Give a man a mask and he will show his true face.

Mark Twain

The inspiration behind this image is the idea that we all put on various masks and our darkest sides tend to surface when we have something to hide behind. I am always surprised at how nasty I can become at times, as if there were a dark and twisted beast inside just waiting for the right moment to lash out.

I have to say, this image has been one of my favorites to create. Everything about this photo goes against my normal workflow with conceptual photography. I poured a great deal of time and energy into the pre-planning stages while the post-editing stage took the least amount of time. I made the bird mask from scratch using a template I found here. The location I used was right off of a main highway and while I typically like to shoot at more conspicuous locations the concrete slabs had the feel I was searching for. The only time I had available to shoot this photo was on a day when it was 20 degrees outside… not ideal for capturing an image while half naked. My mom was such a wonderful help during all this, she patiently glued the feathers onto my back and offered moral support while I took photos shirtless in the cold on the side of the road. My favorite part about this photo is the sunbeam shining on the feather in my hand. That part was completely unplanned and captured all in camera. I was more concerned about getting out of the cold and less concerned about the lighting that I didn’t even see the way the sun was falling on my arm. It wasn’t until later when I looked at the images in my car that I realized how perfectly that worked out. I love when everything just falls into place!

This image is the first image in a series of three that I will be doing. I have never successfully completed a photo series before so I felt now was as good a time to try as any!