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A Brief History of Glamour Photography: Part 2

Home GlamCareers & Your Future, InFocus, Modeling, Photographer   A Brief History of Glamour Photography: Part 2   

In my first article, A Brief History of Glamour Photography: Part 1, I talked about the beginnings of Glamour Photography circa 1920.

The examples I had were all through the Golden Age of Hollywood reaching into the 1940’s.

That type of glamour photography still exists today.  What happened during the evolution of the genre is more styles of glamour were added. The new styles still had the same goals in mind, creating visual representations that are alluring and attractive.

Playboy1953The emergence of the next significant style that contributes to the Glamour genre happened in the 1950’s.  Anyone have a guess? That’s right…Playboy Magazine.

Hugh Hefner, when he worked for Esquire Magazine, had a vision for a men’s magazine that he wanted to call “Stag Party”.  After finding investors and changing the name due to a potential trademark lawsuit from “Stag Magazine”, Playboy was born.

The first centerfold was Marilyn Monroe.  Originally the centerfold picture was for a calendar but was used instead for the now famous centerfold.

The Glamour Nude style of glamour photography was born.  This significant milestone set the standard as to what we know as Glamour Nude photography today. A kind of Girl-Next-Door innocence with a hint of naughtiness.

What’s terrific is that still holds true to this day.

The next significant glamour style to emerge happened in 1965. Anyone?  Anyone? Yes, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.


Women in the Surf at Cozumel-Sheared Leather Swimsuit January 20, 1964 X 9666 credit:  J. Frederick Smith - assign

Women in the Surf at Cozumel-Sheared Leather Swimsuit
January 20, 1964
X 9666
credit: J. Frederick Smith – assign

This was the brainchild of SI Editor Andre Leguerre to fill the winter months when sports were typically slow.  Remember this was 1965!

Kate Upton

Kate Upton

This brought an entirely new style of glamour to the table.  It also brought sexy, scantily clad women into a mainstream medium that wasn’t considered “adult” material.  What might be considered “taboo” in Playboy, Sports Illustrated had essentially the same allure without the nudity.

Fantastic concept!  We all know how huge this has become today with celebrity athletes such as Steffi Graf, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and tons more posing for this issue as well.

The next really significant style that Glamour Photography has become known for is fashion related.  Any guesses? Yep, Victoria’s Secret.

Victoria's Secret

Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret was started in 1977 in San Francisco, CA by Roy Raymond.  He started it because he felt uncomfortable buying lingerie for his wife from big department stores.  His goal was to provide an environment comfortable for men to purchase lingerie.

We all know how huge Victoria’s Secret has become today. It also infused into Glamour Photography the lingerie style that we all identify with.  When I photograph lingerie, the Victoria’s Secret style is the context that I think of.



My Glamour timeline ends with modern Men’s magazines.  The two most identified and iconic being FHM and Maxim.

Both of these Men’s Lifestyle Magazines are U.K.-originated but have versions in the U.S. and a multitude of countries worldwide. These are significant because they not only bring celebrities such as Christa Miller seen on Maxim’s premier cover in 1995 but they also give access to non-celebrity women a nationwide publication.  They do that through contests such as Maxim’s Hometown Hotties.  I have done many photo shoots for young ladies with aspirations of being a Hometown Hottie.

Maxim and FHM both do not have nudity although the women are most often scantily clad.  They have become so much a part of our popular culture that the type of photography you see in them have taken on the names  “Maxim-like” or “FHM-like” pictures.

So with that brief history in mind, take a look around this site and I’m sure you’ll easily see hints of all the styles I discussed.

Thanks for reading!

Our Glamorous cover model is: Lindsey Danielle of Astoria, OR. To learn more about Lindsey, please visit her here: GlamModel Lindsey  Lindsey’s, photography is supplied by Ronin Photography & Design.

Article courtesy of Don Taniguchi of Ronin Photography & Design, contributing photographer to GlamModelz Magazine and a highly sought after glamour photographer and educator in the Pacific Northwest.  You can read the original version in his blog at Ronin Photography & Design Glamour Category.


I'm a Boise, Idaho based Professional Photographer specializing in portrait and commercial photography. I have been working in the Boise Valley for almost 10 years developing my unique style combining creativity with technical expertise. Shooting in the studio or on location, I always achieve the finest art for my clients. Ronin Photography & Design. Don has published 19, articles with GlamModelz Magazine.

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