“The first day of school can be a big deal for many kids, especially if you are the new kid on the block,” said photographer Josh Rossi, who’s better known as “Photoshop Dad” on the web.
The Salt Lake City, Utah dad was helping his daughter Nellee gear up for a new school year when he realized how nervous the little girl was about starting a new school. In the past, Josh has used his photography and graphic design skills to incorporate himself and his family members into a wide variety of blockbuster films.
Josh began to ponder what he could do to help Nellee feel confident before heading into her new elementary school for the very first time. Since moving to their new town, Nellee had been singing songs like “Speechless” and “A Whole New World” from the live action version of Disney’s “Aladdin.” It didn’t take long for Josh to decide that another photo shoot was in order, this one geared towards filling Nellee with confidence.
As school was approaching, Nellee was experiencing a mix of emotions,” Josh explained. “She was missing her friends from her previous school and knew she would be attending a new school and having to make new friends. And like any new kid, she was feeling a bit anxious thinking she wouldn’t know anyone.
I was really worried about Nellee’s first day because she is a little shy. I was worried that she might not make friends, be singled out because of something she wore and many more things. I tried talking to her about being friendly and brave but I think those words went right over her head. I decided to take her focus off of school and make her feel confident once again.
Josh began to work on a new photo challenge for Nellee. “She is very visual so I turned her into Jasmine to remind her of who she is and what she loves.”
For the first image, I wanted to recreate the scene of princess Jasmine coming down the stairs with her tiger. I wanted this image to convey a sense of bravery and courage. Finding a master staircase was one of the biggest challenges of this image but eventually I found one.
For the second image I included her cousin Azariah. He and Nellee are great friends and work well together. I wanted to highlight their sweet friendship with this image. They were both fascinated by the concept of the flying carpet so it only made sense to recreate that moment for both of them.
For the third image I wanted to debut Nellee’s little brother in my series who made the perfect Genie. He is such a strong little guy and he absolutely loved Will Smith as the Genie. He loves jamming to ‘A Friend Like Me’ and one day he even woke up singing ‘Arabian Nights!’
And now it was time for the hard work, editing and adding some Photoshop magic. With this ‘Aladdin’ series, I wanted each image to convey a message to Nellee that she could understand. So just like Aladdin was granted three wishes, I wanted to share my 3 wishes for Nellee as she begins this new stage in her life.
Josh reached out to Connecticut-based costume designer Ella Dynae to create two custom dresses for Nellee to wear. If she’s like most little girls, Nellee is sure to get a lot of wear out of these beautiful dresses during dress-up time!
I decided to give her the biggest confidence boost to remind her of who she is. I didn’t want negative experiences in school to change her cute fearless personality. I know that a child’s first experience in school can have a life long impact. I wanted to make her first day of school an experience that she could remember forever.
I surprised her right before she went to school and it was amazing seeing her confidently walk into class. She even forgot to say goodbye to me! She just walked confidently into class with all those new kids like she had been there before. I was so grateful that she had that experience.
It’s only been a week since she started school and already she has been making friends and loving it. I don’t attribute everything to the photoshoot but I definitely know that it helped to give her that little extra push of confidence.
Nellee is such a lucky little girl, not only to have a dad who knows how to create such incredible visual images, but also to have a father who is so concerned about her emotional well being. we hope these gorgeous images gave Nellee the courage she needed to have a wonderful first day of school!
Watch the entire surprise unfold in the video below. Share this story to inspire creativity and love in others.
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