What draws attention in a glamour photograph?

Bodypaint Glamour Pinup Art Nude Phoenix
Effective use of Gaze Grabbing elements in Bodypaint Pinup Glamour Art Nude, Nikon D90, Tokina Zoom at 11mm

What draws eyes and grabs attention in photos? If you guessed eyes and faces, you are correct. However, this is a generalized starting point.

Composition is important. For example, much is written about the “Rule of Thirds” in visual composition.

Rule of Thirds:

  • People’s eyes are drawn naturally to the vicinity of 4 intersecting points of imaginary “tic-tac-toe” lines superimposed on image frames.
  • Many cameras and photo cropping tools provide a rule of thirds overlay grid to aid in composition.
  • The rule is to have an intended focal point, like eyes of your subject, on an intersection point.
  • And/or line up subjects and horizons along one of the lines themselves.

Eyes are drawn to:

  • Eyes, Mouths and Faces, especially those with Emotive Expressions
  • The photo’s lightest and brightest areas
  • Bright and Vivid colors, especially reds and fluorescents
  • Contrasting edges and lines, which provide flow paths along which eyes move and scan the frame
  • Sure, naughty bits are a draw.  This is true whether implied or explicitly there for view
  • Hands…

In fact, hands are the third most attention grabbing feature in photographs of people, right after eyes and mouths.

Glamour Gaze Grabber Guide:

  • Eyes must be in focus and framed effectively.
  • Expressions in eyes and mouth must match.  People look for integrity of expression by doing subconscious comparisons of eyes with mouths.
  • Eyes and mouths must emote.  This makes them interesting.
  • Framing is important.  Try putting the eyes, or an eye in tightly cropped shots, onto one of the intersecting points in “Rule of Thirds” type of guides.
  • Use bright colors, especially Red.
  • Use light and bright areas to draw the eye to where you like focused attention.
  • Use dark areas to push the eyes away and towards light areas.  Try vignetting some darkness into the corners of the frame to push eyes inward toward the light.
  • Watch the hands.

Hands being very much an attention grabber, care must often be taken to subdue the hands in photos.  Hiding bits of hands, making sure they are symmetric and work with the pose (cause people notice them and when they are awkward).  That nails are well manicured or are again hidden from view of discerning eyes.

Hands moved closer to a light source in a pose are doubly interest grabbing because they are made brighter/lighter (due to proximity to the light) in addition to being natural attention grabbing without the added brightness boost.  Watch for hands near lights not getting too bright.

Model’s will do well by having ideas of how to pose hands going into a shoot.

See this list of examples of effective ways to hold one’s hands in a pose.

When the model is not seeing the angle or lacks experience necessary to properly hold her hands they may begin to overpower the intended points of interest in the shot.

Photographers may to be mindful while shooting and have ideas on how to direct correct hand position in fun, kind and supportive manners that keep the shoot humming smoothly along.

Effective and easy hand poses often flow from providing the model something to hold, having her place her hands in her hair or by putting parts of the hands behind her.

All this being said, well posed hands can often become leading parts or even main subject,  in a visual image.

For more details about or to order a Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 Zoom click here.

For more details about or to order the Nikon D90 camera click here.

Please comment and share your opinions and questions or share with us lists of additional media and resources.  



3 thoughts on “What draws attention in a glamour photograph?”

  1. Very informational, I will definitely keep your words in mind when I’m doing a shoot.
    You should write a tip about body angle, and the variety of poses.
    Every angle, eye contact, and hand movement, should tell a story in every shot someone does.

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