Besides the endless diaper changes, feedings and sleep training, Guy Vainer, an X-ray technician by trade, decided to forgo smartphone snaps and embark instead on a somewhat unusual photography project featuring his twin sons.
In Vainer’s series of shots, all staged and extensively photoshopped, his boys are photographed flying through the air as acrobats, getting tattooed, caged and surrounded by dogs, playing chess, wielding power tools, hanging from the clothes rack… you get the idea.
Guy and Dalit Vainer and their twins recreate the iconic Queen album cover (Courtesy Guy Vainer)
“It just grew and grew,” said Vainer, whose father encouraged him to dig his “$5,000 equipment out of the storeroom.” “There’s a lot of humor in the pictures even though they’re just little babies. That’s what makes it interesting, it’s not just them playing. There’s cynicism and humor in each one.”
That’s for sure. The Vainers — he’s 32, she’s 26 — have staged their young twins in the iconic Queen album cover, as young world conquerers staging an attack, even drinking beers in a bar.
The Vainer twins conquer the world (Courtesy Guy Vainer)
Each photo takes about half an hour of actual photography, said Vainer, but the total preparation can be much more time-consuming. The couple often buys costumes or props online, and staging can take hours.
Barak and Yanai Vainer playing repairmen around the house (Courtesy Guy Vainer)
Their families love the results, and both sets of grandparents are on board, often lending their dogs — the young Vainers have two of their own — or help in staging a shoot.
Some of the photographs are intensely complicated, like The Pink Floyd “Wish You Were Here” album cover, which took a total of four hours.
It required extensive photoshopping, with one of the thumbs for the handshake taken from an entirely different picture.
Not that Vainer is complaining; he loves the project and its subjects.
This recreation of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ took hours to pose and photoshop (Courtesy Guy Vainer)
While the Vainers are receiving a tremendous amount of publicity for the photos, their goal is to create memorable photos of Yanai and Barak for the boys to look back on — and laugh at — their early years.
“It’s not a publicity stunt. I never expected this kind of exposure,” said Vainer.
Some pub time with Mom and Dad (Courtesy Guy Vainer)
Still, with 77 photos to date and another 160 ideas in the pipeline, Vainer is thinking about a book or even two, considering all the behind-the-scenes photos that don’t make it to the Vainer Twin Instagram feed or Facebook, which Dalit Vainer handles, posting each picture with a caption, in English.
“I don’t want to be known as a photographer,” he said. “I’m a dad who’s taking the best possible photos of my sons, and I hope that when they bring these pictures to school for a project in ten years, that they’ll appreciate it.”