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With Tom Brady's sixth incredible win at the Super Bowl, sports junkies and aspiring athletes everywhere have a new definition of what's possible in the world of professional sports.
Taking a cue from his favorite New England Patriot, one awesome dad from Delran, New Jersey, has already begun bending the laws of space and time for his baby girl.
A professional product designer by trade, self-styled "Photoshop guru" Matt MacMillan spends his off hours creating realistic compositions of his daughter Ella performing miraculous sports feats.
All with a little help from the software geniuses at Adobe, MacMillan takes a leaf out of Brady's play book and a couple of Diego Maradona's moves to conjure up incredible images of his two year old.
Matt recently opened up about his incredible Instagram page featuring his daughter, Ella, now two-and-a-half, and said it all began with "not wanting to be boring."
The graphic design wiz said he didn’t want to inundate his family and friends with the usual baby portraits, so he decided to do something a little different.
"Seriously, how many pages have you seen with just shot after shot of someone's kid? I did not want to be 'that guy,'" Matt said.
Matt also joked that his wife liked the idea of spicing up their baby photo albums a bit.
"When I was younger, I always rolled my eyes at parents that filled their social media with endless photos of their babies," said Alyssa. "I told myself that when I had kids, I’d do my best to make my pictures funny and interesting."
By the time the stork began circling, her husband had completed his degree in visual arts and she had begun "dabbling in Photoshop" herself. Putting their heads together, they decided to make it look like Ella was accomplishing fantastic feats that "a baby her age" really couldn’t do yet.
And they were just getting started...
Now that Matt is a parent, he's less inclined judge his fellow dads and moms.
"I totally understand now why people post all these silly, boring shots of their kids on their feeds," he said. "You just fall in love with your child so completely. We literally can't help ourselves!"
And while Matt's skills with Photoshop and Illustrator make little Ella's moves looks effortless, they are anything but.
"Ella has started to pick up the basics of a few real sports," said Matt. "She’s pretty good at kicking a soccer ball and swings a mean baseball bat, crushing wiffle balls off a tee."
They're still working on the basics of throwing – sometimes the ball goes far and sometimes, well, it goes backwards.
"But that's okay, though," he added. "She's learning more everyday."
According to mom Alyssa, Ella loves being goofy and making up her own language. Her favorite hobbies include reading books, playing on the playground, and making things with Play-Doh.
"She likes to color and paint," she said. "It's mostly abstract stuff, as you might can guess."
But with so much attention focused on Matt's page, many of Ella's fans wanted to know how the proud parents accomplished these amazing shots.
Well, this is exactly how they do it...
Aside from inspiring physical fitness and inducing some serious laughs, Matt said the original football-themed compositions gave he and his wife Alyssa a lot more ideas for additional pictures.
"I think my favorites are the Tony Hawk ones," he said. "I loved to skate when I was younger, and it's just cool to see a little girl on a skateboard. Her moves are definitely better than mine at her age, though!"
Dad Matt was quick to reassure folks that he and Alyssa "don't actually throw their daughter in the beanbag toss picture" or "throw her into a baby pool" for the diving shot.
"It's an arduous process," Matt confirmed. "It takes a lot of time to make just one single image."
He has to hold Ella in the correct positions to take the pictures, and then subsequently digitally remove himself from the background using Photoshop.
"For ones like the soccer picture, I would take a series of photos of me holding her in an appropriate stance, and then I would take a separate picture of her arms in a certain position."
Finally, Matt would snap a shot of the ball, and then methodically stitch the three images together.
"I think the most difficult photoshoot was the skateboarding one," said Matt. "I held Ella in mid air while my wife put the skateboard up to her feet, making it look like she was doing it all on her own."
But as popular as Ella's images have been, there's actually a new contender for that spot in town!
And he's giving her a run for her money...
Matt says that when he and Alyssa found out another baby was on the way, they made up their mind to stage additional photoshoots for their son as well. This however, came a little earlier than they expected — as their son was born prematurely.
The couple's second little tyke, Ryan, proved to be "an enormous hit" with the public in January after he went from being labelled a premature baby to fulfilling his destiny as an "advanced man," thanks to his dad’s mad skills.
Can you believe that when Ryan was born over two months prematurely, the little guy weighted less than three pounds?
According to Very Well Family, premature babies born between 29 and 30 weeks require long NICU stays, but their vital organs are much more developed than those of babies born earlier.
By this time, premature babies weigh about 3 pounds and are about 17 inches long. Although they're still very small, 30 weekers have more fat stored under their skin, so they look more like "real babies."
But rather than have Ryan grow up with a negative stigma, Matt decided to tweak the narrative a tad by placing his baby boy into some pretty adult situations.
As parents, Matt said, "We like to joke that he wasn’t premature, 'Ry' was just advanced."
The resulting photo series show a then-tiny Ryan take on challenges most guys can relate to on a "regular dude level."
Check out some more shots of little 'Ry' hamming it up...
This series was designed to follow Ryan throughout his "future manhood" on fishing trips, pumping iron at the gym, and general DIY stuff around the house — like mowing the lawn and running the leaf blower.
From playing poker with "the boys" to carving a Thanksgiving turkey, Ryan absolutely nails being a modern dude.
And speaking of which...
Motivated by the response he’d received from Ryan's first shots, Matt embarked on the new set of photographs.
"I wasn’t sure what Ryan’s next photo theme was going to be. We tried to keep as much of a positive attitude as possible, so I thought it’d be funny to try out go more masculine, more traditional. But heck, we'll love the kid no matter how he turns out. He might hate working on cars and be into clothes and design."
Now check out these next hilarious Photoshop masterpieces...
In response to those who thought Ryan was in some sort of danger — or had ever handled a razor — Matt reassured everyone on his page that he would never put his baby in harm’s way.
"Photoshop does all the heavy lifting," he confirmed.
Matt and Alyssa are also happy to report that Ryan, after a tough start in life, is on the mend and getting stronger every single day.
In fact, he's growing more and more into the slightly bigger "little man" he was born to be...
Ryan's proud dad added:
"Ryan is now six months old and finally on the growth chart! He’s definitely a happy baby and is smiling and talking all the time. I was surprised by the amount of feedback from other parents of premature kids and people who were premature themselves, saying that they know the struggles and that they really enjoyed the pictures and the positive outlook we try to portray."
It was really cool to get that positive feedback, Alyssa noted, especially on the internet where article comments can turn negative so quickly.
What a recovery! But don’t take our word for it.
After all, a picture is worth a thousand words…
For just a little guy, Ryan sure knows how to swing an axe!
But from the look on his determined face, though, it sure seems like quite an effort!
And next, we've got Ryan hanging out with a couple of his famous pals...
Now who doesn't love a poker game with Elmo and the Cookie Monster?
Ryan better watch out, though!
I've heard that Elmo keeps an ace hidden up his furry sleeve...