A personal photo manipulation done to celebrate the holidays.

Photography, props, and manipulation are all original, fully my own creation.


Work Type: Personal Project


Gingerbread cookies are a holiday staple, and I’ve been making them every year for as long as I can remember. You get to bake, you can express some creativity in decorating them, and you can eat the end result. What’s not to like?

One year, I was gifted a “Ninjabread Cookie Kit”, which—as the title implies—gives you fighting gingerbread men as opposed to the standard poses. Making them was a blast, but I wanted to do a little something extra to show them off, too. Camera time!


I started off by finding a location to shoot the cookies. The obvious choice was near holiday decorations, to stay on theme—in this case, it was my Christmas tree. I got down and shot some plates, making sure to shoot wide open at f/1.4 to get as much subject separation as possible.


Next was staging the shot. Since these are some fightin’ cookies, I decided to go for a straight-on shot, mimicking the style of 2-D fighting video games. It was just the right amount of iconic to be recognizable, and just the right amount of corny to fit with how ridiculous the whole setup was.

Getting the cookies to stand was another story. They’re flat, so they needed some assistance to stay upright—luckily, I had miniature wooden easels to assist.

Once I had the shots, it was a simple matter of cutting out the cookies, superimposing them onto the plate I shot earlier, and adding shadows/reflections to make them feel like they’re realistically integrated. I mocked up a UI, too, and added a referee in the back.


Couldn’t help but make punny names for their “health bars”, too.