As a prominent artistic school, Beauty Photography has been altered dramatically through the past years; knowledge of what happened to it earlier can give us the clue of what awaits glamour images in the future. Like any other genre of photography, it witnessed some dramatic changes, withstood many cultural revolutions to finally emerge in its present state.
I will gladly take you on a short mind trip from the very dawn of Glamour Photos to their modern state – afterwards we will dabble in foreseeing their probable future.
Adolescence. As to the starting point of the history of glamour images – nobody is certain. Some seek the roots in Paris of 1930′s, where so-called “french postcards” were sold in abundance – others deem Victorian photography and its gurus to be responsible. A few people consider that beauty photography can be traced as far back as Baroque and Renaissance art. Franskly speaking, the birth of glamour photo cannot be discovered with any degree of certainty. I prefer to consider that classic and contemporary fine arts contributed in equal measures to create this unique genre – and it is the melting pot of 1920’s culture that we owe its birth. Also, it is from the first half of twentieth century that the history of classic beauty photography can be traced.
Glorious 50′s and Onwards. The period that started with 50′s was perhaps the most successful – and hard – time for glamour images. Famous Betty Grable was the queen of hearts before and after the war; thank to Marylin Monroe glamour photography gained open support and recognition, as this world-famous actress appeared on Playboy’s front in 1953. There were also Pamela Green and others helping to bring this young art to its feet and conquer the world-wide audience.
Dawn of Digital Era. Color wasn’t the only achievement that glamour images acquired – they turned into something more creative and provocative. New names started conquering the stage, glamour magazines and beauty photography admirers – those were Dita von Teese, Heidie Van Horne, Lucy Pinder, Bernie Dexter and many others. At the same time, film surrendered positions to digital photography. It improved technical side of the process and altogether simplified it beyond measure. An amateur in possession of DSLR could potentially become a glamour photographer. In a combination with Web technologies, this was like a clamor of billions and billions of both talented people and senseless dabblers.
Are you Afraid of 3D? Finally, nowadays we face a new era, when 3D rendering easily re-creates that very glamour that we are so striving to deliver. 3D modeling is an art as well, and a complex one, but it seems to be taking over the field of glamour images. I strongly believe that no artificial computer rendering can ever excel the natural beauty and genuine work of a talented artist. If this is a struggle of old and modern, my side is with the former.
I feel optimistic about the future – oils, film and digital have found their admirers and seem immortal. 3D art undoubtedly deserves for its own niche and admirers. Technology rarely matters – inspiration and devotion are the most important pillars of any art. Remembering this simple truth is a mark of a truly passionate artist.