I’ve been creating pop culture art professionally for 20 years, and have always shot my own photo reference, usually with the greatest model I’ve ever met, my dad.

Most of my work, which includes movie posters, toy packaging, art prints and advertising art, relies to some degree on photo reference. Some of that reference includes screen grabs or press photos of the subject to achieve a proper likeness and correct costume details. The rest is made up of photographs that I take myself, of my father, with appropriate lighting and costuming. I reinterpret these photos, mixing them together with shots of the movie characters to create a new, unique image.

When I have a concept sketch for a piece worked out, I pop over to my parents’ house and get my dad to dress up like the character while I set up lighting to match the scene. He’s very accommodating, and willing to pose in all sorts of ways, and always manages to get into character. He never says no to a request and is always enthusiastic. I have yet to meet a better model.

Thanks, Dad!

More info: jasonedmiston.com

We work together to find appropriate costumes and props

My dad’s great at getting into character

I match lighting and camera angles to the character shots

My dad posing for Big Trouble in Little China’s Lo Pan

These reference photos help create believable poses

His greatest features are his incredibly expressive hands