You know how parents like to take pictures of their new born to document each milestone? We might’ve taken it too far.
This one is dedicated to Zoltan, without whom this project probably would have been completed two years sooner.
It all started with the Buzz Lightyear onesie.
It was a gift. And as a token of appreciation, Michelle and I thought it’d be cool to share a photo of Zoltan in the onesie. Sure.
Then, we thought if we were gana take a photo anyway, instead of using the floor or our bed, why not set up a clean backdrop to make everything look better? Of course.
And since we were already using a backdrop, we might as well… use ear buds as stars, scarves as planets, drag the thermometer across the canvas like a shooting star and, you know, while we were at it, Photoshop the photo and turn it into a poster.
Zoltan was two months old at the time.
We decided to do this every weekend till Zoltan’s one. year. old.
To prevent us from giving up this project half way, we had set some ground rules.
1. This project should not add unnecessary stress; it should be fun and off of our minds until the day of the shoot. So we tend to just try to come up with a theme on the day of the shoot or the day before. And that was why you’ll see lots of posters were drawn from current events.
2. If we could set up the scene using practical effects, we did. We wanted to utilize what we had around to increase the shot’s creativity and reduce the work needed for post production. It was also way more fun making a stereo speaker using cast iron lids and lego pieces than just throw one in with photoshop.
3. For each photoshoot, we had set a hard limit of 30 minutes per shoot. From finding the needed material to set up to snapping the photo, the entire process took no more than 30 minutes, which worked out 99% of the time. Usually it was Zoltan’s fault when we had to break this rule.
Flash: I used the Canon 430EX Speedlite with the Cowboy Studio Speedlite trigger
Camera: My beloved Olympus EM5 Mk II (which has since RIP’d due to a trip to waterfalls and sharp rocks) with the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8.
They’re in chronological order. Mostly.
The skater poster is one of my favorites. (Shout out to Jeff for making the custom moc for Zoltan)
During the ideation stage, we were sometimes inspired by current events, other times by the outfits available. How could we not do a golfer shoot with a polo like this one!?
Another one inspired by the outfit. My mother-in-law brought us this military-grade-looking down jacket. I’m pretty sure she thought we lived in Alaska.
Another one of my faves.
This was a surprise to my wife (where I set up the shoot without her). She was not impressed.
This was taken from a hotel in SoCal, where we attended a wedding that weekend.
The banana was meant to be the moon.
Warriors had won the championship. I made a custom onesie for the occasion.
July 4th weekend, the execution here was lacking. One of those weekends.
Most people don’t know what this is.
Pretty proud of how we pulled out the sashimi poster.
Looking back, the 1 year project wrapped up in a blink of an eye. Why stop at 1, you say?
Clearly, you don’t work with 1 year olds. Try asking one to sit still when you get a chance.
But why stop at digital posters, you ask?
Glad you asked:
We already spent 52 weekends taking photos, might as well making it a tangible book so we can brag to our grand kids and make their parents look bad.
I made the book with Blurb. I wish I could say I did intensive research and found that this is the go-to print shop. What happened was I read some simple reviews and decided to go with my gut. Turned out pretty well. I’d do it again.
A one weekend spur-of-the-moment type deal had turned into a year long project. It was certainly one of my most enjoyable projects. Also probably because the Warriors had won that year.
And sorry, my second kid, you might not get the same treatment. Daddy’s kinda lazy.
About the author: Benson Chou is a brand consultant and the founder of design studio Imaginary Zebra. You can find more of his work on his Website, Instagram, and Behance. This post was also published here.