Big Head, Little Body

This week my brother-in-law and I went and photographed my son’s fourth grade class outside the classroom. We directed them to make “larger than life” expressions and poses to create some unique class portraits. 28 students, 1 teacher and 700+ frames later, we were ready for some coffee.

Next I spent some quality time with the images. Chose the most dynamic poses and expressions, then went about removing the background. My intention was to spend about 1/2 hour per person, as I like to get these projects done as quickly as possible. It turns out girls with long hair posed an unexpected problem: no hair showing where their neck was, and long hair hung down way too far for the tiny bodies.

So, now we have a couple of real world word math for your fourth graders to solve:

  1. Nels had 29 photos to retouch. There were 16 boys and 13 girls. Boys and girls with short hair took 1/2 hour each to retouch, and girls with long hair past their shoulders took 1-1/2 hours each. If there were 10 girls with long hair, how many hours did it take Nels to complete his project, if he also spent 2 hours creating a slideshow presentation?
  2. If it takes 7 minutes per page to print 29 archival posters for students, how many hours does it take to print all of the posters?

Use the comments to submit your answers.

The students really enjoyed the Keynote presentation that used the photography project to help explain what I do for a living, and how I went about creating the artwork. There was raucous laughter as each image came on the screen, and that made it all worth while. Each child was presented with an archival poster print.

Click on the image above to view a slideshow of all 29 portraits.

What do you think? (leave a comment)

Download wallpaper, portraits, high-res and groups.


  1. Awesome work and greatly appreciated! Thanks so much, Azari’s family

  2. Amazing! Absolutely beautiful! Thank you.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to present such a lovely keepsake for the kids and their parents. You took one of the best photos of Josh I’ve ever seen. It really captured how easy going and happy he is. I’m always in awe of creativity and appreciate the great amount of time it takes to do what you did.

  4. Wow thanks nice work lovely..

  5. Nels,
    What a fun and wonderful project! I looked at all of the “fatheads.” The problem long hair made for some awesome fatheads.
    The photo of Lars is one of the best I’ve seen. Please email the original image (with his real body attached).
    Mom and I are proud of your devotion to both Lars’ and Miles’ classes.

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