As you peruse your photos, consciously or semi-consciously performing some mental editing, you start to notice that more than a few are not going to make the cut. Nothing particularly abnormal about that. There's a myriad of reasons why you might "86" many photos. Some of those reasons aren't necessarily because you, the photographer, were asleep at the wheel.
But some of them are!
Some of my first-cut rejects, the ones that bug me most, are the shots where the images
"What was I thinking?" I often ask myself as I smack the palm of my hand against my forehead and stare at an otherwise good photo, sometimes a potentially great photo, messed up by the unattractive and unacceptable dismemberment of a body part at the edge of the frame.
That's not to say framing with various amputations performed is always the reason for rejecting a photo. But, often enough, some amputations (perhaps many) are cause for rejection.
So why does this happen?
Well, I have a theory or two. (You probably already knew I would, right?)
First off, and probably most importantly when it comes to pretty girl shooting, it has much to do with the beautiful models in our viewfinders. (This is, after all, a blog about photographing beautiful women, right? For the most part, that is.)
Yep. It's the model's fault.
If she wasn't so damned hot and sexy and maybe even naked, our eyes wouldn't be automatically drawn to certain parts of her anatomy--the majority of pretty girl shooters being guys and all--with those parts tending to exist well within the perimeters of our frames.
When our eyes and minds are captivated by a beautiful face, bountiful breasts, or other curvaceous commodities our models possess, the perimeters of our frames tend to get less attention from us. And *that's* how those otherwise good snaps often get screwed up!
BTW, for you female photographers who might not be smitten by the eye-candy in your viewfinder, there's still a good chance, for whatever reasons, you're focused more on the body of the frame (as opposed to the body "in" the frame) rather than the frame's edges or perimeter. Just sayin.
Here's what I've done in an attempt to reduce the numbers of images I reject because I wasn't paying enough attention. Well, not paying enough attention to everything in my viewfinder rather than mostly the eye-candy parts. I've trained my eye, the eye pressed to the viewfinder, to do a quick, almost robotic, scan of the perimeter of the frame first.
It doesn't matter where you start your frame-edge scan or where you end up. (For some reason, my eye likes to start in the lower right corner of the frame and move it's way around the frame's perimeter, counter-clockwise.) After I've done that, and it only takes a very brief amount of time to do it, my eye returns to the more central body of the frame... and I snap the shutter. I go through this scanning process fairly quickly and I might be mouthing a direction or two while doing so.
I'll admit it took a bit of time to train my eye to do this in an automatic kind of way. And it certainly hasn't guaranteed that I never mess up my framing because of lack of attention. But it has reduced the incidence rate of village idiot screw-ups I make while shooting.
The pretty girl at the top is Faith. Snapped it at a 2nd floor loft location in down-town Los Angeles a few years ago. Three lights employed: 5' Photoflex Octodome for my main and a couple of kickers, either side, from behind. I also used a white reflector to bounce in a bit of fill. Here's another of Faith, this time in color and featuring Faith dressed less formally.
Almost forgot to mention-- I started a Facebook Pretty Girl Shooter page. Just created it yesterday. If you're a Facebooker, please stop by and "Like" it! Me like you back long, long time. Facebook: Pretty Girl Shooter.