmate of the Month in January 1955. Playboy was the first magazine featuring nude glamour photography targeted at the mainstream consumer.
The British Queen of Curves in the 1950s and early sixties was Pamela Green. Harrison Marks, on the encouragement of Green, took up glamour photography and together in 1957 they published the pinup magazine Kamera. Currently in England the earliest use of the word "glamour" as a euphemism for nude modeling or photography is attributed to Marks' publicity material in 1950s.
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