Laurent Benaim – Title Unknown (20XX)
This is an ambitious photo. Nine people–five men, two women and two others of indeterminate gender beyond the frame edge boundary–focused on pleasing one woman.
There are two prominent compositional strategies working here:
First, the image can essentially be divided along a diagonal axis (lower left to upper right); this renders a dark side (upper left) and light side (lower right); within this there is, of course, a sort of yin and yang where light portions in the dark half and vice versa more or less balance each other out.
Second, since any three non-co-linear points can form a vertices of a triangle, heads–and to a lesser extent limbs–imply suggested re-framings.
You’ll note that these implicit triangles favor directing the viewers gaze to what’s happening between her legs as opposed to emphasizing the expression on her face–which appears strangely resigned to the proceedings.
I almost want to give credit for effort seeing as how within this triangulation there is a calculated inversion of the light and dark that over-arches the composition–the dark hair vs bright faces and how this shuttles the gaze around the photo.
However, the angular dynamics are undercut by the fact that the frame is essentially centered on the woman’s crotch. (A slightly wider angle of view or a shift in frame that centered on either the woman kissing her left thigh or her right knee would make this more logical consistent.)
Yet, despite the fact that looking at this too long makes my pubococcygeus muscle clench because of the visual overstimulation, I do really like that fact that although this is explicit, it isn’t graphic; there is no visible private bits.
And I do really love the way the woman in the upper half of the frame has latched onto the main woman’s nipple while just to her left someone out of frame has the main woman’s wrist pinned to the floor.