It seems that face masks protecting us against COVID-19 have been the official accessory of 2020, and there is no sign they are going away anytime soon. In this new episode from AdoramaTV, (as part of the “Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey” series), focused on “Face Covered Portraits Gavin goes over several ways to incorporate face masks and coverings into your dramatic portraits.

Face Covered Portraits 1

For anyone photographing a model wearing a face cover, it can seem like a challenge when concealing the majority of a subject’s face. For shooting subjects with face coverings, professional photographer Gavin Hoey shares his tips and tricks for creating a sense of mystery, drama, and emotion with the use of lighting, styling, and editing.

Face Covering Portraits BTS 1

With the help of his model Sophie, he starts by showing some basic setups that would normally “technically” work, but with a face-covering / mask on, it just doesn’t cut it.  After that, he moves on to show you how to build up your lighting to increase the “drama” to get the look you’re dreaming of.

We get some drama by adding some shadows.”  and to do this we’ll move the light around so now it’s almost at the side of Sophie this is going to give us dramatic lighting split lighting. The next part and perhaps the most important part which is the eyes of your subject! When you cover somebody’s face you lose half of their ability to express emotion but the eyes are vital and in this case, Sophie has done a fantastic job with her eye makeup. (in fact, Sophie is a professional makeup artist). Next, we’re going to use this strip box in the corner to separate Sophie from the dark background where she was sort of disappearing on the left-hand side of the shot.

Smoke Machine Time Face Covered Portraits

From there we’ll add a bit of smoke for additional atmosphere, and after a few shots, we’ve created something epic! Now it’s time to hop into the post-processing in photoshop. And that’s it! In this video, Hoey takes you behind the scenes to demonstrates the use of a lighting set-up that works for him and explains why the eyes of your subject matter more than ever for this style of shoot.  Have you done any creative mask shoots since the pandemic has started? Thinking of trying some now that you’ve seen this video? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to share your dramatic face-mask portraits!