Becoming a dad is one of the proudest moments of many men’s lives. The moment they hold their little one in their arms for the first time is the moment when their life changes forever. Unfortunately, there a times when a pregnancy doesn’t go exactly how it’s planned and babies are born too early. This proud father of a premature baby took what is usually a frustrating time, and turned it into a time for laughter and fond memories.Matt’s son Ryan was born nine weeks early. Weighing in at only 3 pounds, Ryan needed to stay in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit for the first six weeks of his life. Despite being a small guy at first, his father knew that he was destined for greatness.
Matt knew that he wanted to do the same thing since before he was born, but he didn’t decide on the theme until Ryan was finally home. “We joked that he wasn’t premature just “advanced” – so I came up with the idea that we should do a photoshoot of him doing manly adult things,” explained Matt.
“Each shoot took about 15-20 minutes. Most of the work is in the setup and editing. First, I had to make props and find outfits for most of the pictures,” explained Matt.
“The next step was setting up the scene, framing the shot, arranging props, and setting up the lighting where appropriate,” Matt explained. Despite all of Matt’s hard work, he wouldn’t have been able to do it all on his own.
Matt explains that his loving wife was always nearby to lend a helping hand. “My wife often helped out by holding him so I could put his hands/arms/legs in certain positions, holding things. After I got the pictures of Ryan,” he said.
“I would take some shots of anything that he couldn’t actually hold, like the ax swinging or the fish on the fishing line,” Matt explained. You see, it might look like Ryan is doing all of these crazy things, but it’s actually just the fantastic magic of Photoshop!
“After each shoot, I would comb through these hundreds of photos and choose the best ones. I then used Photoshop to remove myself from the pictures and combine the best parts of his body into a unified composite photo.”
Would the people of the Internet enjoy Matt’s sense of humor and artistic approach? Or would they ignore the obvious and assume that Ryan was being put in harm’s way.
“Most people found them funny but there were always a few people that feared for Ryan’s safety. I always explained how the “danger” all came from Photoshop and he was always being held and was never in any harm,” stated Matt.
“People seemed to love the photos – there was a lot of disappointment when the series came to an end,” says Matt. Even though Matt is grateful that people enjoyed his work, he mainly did it for Ryan.
“I’m curious to see what Ryan thinks of them 18 years from now when he’s actually grown up.” We’re curious to see what he thinks of them, as well!
And his proud papa says that he’s finally caught up with his weight! Premature babies can be a bit more difficult to raise but Matt says that all you need is to “to be patient, be positive, and seek support.”