AUSTIN -- Former Austinite and now Maryland-based father Dave Engledow started creating funny, whimsical portraits of himself and his daughter Alice Bee, and now his series of Alice Bee and World’s Best Father has become an Internet sensation.
After seeing KVUE.com's slideshow of his images, Engledow wrote to us to say he was born in Austin and grew up watching KVUE. Engledow is also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.
Engledow says his inspiration for the photos "initially came from a desire to poke fun at myself as a new father and to try and capture how I was feeling during those first weeks of Alice's life."
Placing a "World's Best Father" mug in the first shot he created where he's absentmindedly using Alice Bee's milk for his coffee was actually a last-minute decision.
"After receiving a lot of positive feedback from my friends and family, I decided to start shooting a series that featured the mug, me and Alice Bee," Engledow told KVUE. "I wanted to create something unique for Alice to look back on and laugh at when she gets older, and my goal with these images has been to create scenes that parents can relate to, but that would also be humorous and quirky enough that my friends without children would also enjoy them."
Engledow says working with his young daughter takes a lot of patience in order to create the unique images. "If we're doing something fun like having [her] eat a cookie or playing in the sink, the shot is a breeze. Otherwise, we try to make it into a game, take lots of breaks if she gets bored, and make sure we have plenty of treats on hand."
Though some of the photos place Alice Bee in some precarious positions, it's important to note that she is never in any danger.
"For every shot, the camera is on a tripod," Engledow explained. "I shoot myself first, then get behind the camera. My wife (or an assistant if my wife is unavailable) will stand right out of frame and help coach Alice. If we have her sitting on the counter or table, the assistant is always right there to make sure that she's safe and happy. The first rule is to always make sure that Alice is never actually in any danger."
Engledow says he hopes to continue to create "World's Best Dad" images with his daughter for as long as she wants to participate. He continues to dream up ideas for more pictures, including some he says he hasn't been able to figure out how to execute yet like having the World's Best Father absentmindedly diapering the cat by mistake.
"My dream is that when she gets a little bit older that she will become a co-conspirator and help me come up with new ideas," Engledow said. "If at any time she decides that she doesn't want to participate any more, we'll stop at that point."
However, that time has not come yet, so Engledow's fans can hopefully look forward to many more "World's Best Father" photos.