Adding some spice with masks

One of the things I love to do is play with masks.
You could make the joke that it saves on retouching, or it even makes an ugly model look great, but (although all true) in essence for me it’s also the fact that you don’t see any facial expressions, so believe it or not it’s actually MUCH harder to pull off a good shot.

As human beings we are triggered by expressions, emotions (like laughing, smiling, being sad etc) and when you take these away the whole shot can become very “static”, and this is what you actually do with a mask. Now it’s up to YOU to create something interesting.

This weekend was the first time Iris was our model for a workshop, I did a testshoot with her of course but this was her first real “in front of the camera during a workshop” day. I always leave a lot of freedom to the models to think of something cool during the workshops, Iris and Liselotte came up with the following idea… and I loved it.

We often visit flea-markets (for our comics addiction and) to buy some cool stuff for our photoshoots, flea-markets and secondhand stores are actually goldmines for photographers and stylists, often you can get great deals on awesome props. When they are selling gas masks I’m always interested, somehow I just love the story they tell but also the look they give a model, you can combine them with dresses (in this case an awesome Sinister dress) but also with nudes (if you shoot them) and …. well it’s the kind of accessory that CAN work always, but it can also completely destroy a shot, so be careful and think about what you’re doing.

Lighting wise I used one simple lightbulb, no reflectors, no strobes, just a 100W bare bulb.
Here are some of the results.
Also see the difference the BW conversion makes, I always have difficulty choosing so I included both 😀


Want more in-depth tips and techniques?
Check out my book “Mastering the model shoot” or get one of my instructional videos via Direct video downloads

Iris May 10  2016 1912 1

Iris May 10  2016 1912

Iris May 10  2016 1932 1

Iris May 10  2016 1932

Iris May 10  2016 1958

Iris May 10  2016 2231 1

Iris May 10  2016 2231