Glamour shots after 40 – Why you should have one and how to prepare for the photoshoot

by Kelly Billimoria

How to prepare for a glamour photoshoot and why you should have one after 40! |

As you know we believe that style only gets better with age. And in many ways so does a woman’s beauty. It should therefore be captured at all ages.

Glamour photo shoots offer women just that.

Why do a glamour photo shoot?

Some of you may feel that glamour shoots are for the young, the truly daring or those who have model-esque bodies. But you will be surprised at the number of 40, 50, even 60 year olds that are embracing their beauty and booking a photo shoot. I personally have worked with ladies who have booked a glamour shoot in their 70’s.

Many of my favourite female stars have now hit the big 4-0 and I think they look better than ever!

Actresses, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, from the film The Second Most Exotic Marigold Hotel are in their 80s and look exceptionally fabulous. Not only are they hired for their acting but their job also involves promotional photo shoots and red carpet events.

Having glamorous photos taken, at any age, is really about doing something for you and something that will make you remember how absolutely amazing you feel and look.

Whether you opt for a package with hair and makeup or go as you are, it is all about having fun as an experienced photographer captures your unique beauty. Most women will say but “I don’t know how to pose” or “I’m uncomfortable in front of the camera” . However, an experienced photographer will guide you through poses that will make you feel confident, sexy and make you look better than ever. Don’t forget to bring a friend with you or even your favourite tunes to get you into an easy relaxed mood.

My tips on achieving a great photo shoot

If you do decide to take a leap of faith and book a photo shoot, here are my personal tips on achieving the best results for your timeless photos.


  1. Exfoliate

Exfoliation will help remove any dead skin that may be visible through the sharp lens of a camera. Try doing this a few times beforehand; not only will you look great in your pictures but you will also feel good.

  1. Facial

If the photoshoot is all about you, why not spoil yourself by pampering yourself with a facial. Make sure you do this at least 1 week prior to your shoot, in case you encounter any post-facial redness.

  1. Eyebrow grooming

The eyebrows are the frames of your face. It’s important that you groom them before your shoot. If you wax you should do this about 3 days beforehand and if you trim or pluck at least 1-2 days before.


  1. Colour or Touch up

Don’t forget to touch up or dye your hair at least 3 days before your shoot. It is not the best time to make any drastic changes to your look.

  1. Trim

Healthy hair always looks fabulous on camera, so if you haven’t had a haircut in a while even a trim can make a world of difference.

  1. Deep condition

It always helps your hairdresser when your hair is soft and smooth. It makes it easier for them to style and set your hair into place. I suggest that 1-2 days before your shoot, you apply a hair mask at home or head to your salon to get a deep condition. Your hair will be truly thankful for it, not to mention your photo shoot hairstylist.


  1. Get a Manicure

We always neglect our hands, but they are the most photographed feature of a photoshoot. Regardless if you have time or not, make sure your nails are looking well groomed. Head for a manicure and a pedicure too. If not, shape your nails so that they are neat and apply soft or neutral nail polish.


  1. Hair removal

Depending on the style of your shoot, it is best to be prepared for anything. Make sure you do all your hair removal the day before. Don’t forget your bikini region if you are doing any swimwear, lingerie or boudoir shoots.

  1. Spray Tan

If you are a regular to spray tans or self-tanning and you prefer to have your tan boosted, make sure you do this at least 3 days before. Do remember that it’s important for you to be comfortable in your own skin and that if necessary you can always add a faux glow in the postproduction of the photographs you like.


Sylvia’s style tips and tricks will help you create the perfect outfit, but what actually looks good on camera? Is having a photo shoot the time to experiment or buy new clothes? I suggest remembering these 3 tips when picking your outfit.

  1. Something Creative

Pick some outfits, accessories or props that are fun. This will help portrait YOUR style in your photographs. For example, a Fedora or Straw hat can instantly change the mood of any photo shoot. You could be channeling a Western theme or Beach theme, maybe even a Parisian vibe.

  1. Comfort & Style

Always bring clothes that you are comfortable in, but put away those PJ’s and track pants. Choose clothes that you feel sexy, slim or confident in. Avoid loose fitting clothes, your outfits should fit your figure and not be squeezing you in too much. Don’t forget that there is no rule as to your style, feel free to bring outfits with different necklines or with various lengths. You will never know how they look on camera, plus they will add a variety of looks.

  1. Avoid Prints

This is the most crucial thing to remember. Prints and patterns can be distracting to the eye. Why spend all this money on a photo shoot for people to see the pattern of your outfit rather than you! Try to the best of your ability to stick to solid colours and for variety choose textures like silk or velvet over patterns and prints. But I must admit, there are some prints or patterns that each of us can carry. So if you have one that you love and feel good in, bring it along and let the photographer decide.

Just remember it’s all about you and your beauty. Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with and don’t be shy to say anything – you only live once, so be vain!  It is after all about you and your unique beauty.


Kelly is 40+Style’s makeup and beauty expert writer. She is a professional makeup artist currently residing in Singapore. For more information or bookings contact her through her website.

1 denton

Great tips! Along with the bold patterns, do not bring anything with writing! This should be self-evident but now is not the time to wear that Celine logo T-shirt. I tend to dislike all-black and all-white outfits as they can be difficult to maintain texture. Also make sure it is understood what kind of post-processing the photog will do, and what kind and what resolution images you will get. Discuss the backdrop too, will the photog be using a white, black, gray, or other backdrop? My choice of backdrop can depend on whether the client is light or dark skinned, or whether she will be wearing mostly dark or light clothes.

I usually suggest three outfits for a shoot, if applicable one a professional outfit suitable for a linkedin profile (this may not apply here), a fashion forward outfit, and a ‘sexy’ outfit with the client defining that term. Being able to mix and match is helpful and as Sylvia says accessories are key, especially hats! I like interesting eyewear/sunglasses too. If you are a collector of a particular item, say Chanel costume jewelry, now is the time. Make sure the photog is aware of your specific needs in this regard.

Also discuss whether you will be doing full body shots which would include shoes, or knees/waist up, focusing more on face. and character

2 Yvonne

Brilliant – I think women should have photo shoots at any age!

Yvonne from


Gosh–even women as old as 60!!!

4 Yvonne

Absolutley – why not? My Mum for example started modelling at 78 – what a nice boost – smile!

5 Lisa M

Not to be the sour note here, but everyone should be aware that photos can be used against you. If you work in a career where the wrong photo could be your undoing, think twice.

It’s not just the rich and famous who have to worry about a wayward photo getting in the paper. Someone gets your image it can be sent anywhere to anyone.

6 Greetje

Great tips, also from Denton. I have had a photoshoot like that, but it was for my companies magazine. I forgot to ask for the pictures haha.

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