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Photographers who specialize in glamour imagery may want to check out this new study about how men and women view such pictures. Here’s the bottom line: You’ve got to know your audience.

When presented photos of naked women, most men focused on the models’ faces before moving onto other areas. Women in the study gazed longer at images of heterosexual sex than men did. How interested they were depended on whether they were taking birth-control pills, which contain hormones. Curiously, those women who were taking birth-control pills were more interested in “background” details, such as jewelery.

The implications for photographers are obvious. Styling and model selection are of paramount importance. I think that most good glamour photographers have always understood the basics of this. Despite common stereotyping, men look for emotional satisfaction when they view pictures of naked women–or when they see a woman on the street. Men are constantly trying to gauge whether a woman is interested in them, and they do this by looking at a woman’s face.

Women have a much easier time telling whether a man is interested in them. And they don’t have to look at his face to tell.
–David Schonauer