I’ve been interested in using masks as props for my images but just a little unsure about how to make something like that work. On the one hand, a mask hides the face and expression, which is not really something I’m interested in. On the other hand, it can help create a feeling of anonymity in the subject that can help her feel less inhibited in front of the camera. I’ve had this mask for months wondering when I might bother using it. I caught myself, telling the model (a trained dancer) to move it away from her face. As a portrait photographer, the face is more important to me than anything else in a photo. I seem to be okay with using sunglasses, hair, and the brim of a hat, to obscure the face, or no face at all showing in a photo, but a full-out mask just throws me off for some reason. Anyway, what I came away with here was a sort of in-between. This happened to me once before with another mask idea (see below).
I’ve had clients who’ve tried using a mask to add a sense of mystery to their images, and I suppose it works to some degree. I just have yet to figure out how to do a portrait using a mask to actually cover most of the face, in a way that I’m happy with. But I’ll keep trying. One thing I’ve learned is that the images will come if you work at them. Until then, maybe I’m onto something with this “unmasking” thing.