I regularly peruse the work of other pretty girl shooters. From hobbyists to seasoned pros, I routinely make a habit of checking out what others are producing when capturing feminine beauty and mystique.
Many photographers, working in the pretty girl genres, seem to fall into two camps: Reality shooters and fantasy shooters.
Reality shooters are preoccupied with portraying truth in their imagery. They shy away from, what they perceive to be, contrived and pretentious lighting techniques, over-reliance on make-up and hair artistry, the use of props, and various post-processing applications. These elements, in the minds of reality shooters, devalue the images.
Fantasy shooters, on the other hand, work to manipulate reality, using all the above-mentioned ingredients at their disposal... and then some. These elements, in the minds of fantasy shooters, enhance the images.
I reside in the fantasy shooter camp. That's not to say I don't understand the value and power of truth in pretty girl shooting, but I'm also of the opinion that, often times, reality sucks or, at the very least, it needs some help.
Reality shooters often rely on the intellectual capacities of viewers to appreciate the impact of truth in their images. Fantasy shooters rely on more primal instincts to evoke an appreciative response by viewers.
There's definitely a balance between reality and fantasy that most shooters, myself included, strive to capture. Although we're often reminded we live in a digital world and, were told, our world can be viewed and reflected and decyphered in digital terms like zero/one, black/white, yes/no, photography is about the shades and frequency and gradients that reside in between these things. In other words, I'm not saying reality shooters strictly adhere to capturing reality while fantasy shooters strictly rely on manipulating reality. It's a frequency thing. It's about capturing shades of each. It's about finding balance and harmony between the two even though, quite often, which camp a shooter principally resides in is fairly obvious by their work.
Although I'm sure many of you are disappointed I didn't post another landscape shot (yeah, right) I thought I'd get back on topic with a gratuitous pretty girl pic. In this case, it's the Goddess of Glam, Ms. Tera Patrick. Tera is one of those models who requires somewhat less manipulation of reality to convey her beauty and allure.