John Wilhelm, a 44-year-old IT Director at a Swiss university and a father of three, creates imaginative, surreal and amusing photo manipulations with his family. Although he works with a diverse array of subjects, it seems that his three little daughters – Lou (5 years), Mila (2 years), and Yuna (6 months) – and their mother Judith are his favourite models of all.

Wilhelm’s photography unleashes a world of fantasy and imagination, where everything is possible and not everything has to be realistic – as long as it’s fun! “ I guess I watched just a little too much TV and played too many video games when I was a kid,” he told Bored Panda, commenting on his highly surreal and eclectic style.

When asked about the difficulties of working with kids, which can often get pretty overwhelming, he said, “I guess if you have a healthy emotional connection with your kids they can feel if something is really important for you and them they cooperate (and if they don’t, there are still sweets and candies).”

Don’t miss the remaining bits of Wilhelm’s interview with Bored Panda between the photos.

Source: 500px.com | Facebook | johnwilhelm.ch (via: BoredPanda)

When asked about his inspiration, Wilhelm told Bored Panda, “You can’t say exactly where you got a certain inspiration from. I guess I watched just a little too much TV and played too many videogames when I was a kid.

I had the luck to grow up in a creative family. Creative not particularly in what we did but in what ideas we were talking about, what jokes we were making etc. I think one key to creativity and the ability to work eclectically can be found in childhood and another one, of course, in the genes as well.

“If you have a healthy emotional connection to your kids, they can feel if something is really important to you and then they cooperate (and if they don’t there are still sweets and candies). Yeah, sure, sometimes it does not work. For example, if you put a 2 year old in a swimsuit, put her diving-goggles on and hold her up in the air by one leg ;) 

Most of my images are heavily manipulated but not all of them are compositionsIf an image works straight out of the camera, I just improve it (beauty retouching, cleanup, level corrections, sharpening, colors and tones, emphasize light, etc.). What I really love is to bring different images together to create something completely new.”

A composition like my latest one, ‘Sensitive little Rotkäppchen,’ takes about 3-5 hours. A more complex project like ‘Online and Offlife’ takes 10-20 hours. Most of my work is done with Adobe Photoshop’s CC and NIK filters.

I think work-life balance is absolutely important. I’m so grateful to have a wonderful family, a regular job and a hobby, which of course is my absolute passion.

Sure, there are those moments when I think about what it would be like to spend much more time on certain projects. To make my passion a profession. But if I made photography my profession, what would my hobby be? ;) 

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