The Devil is in the details.
The Devil is well known, super-naturally speaking, for making life difficult in many small ways. Conversely, and also from a supernatural being point-of-view, the idiom, "God is in the details," expresses the idea that whatever one does should be done thoroughly, i.e. details are important!
When it comes to photography, either phrase is appropriate. There are few things that separate a good picture from a great picture beyond those small, pesky, details reflected in the pic.
We all strive to light and pose and expose and compose in ways that take our pretty girl photography into the realms of awesome pretty girl photography. But as important as those aforementioned factors are, they're not enough when it comes to snapping great pics.
Like God or the Devil, an image's greatness, coolness, wow!(ness) or lack of it, often lies in the details.
Too often, we don't notice the impact of those image-detracting details until sometime after snapping the pics. Yeah, many of those things can be fixed in post but is that what you really want to do? Spend an inordinate amount of time fixing things in post?
I know I don't.
For me, post should be mostly about enhancing an image, not fixing things you overlooked while shooting.
Developing an eye for details is as important as developing your creative eye. Unfortunately, while we're engaged and consumed in creative thought processes, details are more easily overlooked. I suppose we get so caught up in the big picture aspects shown in our viewfinders that we neglect the smaller, less-obvious, things.
Have you ever snapped what could have been a great pretty girl pic only to notice, later on while editing and processing, those small, seemingly trivial, details you overlooked while shooting and are now messing with your photo? Happens to me all the time. Apparently, while in production, I was so fixated on lighting, posing, exposing, and composing my model, my eyes failed to notice the little details screwing up my capture.
The good news is that, sometimes, those things can be fixed.
The bad news is that, other times, they can't be fixed. Leastwise, not easily or entirely.
Some shooters consider too much emphasis on details as nitpicking. Here's some advice: Become a nitpicker. When it comes to details, train your eye to be as critical as possible. I know this sounds contrary to creative thinking but, when it comes to still photography, everything an image says to its viewers is compressed into a very small fraction of time. Details that seem trivial when things are in motion around you become magnified many times over when what's in front of you is reduced to a single, static image.
Next time you shoot, make yourself pay close, nit-picking, critical, attention to the small, detail-oriented things in your viewfinder. I'm not suggesting you become consumed with this process at the expense of the creative flow and photographer/model interactive dynamics of your shoot. But some degree of anal retentive observation, while simultaneously looking at the big picture, the artistic picture, and maintaining great communications with your model, is oh-so-important to well-executed pretty girl shooting.
Hey! No one said this shit's easy! If it were, it would be less fun and challenging. There also wouldn't be much reason for photo blogs, tutorials, workshops, or helpful books like How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional.
I'm just saying... and pimping. :-)
The gratuitous pretty girl at the top is Brazilian model, Paola, from a few years back.