I thought it would be fun to show a "Behind the Scenes" of the creation of this photo as the T-rex sand sculpture in the shot is not REALLY a sand sculpture. The idea of having the family gather on the beach and be creating sand art was Stan's, but the rest came from me. I knew how difficult it would be to make a actual sand sculpture and have remain intact and pristine all through the shoot so in the spirit of true special effects wizardry, I suggested we make a fake sand sculpt, bring it to the beach and cover it with the sand right there.
Here are a few shots of me and my partners in crime turning several chunks of foam into a T-Rex. We used reference images of a "Rankin-Bass" style dinosaur I made for a holiday card back in 2000. I sculpted the head and back foot of the sand Rex while Paul Mejias and Ian Stevenson shared the rest of the parts that would show to camera. We only finished one side since it would be shot exclusively from one angle and we would never see the back. It took about 4 days for the three of us to sculpt, bondo the cracks and seal the foam to make it ready for the beach shoot.
We arrived at the beach early to cover the foam with sand and to make it stick, we used a couple of cans of trusty 3M™ Super 77™ Multipurpose Spray Adhesive. When the Winstons got there they had not seen the T-Rex yet so it was fun to see their reactions. the shoot was more difficult than planned due to the small children having to be constantly rounded up and hopefully stay put around the centerpiece while photographer Chuck Zlotnick shot a couple of hundred images I could composite together. It only took 74 layers and adjustment layers in Photoshop to collect together the best sky elements, smiles and positions of each family member to come up with the final "shot". Even the dolphins in the water were real... we got lucky and Chuck was able to capture a few images I could add to the ocean.