Neck wrinkles in photos is my number one Pet Peeve

Neck Wrinkle (n) The overlaps in skin caused when a person’s head is turned with a seemingly unnatural angle relative to the neck.

Even though most photographers and models will create images that avoid overlapping wrinkles of skin somehow neck wrinkles pop up in professional fashion and beauty photography not commonly, but definitely not rarely.  There are neck wrinkles in a book titled “Fashion Photography” for crying out loud!

I don’t know why I allow myself to be so bothered by them.  Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to make posing adjustments to relieve the excruciating pressure required to overlap one’s skin on itself, or it might be because neck wrinkles remind me of over-active models trying too hard to show their arse AND their face, ala “Bikinis and Cars 18-month Calendar” style.

Whatever the reason, if there is a neck wrinkle in an image I just can’t stop looking at it (and thanks to this article I’ve now cursed you with the same affliction).  It’s like this, 1 of my 5 senses wants to abandon their post and render me temporarily deaf whenever I stumble onto one of Jay Leno’s monologues, yet my brain orders it to even greater attention, and in a true plot-twist my senses are repulsed but my brain is fascinated by the agony of it all.  So I cannot look away.

I even spend a few minutes talking about posing techniques that will eliminate neck wrinkles in my photo workshops for crying out loud!  It’s that big of deal to me.  I’m not condoning it, that’s just the way I am.

That being said sometimes, sometimes the perfect shot happens to have the wrinkles.  That’s just the way it is.  No amount of posing or time-machine can fix it.  The perfect comedy line-up just happens to include Jay Leno… what are you supposed to do?  Do you skip the whole event just because of one overlapping skin wrinkle?  Bless his heart.

The answer is of course NO.  You cannot abandon the perfect shot because of one dulwarp.

dulwarp (n) 1. Jay Leno 2. Neck Wrinkles.

So I’m working on a set of images I call the Chameleon Series. You haven’t seen the images yet, nor do you know anything about it because it’s a surprise (the series will go on display at The Aperture gallery in Salt Lake City on Friday June 23rd, 2010 – stay tuned for details) yet it happened… the perfect shot of one of the models just happened to have them.  I don’t know how I missed it during the shoot or if I noticed them and just didn’t realize we just made THE shot, but in any case I had to accept the fact that they were there.

THE shot (n) The shot of all shots in this particular look.

At first I just let them be, I thought to myself that I could do it. I could release an image with neck wrinkles, it would be fine.  But as the image neared completion I realized I couldn’t live with myself if Jay Leno accidentally made his way onto my TIVO anymore than I could put an image into this series with neck wrinkles.

So, I had to fix them and fixing them takes quite a bit longer than you’d think, yet it was all worth it.

Before

After (nearly complete)