01 Dec One Incredible Family: Series II
Alrighty, on to batch numero dos of this ‘Incredible’ family recently photographed. If you are wondering why I’m saying the number 2 in spanish, you probably missed series 1 on the Incredible shoot, click here to view those and get up-to-speed on this entire shoot concept prior to reading on.
This time we are venturing into the supers’ home, capturing an intimate view of how this undercover family lives day-to-day while casually use their powers. My goal was to capture the powers and visuals without the aid of photoshopping in post. Some of these were trickier than others to accomplish, but we found elegant ways to make this happen quickly, accomplishing all these compositions (lighting setups around the house and all) in less than two hours. We have all the supers with their outfits on underneath common clothing, making sure at least a little bit of their uniform is peeking out. I didn’t want this to be over-the-top dramatic. A lifestyle feel for a family who just so happen to be supers.
First up are Elastigirl and Jack-Jack (Kristine and Levi). We needed to showcase Elastigirl’s stretchiness. First hurdle – how in the world do we get this visual across without requiring warping the crap out of Kristine in photoshop. Well, ultra wide angle lenses when shot very closely to objects will warp the 3D world we live in as the light travels through the wide lens and slapped onto the 2D sensor. Easy enough. Second hurdle – what kind of every day realistic motion can we pose her in to make this a convenient way to utilize this power around the house. How about feeding the baby while cooking? A proper portrayal of Elastigirl’s hectic motherly duties in the movie, and a fun perspective when shot from the eyes of Jack-Jack. All we have to do is toss Levi’s hand in front of the lens and ask Kristine to pretend like my lens is a hungry baby, then we get that exaggeration in her arm which gives the impression of stretchiness.
Here are some BTS shots of how that visual was made. That’s Dad, Mike, assisting with Levi’s hand positioning.
Up next, the other perspective, revealing Jack-Jack in the highchair. Levi was our star in the first shoot, and he didn’t disappoint this day either. We slapped some food on his face and let him do his own thing. He was super curious with the camera, leaned right into the lens, and made this a super quick and easy shot. Look at dem peepers! Perfect Jack-Jack being happy and silly.
Here is another BTS shot as we prepped for Levi. Hilarious. He just sat there and looked on as Kristine applied a messy face.
Mr. Incredible was up to bat next. How do you send a clear message of strength in a photo? Sure, video is a much easier medium to show an action/feat of strength, but photos are a little tougher, especially in a casual situation. Lifting a car? I don’t exactly have a car lift at the ready. Tearing a phone book? Na, that’s just not visually interesting. I got it, lifting a bad dude, appearing to require no effort at all. This is a fun little trick we pulled off (also the reason I’m dressed in all dark colors for this shoot, I played the bad guy and Alice took the shot). All I’m doing is jumping up in the air while staying very relaxed and Mike has a loose grip on my chin line. I love this shot as everyone is totally relaxed, actually enjoying the moment of dealing with a bad guy, the kids are playing in the background like nothing is out of place, even baby Levi is having a good time.
Then it was time to capture Violet (Avila) making some forcefields, after all, Violet’s other power of invisibility isn’t exactly conducive for photography. Alice and I actually spent a few hours the day prior trying to figure out how to make purple colored bubbles. We tried all kinds of different concoctions, however, we couldn’t get a dramatic color shift, plus the bubble making had to be timed so well. It was turning into a headache. In the end, we went with a purple bouncy ball, which turned out to be a much more flexible prop, even if it’s not a realistic looking forcefield. To help give that “violet” feel, I gelled a back light to push more purple into Avila’s room.
Some BTS shots, Avila had a blast. She really tried taking on Violet’s ho-hum attitude and did a pretty good job. She ended up laughing a lot while attempting this.
The speedster of the family, Dash, was our last super of the day. Motion and the feeling of speed is challenging to photograph. A limited number of techniques are available to make this read well in a single capture, especially without doing a composite in photoshop. I went with a long shutter, combined with a flash at the end to “freeze” and deepen the detail at the end of the capture. Max did a good job here, as the long shutter stuff has to be well-timed, from beginning and end positions. So here he is, having a blast pushing his car around the house (at super sonic speeds).
So there you have it, The Incredibles family captured during a nice relaxing day spent at home. The Mauss family were so much fun to work with, great kids, and I’m very grateful they allowed me to photograph them in some goofy setups in their home! If you are reading this and want to do something fun like this, no matter what it is, give us a call, we’ll make it happen!