The Little Aviator

Ryder, The Little Aviator!

Here’s our adorable little grandson Ryder, starring as “The Little Aviator” for his five month old baby portrait!

A cute fantasy baby portrait titled "The Little Aviator." An adorable five month old baby boy flying a hot air balloon in the clouds over Pololu Valley on the big island of Hawaii.

“The Little Aviator” flying over the big island of Hawaii.

I got the idea of having Ryder flying in a hot air balloon after watching the Disney Pixar movie “Up” with our granddaughter Riley. When he’s wearing his cute aviator hat and goggles, I think Ryder actually kind of resembles Carl Fredricksen. The only thing missing is the freckles!

So I found a hot air balloon prop that we can use in the studio for newborn portraits for years to come. It even comes with different colored balloons, so it’s going to be a very versatile prop for baby boys or baby girls.

Ryder is a not so “little” five month old baby boy.

Now, this hot air balloon is really meant for newborn baby portraits, or at the very least, small babies. Weighing in at just over 24 pounds, our “little” Ryder really isn’t very little for a five month old! But I’m sure everyone will agree that he sure is one cute little dude!

Obviously, we don’t let Ryder fly a hot air balloon over any open water, so grandpa and grandma used the safety of our studio camera room to create this cute, fantasy green screen portrait composite of him.

Green screen fantasy baby portrait of an adorable five month old boy in a hot air balloon basket.

Ryder enjoying his “flight.”

To create the illusion of Ryder and his hot air balloon being up in the air, we had to have him and the balloon basket at least a little bit up off the ground. So both grandma, and our daughter Jen, were Ryder’s spotters. That way, grandpa could take the photograph while aiming the camera upwards at him a little bit. Riley was there too, and she was very helpful in getting Ryder’s expression just right. Thanks to My Little Buddy for her help!

Ryder is also tall enough that we couldn’t photograph him in the balloon basket with the balloon attached, it was touching the top of his head! So I had to composite in the hot air balloon too! No problem for grandpa, I’ve got that Photoshop thing down pretty well.

Where is The Little Aviator going?

A cute fantasy baby portrait titled "The Little Aviator." An adorable five month old baby boy flying a hot air balloon in the clouds over Maui, Hawaii.

“The Little Aviator” flying over the
Komohana Mountains in Maui, Hawaii.

The biggest difficulty that grandpa has had since Ryder’s session was deciding what Ryders’ background should be. In the few days since The Little Aviator was here, I’ve been scouring my photo collections for photos that could make Ryder look like he was actually flying in his hot air balloon. I’ve have him flying over the big island of Hawaii, over the island of Maui and lastly (so far) at Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior (that’s real fog at the lighthouse).

I actually like each of the looks for different reasons, so I’m going to post each of them here and you guys can let me know on Facebook which one you like best!

A cute fantasy baby portrait titled "The Little Aviator." An adorable five month old baby boy flying a hot air balloon in the fog over Lake Superior with the famous Split Rock Lighthouse in the background.

Hope you enjoy our little Ryder and we hope you have a great weekend! – M&J

“The Little Aviator” – © Michael Anderson Photography.

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