One of the things I am most passionate about is photographing kids. When I work with kids, I try to capture more than their image in a picture; I want to capture their imagination and sense of wonder. My approach is simple. I let them be my Creative Directors. We sit together, come up with a concept, sketch, and then we take pictures.
For this image, the concept was Magic. I was walking around Spectacular Themes, a huge props’ warehouse I partnered with when I spotted this Magic apparatus. I immediately pointed it to my son and asked if he wanted to have a picture with that, to which he replied, with a big smile, “yes, that’s so cool.” That night, I called my good friend Winfield Murdock, who is a former Illusionist and now owns a costume company that makes costumes for Disney, Universal Studios and Broadway shows, and asked him if I could borrow a magician costume for a picture. He not only said yes, but he let us borrow one of the costumes he used to wear for his shows as an Illusionist. The next day I packed my gear, costumes, and we went back to Spectacular Themes. While there, I gathered a few other props, and I built a small set in a corner they had designated for me to do photoshoots.
My kids had mentioned they wanted me to be the one inside the magician box. They also told me they wanted a lot of rabbits and doves in the picture, and at the last minute, my daughter said she wanted to add a baby chick to the image as well. Having all of this in mind, I made sure everybody was positioned where they were supposed to, so I could then add these elements in Photoshop.
In these images, I wanted to portray the fun we have as a family, and most importantly, my kids’ personalities; that’s why it is so important for me to brainstorm with them before every photo shoot, that way I make sure I honor their ideas.
Shooting tethered not only allows me to see the images clearly, but it also helps me visualize in advance the elements I will be adding to the images in Photoshop.