Here is another photograph, which is also one of the most popular in my Fine Art America store. I have taken this picture while on my trip to France several years ago in the Château de Montrésor garden.
This beautiful about a life-size angel was one of the prominently standing sculptures in the garden, which is surrounding this old castle. His strong figure and beauty have immediately attracted my attention. If no wings, he would have looked more like one of the antique Greek or Roman gods. I like the way this classic style sculpture was carefully designed and made and how real and dynamic it looks. Angel’s face is full of expression and it almost seems, that in a moment he will stand up and start talking.
I was wondering who created this statue, and only later, after doing some research, I was able to learn that this artwork was created by one of the Danish sculptors and was originally in Paris’s apartment of one of the owner of this castle, count Ksawery Branicki. If any of you knows the name of the sculptor, please let me know and I will add it here.
This picture of the angel, is presently available in various forms in my Fine America store and you can buy it already framed, on canvas, acrylic, metal and even as a greeting card, phone case, and 14×14″ throw pillow. You can see here how it looks on various products and I provide links, in case you are interested in buying any of them to decorate your home.
I think this photograph could complement very well a classic decor and add stylish flair to your surroundings. It might even work very well in a modern-looking home creating almost like a window into the garden. Also, people who like fine art nudes and angels may enjoy having such photograph on their walls. This strong male, almost warier-like angel figure could be representing the protective Archangel Michael, even if he has no sword, but maybe used to have one. Perhaps he is just resting before or after the fight.
By the way, Château de Montrésor is certainly a wonderful place to visit if you are in France and taking a tour of the Loire Valley. This old castle has a very long and interesting history. Since the middle of the 19th century, it has been in the possession of a rich Polish count, Xavier Branicki (Ksawery Branicki), who was a friend of an emperor of France, Napoleon III. Branicki has completely restored this quite badly demolished place and he has beautifully furnished it. This charming Château is still in the possession of the descendants of Branicki’s family and it is available for public viewing.
If you are interested in finding out more about Château de Montrésor, please check the following links, which I have found particularity interesting:
– An article about Château de Montrésor on France Travel Info.
– A legend about the origin of the Montrésor name on Experience Loire. It is quite romantic, so have a look.
Have you been to this place yourself? If so, what are your impressions? Is the angel still there? I hope it is. Please leave your comments and contact me if you have any questions about buying prints or other products from my Fine Art America store.
Here is one of my most popular photographs I presently sell on Fine Art America.
This picture was taken during my trip to France several years ago. The Gardens of Versailles are really very impressive Royal Gardens.
The gardens are placed to the west of the palace and they are really huge covering about 800 hectares. Most of it is landscaped in the classic, very manicured and kind of geometric, in so called, French formal garden style. The garden was designed during the 17th century by André Le Nôtre for the king Louis XIV and it was then considered an ideal garden design and widely copied by many other architects and garden designers, who created similar in style gardens for other kings and aristocrats.
The gardens are now one of the most visited public sites in France, welcoming more than six million tourists per year.
Beside the perfectly maintained lawns, floral carpets and countless sculptures, there are also many impressive looking fountains, which are located throughout the garden. They add really unique look to this gardens. One of the best time to visit the gardens is on weekends from late spring to early autumn, when you will be able to admire so called the “Grandes Eaux” – a spectacles during which all the fountains in the gardens are fully operational. It is really amazing to see all this beautiful and unique looking fountains working.
In 1979, the gardens, as well as the Château De Versailles were designated as World Heritage Site on the UNESCO list. Presently there are about 30 sites in France with such status.
If you like this picture and French Garden style, I invite you to buy this picture from my Fine Art America store.
It is one of the most popular images I have there. It is available in many sizes, as well as in a variety of printing media, including canvas, watercolour, glossy print, on metal, acrylic and even as a greeting card and a 14×14″ throw pillow . You can buy just the print or have it already framed for you and choose a frame style you like.
Besides the picture, as I have taken, I also show it in this post as a framed print, on canvas and also as a throw pillow.
Please contact me if you have any questions and I also encourage you to leave your comments. Perhaps you have visited this place as well? How did you like it?
If you are still looking for a wall calendar, you might like to buy my Fantasy Art Calendar. You can see and buy it here on Red Bubble website. Happy New Year 2016 to all of you!!!
I have recently photographed Sally Hunter – a writer, spiritual worker and an intuitive healer. Sally needed a professional quality portrait for her article published in “The Sedona Journal of Emergence” magazine, February 2015 issue. Sally wrote there about conscious breathing. If you would like to learn more about this subject please read her article. Here is a link to more information about Sally and a short intro to her article.
To keep it within the budget we have agreed to, I have taken several pictures of Sally in her own apartment. We had some plain background there and I brought simple portable flash lights. I have mounted one onto a white umbrella, so it could reflect light to make it softer. I have also used a couple of white reflectors to further soften and reflect the light, as well as one additional flash to add some highlights to Sally’s beautiful, light red-brown hair.
To make choosing the final pictures easier, I was occasionally showing Sally what I have done so far and if we both didn’t like the picture, I was deleting it on the spot.
I have photographed Sally in 3 different outfits, so we have more to choose from. Sally preferred to keep a more casual look, the clothing style she naturally likes wearing.
I have further edited the pictures on my computer and showed to Sally about 20 photographs to choose from. I find that it is easier for the client if they don’t have too many pictures to choose from and I think about 15-20 images is a good number for professional portraits for writers, artists, spiritual workers, or other professionals I photograph.
As a final picture, Sally has chosen one photograph in her floral shirt. We both liked her happy, welcoming expression she has in this image.
She wanted me to do only a very minimal retouching to this picture and after it was done, I have forwarded it to Sally’s editor in two versions – one in colour and the second one in black and white. Only black and white versions are published beside article, but just in case the editor or Sally would like to use this picture somewhere else, they have also received it in colour.
One of my favorite Sally’s pictures is also her photograph in a white shirt (the first picture in this article). I think Sally looks really sophisticated there while seating at her writing desk. I also like her photograph in the blue shirt, (this image is also attached to this article). I like Sally’s dreamy look in this picture, as she was caught in a moment of inspiration for her next article.
It was really a pleasure to work with Sally since she is so nice, friendly and highly spiritual person. Please contact Sally if you would like to talk to her regarding her writing or to ask her do some intuitive, spiritual work for you.
If you are a writer, artist, spiritual worker or other entrepreneur and you need a professional business portrait for your website, portfolio, publications or blog, please contact me and I would be happy to photograph you if you are, or can come to GTA (Greater Toronto area).
About a month ago I took some pictures of a little Black Labrador puppy of my friend. I think at this time the puppy was about 2 months old. He was so cute! It was in early Fall. We were lucky to still have pretty warm weather and a sunny day. It would be best to photograph the dog early in the morning, or maybe later during the day, but the only time my friend was available for this photo session was around noon, so the worst possible time to photograph, especially a black dog. At this time of the day, when the weather is sunny, the light is very contrasty and the shadows look even darker on a black dog.
So what I had to do was to take the dog into a more shady location, when the lighting was a bit less contrasty and to work with my flash to fill in the shadows a bit.
I think it is harder to photograph black animals than those with lighter colours since some details can disappear in shadows, specially in contrasty lighting.
It was not an easy task to photograph this little dog, but after all I was able to get some nice pictures. It was also challenging to have him stay at the chosen location and looking interested enough and in the direction of the camera. We tried grabbing his attention by showing him some toys and making noises he might be interested in, but as with small children, he was easily bored or distracted.
He wanted either to run around most of the time, and didn’t want to stay in one place, or he was getting tired fast and then falling asleep. We have to stop once to let him sleep for a bit.
I took a few pictures of him with his owner and then many just of the dog. We got an idea to photograph him in a basket, so this also made it possible to keep him still at one location for a bit longer. Then I thought why don’t add a few Poinsettia flowers, so we can make it into Christmas greeting card. I think this idea worked quite well since the basket and the red of the flower were contrasting nicely with the dog’s black fur.
Here are some samples from this photo session. I hope to photograph some more animals in the near future. They are sometimes not easy to be photographed, but interesting to work with and each session is different.
1. Choose the right time of the day.
It is best to avoid being photographed in a very harsh light. Whenever possible, schedule your photography session early morning or later in the afternoon or evening, before it gets too dark. Your photographer might use reflectors, flash, diffusers or work in a shaded area to make the light softer and more flattering.
2. Dress for the occasion and coordinate the look.
Think what mood you would like to create and dress accordingly. Do you want it to be romantic, casual or perhaps very elegant and sophisticated? Will such look work well with other family members you would like to be photographed with? Can they dress in a similar style? Also avoid strong patters, stripes, logos and outfits which look very dated. You would like to enjoy these photos in years to come. Try to coordinate the colours each of you are wearing so they look well together. Also make sure your hair is properly styled, there is no hair covering your eyes or strain hairs on the face. Also pay attention to the nails. Small details can ruin the pictures, so keep and eye on them.
You might like to use some special props, which could help you to support the look you are after and allow the family members to relax. They could also make your pictures look more realistic.
Here in the sample from a recent family photography session I did. We have chosen to work with soft, neutral light colours and natural fabric like cotton and linen, which worked well with rich background colours and afternoon lighting.
3. Choose the location well.
Think about what location would work best for the photoshoot you are going to do and also at what time of the day the lighting would be best there. Try to imagine, or check in advance, from which side the light will be coming, and if it will be in full sun or shade. Will it support the mood you are trying to create? Is it proper for the outfits you will be wearing? Keep in mind that some locations might required a special photography permit and you, or your photographer, need to obtain them in advance.
For example in the sample session you see here, we wanted to create casual photographs of a family having fun together, so we have chosen and outdoor location when they could go for a walk or play together.
4. Try to capture feelings and do not rush.
During your photoshoot, try to have some natural looking interactions between family members, so your photographer can show the feelings and catch unique moments. Give yourself and other members of your family some time to get into it and relax a bit, so you will look more natural and not tense. Do not rush during your photography session. Schedule at least 2 hours of interrupted time, or more if you have to go to more than one location.
5. Have fun and experiment.
Allow the photographer to take photographs you have planed, but also don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas you or the photographer might have while on location. Perhaps you would discover some amazing new places you didn’t think about before, see some wonderful lighting you would like to take advantage of. Allow yourself and other family member to play, have fun and just have good time together. Important are not only the photographs, but also the memories and experience you will have while having your pictures taken. At the same time, remember always to keep an eye on children and other members of the family so they don’t get into some dangerous situation like falling from the cliff, into the water etc.
6. Avoid distractions during your photography session.
Turn your cell phone off or at least have the ring turned off and do not answer the phone, check messages or text during your photography session, unless it is an emergency. Technology could be helpful, but to have great pictures done, it is best to avoid distractions and to stay in the moment enjoying the process. You can always check your messages later.
7. Book Your Photography Session in Advance.
It is best to book your photography session well in advance to take advantage of the best time of the year to be photographed in (like warmer months of the year, or when you have some free time) and to make sure the photographer you choose is available. It will also give you more time to choose the right location, buy or rent necessary outfits or props. You might be also able to take advantage of special discounts that would be available only during some time of the year. This way you could have the best session photography possible and also save money on the cost of your photo session and prints.
If you only follow these 7 tips, I am sure your family photographs will look much better and you would enjoy the process of having them taken so much more.
About sample photographs in this article:
Here are some samples of a family outdoor photography session I did recently. I have photographed a young family with a single child. It was still pretty warm, early Autumn day and the afternoon light was just beautiful. I tried to work with it and have added some fill-in flash to make it all even more flattering. I think we have fun and here are some photographs from this session. They will certainly be a great addition to a family album, could be used as a wall decor or for Christmas greeting cards.
If you would like to book a family photography session with me, I would be happy to do it for you. Please just contact me for more information.
A Copyright notice: This article and photographs in this blog post are copyrighted by Renata Ratajczyk and can not be used without her further permission. You are welcome to share a link to this article. We welcome inquiries from magazines and other blogs regarding publishing this article or using our photographs. Please contact us for more information.
I am happy to announce that one of my fine art fantasy photographs called “Spirit of the Land” is presently featured in the Calendar of Events, in the “Vitality” magazine, September issue.
If you are not familiar with this magazine, it is one of the largest Canadian magazines on health, nutrition, alternative medicine and spirituality. You can check it out here.
This original photograph was taken in Alberta, Canada, and the sky was created later by digitally enhancing a suitable sky I have photographed at other occasion. I wanted to enhance the feeling of the place with was so beautiful, quiet and full of energy at the same time.
This artwork is available for purchase for a variety of publications, as well as fine art prints, including prints on canvas. To purchase it as stock art please go to this page or contact me. If you would like to buy it as fine art print, please follow this link.
You can see some more samples of my fantasy landscapes here.
The days are still warm and pretty long, allowing taking pictures well into the evening. Many people just came from their vacations and look great. I think this is a perfect time for taking such photographs.
Also we have only about 3,5 months left to Christmas and it would be a very good time for taking pictures, which could be used for Christmas cards.
Here are some more pictures from the outdoor portrait session I did for Nathalie, which I have featured in my previous blog post.
For more information please follow this link.
I haven’t written here for a very long time. I was traveling in Europe for a while and I had very limited access to a computer. Besides, I didn’t have any photo editing program with me so I needed to wait until I could edit my photographs. Here are some samples from an outdoor photography session I did for Nathalie while there.
She had a few outfits with her and we have selected a couple, which I thought would go best with the style of the photographs we wanted to take. She just wanted some beautiful photographs for herself taken when she is still very young and beautiful. She had realized the time is passing quickly and beauty will not last forever, at least not the way she looks at the moment.
This was the second time I have photographed her. We already had an indoor glamour session a while ago.
We have tried some posed images and then she was just running around and I was trying to catch the best moments. I think we both had fun and enjoyed this lively photo session.
I invite you to have a similar outdoor photography session with me. The end of the Summer is approaching fast, so if you book your session quickly, we might still be able to do it before it gets too cold.