At the beginning of 2015 I made a trip to EPCOT where I came about a mask shop in the Italy section. I have always been fascinated by masks, especially on women.
Masks give an essence of mystery because you don’t know if they are hiding their faces from fear or insecurity or they are fierce individuals who lure you in with a false sense of insecurity.
I’ve seen some masks over the years and I must say the more intricate and artistic the more I love them. That’s what has inspired me over the last few months.
Women are my favorite with masks as costume props because it forces you to look at their eyes, where a true story is told. They don’t say it with their bodies it’s told through their eyes, how they see the world and how their heart receives the world they see.
There is nothing more intense than to look into a woman’s eye. That’s why this prop was so vitally important and why I wanted to create a series of images using masks.
Another great feature masks provide is versatility. Masks can be used for Mardi Gras style shoots down to Steam punk and Victorian themes. The limits are endless! You can use the mask to bring out an emotion or be a catalyst in the story you’re portraying.
To illustrate that, the last two shots I did had two totally different themes. The first was a dancer that sported a Gothic feel. As an artist sometimes you have to wear a mask to hide the pain or insecurities from the world around you. There is no greater sense of rejection than what an artist takes regardless of the medium; so it’s easy to feel insecure to the world – sometimes we wear masks to hide our true feelings. The “Masked Dancer” is telling you the story of the dancer as she puts blood, sweat and tears into her passion and art.
The other shoot was a Steam Punk shoot. The mask had notes on the outer surface, so we complimented it with a violin; an instrument that is both beautiful and feminine. The violin is both a violin when played traditionally but seconds as a fiddle – both using different techniques to play the same instrument. You can’t tell what the mask is doing in this particular shoot, hiding an emotion or just adding to the beauty of the model.
I plan on doing a lot more photos with masks. I am completely addicted to them and I look forward to stirring more emotions using them.