Why I Post Outtakes

Once upon a way back when, in the early days of the website, I created a section called The Gallery of Goofs, Spoofs, and Outtakes. Later, this gallery spawned The Terrible Tues(days) over on Ye Olde Facebook Page. You have probably guessed by now that both of these exist to showcase just a few of the many things that do not go according to plan during any given photo shoot.

There are three reasons I post outtakes from shoots. First, because they’re funny. I like funny things, other people like funny things, and I have no problem being a funny thing if it will brighten someone’s day.

Second, because I see a difference between being serious about something and taking something seriously, and I never want to forget it. I am serious about working hard to make sure everything I put in front of the camera is the best that it can be. I am serious about doing my part to push back against ageism by continuing to get in front of the camera for as long as I feel like doing it, and not stop because some people think women “my age” shouldn’t do such things. I am serious about bodily autonomy, freedom of expression, I am very serious about very many things that being a semi-professional naked person encompasses. But standing in your underwear in a fabricated environment in front of a camera is not a job anyone should take overly seriously, and posting outtakes helps me keep that very much in mind.

Third, and most importantly, because we are hammered from all sides on a daily basis by images of what we’re supposed to believe human beings actually look like. There has recently been, and rightfully so, tremendous pushback against the digital manipulation of images creating impossible standards that serve only to make 99.43% of the population feel like shit when they look in the mirror. But even before those images get to editing, they are images created within very stringent circumstances; professionally-done hair & makeup, expertly-chosen wardrobe tailored down to the last stitch, all combined with perfect lighting and captured at precisely the right angle.

So while it’s imperative to keep in mind that:

1- not everybody looks like that, and
2- even the people who seem to look like that only look like that after hours of effort

I’m going to add another thing I keep in mind that you should perhaps consider as well, which is:

3- even people who look like that DON’T look like that even when they DO look like that

and here is some math to back that statement up.

When we do a shoot, we take a lot of images. I mean, like, a lot of images. Our record is 918 in an afternoon. But that’s high. For the sake of round numbers, and to get closer to an average, let’s base our math on the assumption of 500 images per shoot, each shoot taking about 3 hours, from which we use an average of 20 images in a final gallery.

This also varies, but again for the sake of round numbers, we’ll assume a shutter speed of 1/100.

So 500 images taken at 1/100 of a second each equals 5 seconds of real time the camera is actually capturing what is in front of it. 5 seconds out of 3 hours.

20 images from a set of 500 is 4%. 4% of 5 seconds is 1/20 of a second.

One twentieth of one second, out of three hours. That is what you’re seeing when you look at one of my photo galleries. In the fractions of seconds in the spaces between the photos on the left, and countless other images like the photos on the left, things like the photos on the right are made.

That is how long I actually look like a model when I’m modeling. For one twentieth of one second. For much of the rest of the time, I look like this:

Which is why I post my outtakes. To show that even within the strict confines of perfect circumstances, when everything has been done to make sure someone looks their absolute best, nobody actually looks like that for very long.

With any luck, you’re going to be walking around this rock we call home for a really long time. Don’t ever compare all your years to anyone else’s fraction of a second.
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