Dadlabs Takes Over The Macy's Day Parade

Last fall, I pitched the guys from DadLabs.com on a conceptual shoot. In case you haven't heard of it, DadLabs is a site dedicated to "taking back paternity". The videos posted there every week are hilarious and educational, and I've had the opportunity to be a guest a few times. I presented them with several ideas for shoots, and the one that stood out was a parade shot, where the guys were trying to control a giant float. Here's the original sketch I did:

At first I wanted one of the guys to be the float, but Clay from DadLabs had the great idea of making the float a real baby, coasting somewhat-uncontrollably through the streets. And rather than observing the float, the Dadlabs crew would be walking it down the street.

I set out to shoot some backgrounds, and this one stuck out. I drew a new mockup over this background to get an idea of how we would approach lighting and shooting the Dadlabs team (and the baby). This image was important because we were able to test angles and positioning of the subjects while shooting.

It turns out that the shadows on the right side of the foreground building were too strong, so we replaced the entire side later.

Now, whenever you shoot babies (especially the union ones), it helps to have a stand-in during lighting tests so that when the 'talent' leaves the comfort of their trailer, everything is ready. Here's our stand-in for the day:

In the end, the baby was made up of 3 different shots (apparently they don't like to be told to hold a position, so you end up taking the best parts of each image and building it later).

And here's the completed shot (there's also a slightly larger version of it in the portfolio section):

What do you think? If you have any questions about how we approached this, feel free to leave them below in the comments and I'll reply.