Razzle-Dazzle: Hollywood's Classic Glamour Photos


From the Jazz Age in the 1920’s to the advent of glamour photography in the 1930’s, people around the world were dazzled by elegant photos of their favorite stars. Take a look at some classic Hollywood portraits that continue to influence glamour photography many decades after.

It all began in the Jazz Age—the unmistakable era of dynamism, women empowerment, soothing jazz music, and classy Flapper fashion in the United States. It never completely lost its appeal, carrying on to influence pop culture decades after it ended. Glamour photography, whose origins can be traced around this period, played a significant role in the rise of Hollywood and its stars. Most of the notable Hollywood icons from this era had one or two glamour photos that aided their rise to stardom.

Clara Bow via littleredglass on Flickr

Glamour photos of this period reflected powerful use of lights and shadows, elegant portraits, air of mystery, and perfection beyond reach. Some photos had a dreamy appeal, but those with crisp details and established moods were also in abundance. Some notable Hollywood photographers such as George Hurrell and Clarence Sinclair Bull emerged from this period and later on became synonymous with the classic Hollywood photography that we still find appealing today. Movie stars and singers relied on such photographers to create appealing and iconic images to advance their careers.

Here are more beautiful classic photos that set the standards for beauty and defined “glamour”.

Clara Bow via King of World
Louise Brooks via Glamour Daze
Jean Harlow by George Hurrell via clamsbanana on Flickr
Greta Garbo by Clarence Sinclair Bull via Lolita's Classics
Judy Garland by Clarence Sinclair Bull via Classic Film Gal

Do you have a favorite classic glamour photo? Tell us about it through a comment below!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2011-05-05 #lifestyle #classic #photography #hollywood #lomography #glamour #analogue-lifestyle #actresses


  1. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    Very nice photos! Personally, this has been one of my favorite photographs of women from back in the day.
    I just can't seem to pinpoint out why I love it so much. There's just so much going on about this photo that I love!

  2. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    Chicago is one of my all-time favorite movies/musicals, and the photos of Louise Brooks and Jean Harlow above instantly reminded me of Velma Kelly (Zeta Jones) and Roxie Hart (Zellweger)!

    Thanks for sharing your favorite classic photograph, fivedayforecast! Love how that photo looks nicely simple yet tells a lot as you say!

  3. willyboy
    willyboy ·

    I wonder what they are thinking about when they gaze off into the distant?

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