Lots of Sclera - Good or Bad?

Sclera is the white part of the eye, while the iris is the colored part. When doing glamour photography, I like to achieve a great variety of looks. One of these would be to show a lot of sclera, as shown in this image of Valeria, taken with my friend Roger D.:

This image was made for black and white!

This image was made for black and white!

While I adore the "wild look" of a lot of sclera, not everyone shares my opinion. One such person is Scott Kelby, President of KelbyOne (formerly the National Association of Photoshop Professionals). Scott has taught me so much through his books, blog, lectures, training videos and podcasts that I take notice when his opinion differs from mine. His opinions are not to be taken lightly! On a recent viewing of The Grid podcast (Episode 133 at 41:07), Scott and headshot specialist Peter Hurley were critiquing portraits. It was pretty clear that Peter thought showing a lot a sclera was acceptable, even though Scott did not like the look.

In my opinion, black and white emphasizes the sclera. Consider the following example, this time of Karen, also taken with Roger D.:

Too much sclera?

Too much sclera?

To me, the abundance of sclera enhance the look of pining on Karen's face, and therefore enhances the look Roger and I were looking for. Granted, the iris is more beautiful than the sclera, but I like variety when I take a series of portraits. As the ancient saying goes "Art is in the eye of the beholder." No pun intended!