Self-taught photographer extraordinaire Kelly Tan has created a beautiful and imaginative photo series of her young daughter, which depicts an alternate reality based on larger than life and shadows. However, if you're expecting to see the basic ol' ho hum shadow castings of a child, you'll be disappointed, because Tan has taken shadow play to a whole new level. In each photo in the I Have A Dream series, Tan has reworked her little girl's shadow into a whimsical design representing fantastic events and creatures. Keep reading to learn more and to see more of Tan's amazing series.
Tan told iPhone Photography School that her daughter was a model for her when she first started creating collage artworks — but after she switched to photo manipulations, she no longer used her for a model. However, Tan notes, “Then one day I suddenly had an idea about shadow-play, so I asked my daughter be my model.” Each creative shadow is cast upon a plain gray wall, which allows the alternate fun reality to really shine through the eyes of her daughter.
How it’s done
All the images Tan creates are shot and edited on her iPhone and iPad. She uses various apps that allow her to edit and integrate them with fairytale-minded stock photos. Tan also told iPhone Photography School how she managed to create such lovely photos using her phone, noting, “All the blending and editing was completed in ArtStudio. I made some enhancements in Snapseed and PS Express (details, sharpness, selective adjust, reduce noise). And I slightly changed the color using a VSCO Cam filter.”
Unlike some photographers who just post their photos, Tan always explains, in great detail, on Instagram, what her photo is about, the inspiration behind it, and the apps used to work on the project. It’s a great way for other iPhone photographers to gain insight into what works when taking photos.
How the series mimics real life
What makes these shadow photos extra special is how each was created using real life as the inspiration. For example, of the photo above, Tan writes, “One day, my daughter brought the blocks instruction for me, asked me to make a boat for her according to the instruction. But I told her… don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there. The instructions [are] just inside your/my [mind]. Then she made a giraffe for me.”
Sometimes you have to look twice to see the whimsical value of the photo. For example, although at first glance this does appear to simply be a shadow of a ride-on toy, at second glance you see the wings and expanded trunk which really adds to the magical quality of each photo.
Find Tan’s work
Tan goes by “Lovepaperplane” online on her various social media accounts. You can find more of her awesome shadow series, plus many other beautiful photos via Instagram and the other links below.