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Dad flies to Europe to create an epic Valentine's Day gift for his 3 year old

It was late, dark and eerie as I drove through the Swiss alps in my tiny rental. I could barely see the road and was stuck in between two semi trucks. I should have been fearing for my life but all I could think about was how excited my 3 year old Nellee would be after seeing what I was creating for her.

After having traveled all over Europe for 1 week I finally got all the shots I needed to create this epic Beauty and The Beast series for Nellee. I shot a total of 3 castles, 5 cities and randomly stopped at small provincial villages along the way to create the images you see below. For me the trip to Europe was a token of my love for my daughter.

The story of Beauty and The Beast has such an amazing message of true love and being accepted that I wanted to recreate the scenes with my daughter. I also wanted to create something my daughter would have forever that showed the fun relationship and the love I have for her.

Provincial Village

Provincial Village (Before Images)

After creating the Wonder Woman series a few months ago and having it be seen by over 35 million people I received a ton of emails. Out of all the emails the ones I will remember the most are from other dads who said they were inspired to spend more quality time with their daughters.

See more of Josh's work here

I realized that one of the most important things we can do as parents is spend time with our kids and play a little. Remember the crazy imagination we used to have as kids? Remember all the fun we had? The time I spend with my daughter lately has been like that...dreaming and creating together and I love it!

Finding The Castle

The photoshop portion of this shoot was insane! I had to cut out every piece of that dang gate you see above.

Finding The Castle (Before Images)

To get all the shots I went to some of the most extravagant castles in Europe. The main castles included the Neuschwanstein Castle and The Nymphenburg Palace both in Germany. The image below was shot at The Nymphenburg Palace. The image above is a mix of the Neuschwanstein Castle and a cemetery in Florence Italy.

Getting all the shots was difficult! I had about 7 days to go from city to city and get the shots I needed. Since some locations were 6 hours away it was hard to get the best shooting conditions such as perfect time of day and good weather. Thankfully most of the shots were indoors. The only issue I had was when arriving at the Neuschwanstein Castle. Half of the castle was under construction and there was A TON of fog which covered the castle. Thankfully we found another path that led up the other side of the castle and gave us a great view. By the time we got up there all the fog was gone and I got the shots I needed!

Neuschwanstein Castle

The below image was shot inside a castle in Milan Italy.

Escaping Into The Forest

Escaping Into The Forest (Before Images)

Nellee's favorite part about the photoshoot was putting on her yellow dress, dancing with The Beast (Me) then taking the photos. When I surprised her with the big print of us dancing she was so excited and kept jumping up and down. Check out her reaction at the end of the video below...

Nellee's Reaction Video

Nellee and I on Valentine's Morning

One of the hardest things in photoshop is changing time of day. The only time that one of the castles was open was in the day. I needed a night time shot which would have been impossible so I had to improvise. After having all of the tiny windows cut out in Photoshop and replacing the chandeliers, I had to do some Photoshop magic to make it look like it was night time.

Tale as Old as Time

Tale as Old as Time (Before Images)

Behind The Scenes Video

My favorite part about the shoot was being involved in something that my daughter, wife and I have in common, doing photoshoots and creating magical scenes. My wife Roxana booked most of the locations for me as I was traveling and she also found Ella Dynae to make the dresses. You can find them on Instagram @EllaDynae

Also thanks to @calebblood for providing the music!

I will be releasing new images of Nellee as Belle on my Instagram @joshrossiphoto

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