Given that Maddex was not able to walk when the project began, the child has had some help in achieving superhuman status. For each shot, Hill’s assistant will safely hold the small subject and gently guide him into position. Although Maddex’s backup is edited out post-production, much of the illusion is created on set, with the photographer capturing the scene from adrenaline-pumping vantage points.
Admitting that collaborating with a baby is no easy feat, Hill notes that the most fruitful age thus far has been nine months, when Maddex began to share playful facial expressions while remaining quiet and still. As he ages, Maddex’s thoughts has been pulled to other things, his attention span waning, but with careful planning, shoots with the child can go off without a hitch.
Madd Stunts is both a celebration of Maddex’s babyhood and an imagining for his future. In dreaming up the child’s wild misadventures, Hill fantasizes about who his son will be and what situations he may find himself in years down the road. Now a year and four months old, Maddex is developing into quite the character. He laughs, chit chats in baby speak, and is learning not only to walk but also to dance along with his parents’ music videos.
All images © Brandon Hill