7 Tips for Better Outdoor Family Photography Session.

Family PortraitHere are 7 tips for having your outdoor family portraits taken:

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.



Mother and Child - an outdoor portrait session.

Mother and Child – an outdoor portrait session.

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.


Mother and child.

Mother and child.

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.


Young Family - Outdoor photography session.

Young Family – Outdoor photography session.

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.


Outdoor family photography session, GTA area.

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.



An Outdoor Portrait Photography Session Special

Natalia-2568-retThe end of Summer is approaching quickly. I have decided to offer a very special price for an outdoor session until the end of September 2014 only. 

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. 

Natalia-2542-retI invite you to have a similar outdoor photography session with me. The end of September is coming soon, so if you book your session quickly, we might still be able to do it before it gets too cold.

For more information please follow this link. 

Nathalie – an Outdoor Portrait Photography Session

Nathalie running through the field. Outdoor photography session.

Nathalie running through the field. Outdoor photography session.

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.

Here is a couple more photographs from this session. To see some more, please visit Nathalie’s gallery on my Beauty Realm Photography website.





Isn't she looking here very much like a younger Angelina Jolie?

Isn’t she looking here very much like a younger Angelina Jolie?



Boudoir Fantasy Photo Session Discount until the End of May, 2014.

Pensive Nymph - fantasy art

Pensive Nymph

I am presently offering a Fantasy Boudoir photography session special when you book it by the end of May, 2014. You can schedule your photography session by the end of September 2014. Please book your session now.

This package includes a boudoir photography session for up to 2.5-3 hours in a studio or on location in GTA. For your convenience, I can come to your place to photograph you, if I find your locations suitable for such a session. It also includes up to 12 hours of digital work on one selected image. The session does not include make-up and hair styling, but I can arrange to have the make up artist on the set for an additional charge.

This boudoir photography package is presently offered at a very special price of only $500 dollars (normally just a session is $450 and digital work is $50 per hour).

What is your fantasy? How do you see yourself or would like to be seen? Have you ever dreamed about your past lives and who you once have been? Or perhaps you had a dream about your future, a fantasy about who you would like to become?

Give yourself a chance to live such a beautiful dream now, express yourself and explore your creative, sensuality and imaginary self.

Your beautiful prints can make a great gift for somebody special or just for yourself. We also offer a variety of high quality archival albums.

To book your session now please follow this link.


Only About 3 Days Left to Receive $100 Discount from a Soul Dream Portrait Photography Session.


Dream Fairy

Dream Fairy

There are only about 3 days left to receive a special $100 discount from the Soul Dream Portrait session when you book it by May 15, 2014. You can schedule your photography session by the end of August 2014. Please book your session now.

Here is more information about this fantasy portrait photography package. It includes the photography session and a digital enhancement to create the final artwork.

What is your Soul Dream? How do you see yourself or would like to be seen? Have you ever dreamed about your past lives and who you once have been? Or perhaps you had a dream about your future, a fantasy about who you would like to become?

Give yourself a chance to live such a beautiful dream now, express yourself and explore your creative and imaginary self.

To book your session now please follow this link.


Soul Dreams Portraits – A Special Introductory Price Offer Extended till May 15th , 2014.


Tender Suffering

Tender Suffering


I have extended my  introductory special offer for  Soul Dreams Portraits package  “The Ultimate Fantasy Photo Session“, till May 15th, 2014. Beside a photo session this package includes fantasy digital enhancement work . You may schedule your session till the end of August 2014.  Please see more information about this special offer on my Souldreams website here.

To see some before and after samples of Soul Dreams Portraits please follow this link.

This package can make a perfect gift for Mother’s Day or somebody special in your life. If you are interested in such session, please take advantage of this special introductory price now.

I invite you to try my Soul Dreams Portraits – I offer a special discount till April 30th, 2014

I am very happy to announce that a new website featuring my fantasy portraits, fine art nudes, surreal landscapes and mandalas is ready. This website is just dedicated to my fine art fantasy work.

Fairy Queen

Fairy Queen

I am also introducing a new service called Soul Dreams Portraits. You can order such fine art fantasy portraits to enhance your personal or business image, or as a gift for somebody else.

My Soul Dreams Portraits are custom made fantasy portraits created for you.

Are you wondering who they are for?
Such portraits could be a great idea not only for personal use, but also as business portraits for alternative health and wellness professionals, singers, dancers, musicians, spirituality and wellness related writers to better present your style and personality.

Dream Lake

Dream Lake

You can order a fantasy portrait either for yourself, as a surprise gift for somebody else, or perhaps to honor a person you loved who passed away. Some people might even like to order fantasy portraits for their pets.

There are two options available to choose from. One is working with the photographs you already have. The second package includes photo session and digital enhancement.

I am presently running a special. Please place your order by the end of April, 2014 to receive $100 off from the photo session package. You can schedule your photo session by the end of August 2014.

For more information please visit my Soul Dreamscapes website at: http://www.souldreamscapes.com or call me (Renata) at: (416) 538-1087. I am located in Toronto, Canada.

The Snow Queen – New Artwork and Do You Like Winter?

The Snow Queen or Winter Queen

The Snow Queen or Winter Queen

Here is my recently created artwork “The Snow Queen” or “Winter Queen” inspired by so cold and snowy winter this year and by one of my favorite stories – The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.

I remember as a child listening to this story read to me by my mother. Do you know this story? If not, it is really worth reading. It is a story of two children Kai and Gerda and the Snow Queen or Winter Queen.  She kidnapped  Kai to her cold palace and changed his heart to ice. The tears of love of his friend Gerda melted the ice in his heart and saved him. They were able to return together to their hometown, but in the meantime they noticed they become grown up. So they must have stayed with the Snow Queen much longer that they have realized. In this journey they have discovered how much power love really has and that it can remove huge obstacles.

The Snow Queen is this story was described as very beautiful, but also quite mean and cruel. I guess it was also personalizing how Andersen have seen winter and he was certainly right that winter can feel to us this way.  This year in many part of the world in the North hemisphere, particularly in North America, winter is extremely harsh,  so certainly it seems to live to it’s full powerful and cold image.

But is it really only so malicious and serious? Not really. Think about how beautiful the world often looks in winter.  The fresh white snow makes it also looking more peaceful, ethereal and encourages people to rest and reflect.  This time of the year can also be very good time to create new things and to dream about the future.  Winter is also sometimes playful and creates conditions favorable for many activities not possible to do during warmer months when the snow is absent.  That’s why particularity many children and sports enthusiast love it.  Because of winter’s playful nature, I have chosen to depict my Winter Queen as more joyful personality.

How do you feel about winter? Do you like or hate it? Are there some special things you like to do during this time of the year? Please feel free to comment here and share this post with your friends.

If you like this blog and may art, please subscribe to receive further posts and you might also like to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook.
To see more samples of my work please visit my website at: http://www.lightvisionart.com

Win a Free Photography Portrait Session – till November 2, 2013.

Right now I am being featured at the local Royal Bank branch (Dovercourt and Bloor in Toronto, Canada).

I am also holding a promotional contest for a free photography portrait session till the end of this week (Saturday November 2, 2013).

Come up to this Royal Bank branch to drop your ballot for a chance to win a free session or contact me not later than November 2 of this year to participate in the draw. You can contact me via my website at: http://www.lightvisionart.com

This free session will be held in Toronto, Canada and if the winner will be not from Toronto he/she will be responsible for lodging and transportation expenses, if any, to participate in this session.

Royal Bank - 2013-photo-2

Pensive Angel – #1 – Digitally Enhanced Work.

Pensive Angel - partially cropped from the original, client's eyes masked to preserve his privacy.

Pensive Angel – partially cropped from the original, client’s eyes masked to preserve his privacy.

Today I would like to feature a recently created digitally enhanced artwork I have done on request by one of my clients. He was actually photographed by another photographer – Iwona Michalczewska, based in New York since the client himself also lives in this city. It was not convenient for the client to come to Toronto to be photographed by me.  With the permission of the photographer, he asked me to digitally enhance his fine art nude portrait.

In the past this client has purchased one of my limited edition artworks called “Gaia” and he wanted himself to be depicted in a very similar surroundings, but as an angel.

Pensive Angel - Original before retouching and enhancement. Eyes masked on the picture on client's request.  Image cropped from the original.

Pensive Angel – Original before retouching and enhancement. Eyes masked on the picture on client’s request. Image cropped from the original.

Together we have chosen his photograph, which I felt worked best for this project. I needed to enlarge the images a bit, since the final artwork was supposed to be 16×20″ fine art print.  Then I did some retouching and masking of the original background. I have also decided to change the wings to other kind, which I though would work better.  My next step was adding a halo of light around my client’s head. I have also added a sparkle to his sword, so it would look like reflecting a light of some distant star.  Finally I have added a big moon, or perhaps a planet in the background as a finishing touch.

Here is another picture showing more of the picture. The final artwork presents full body shot and client standing inside a galaxy of circulating starts.

Here is another picture showing more of the picture. The final artwork presents full body shot and client standing inside a galaxy of circulating starts.

What you see here is only part of the artwork since it was full body frontal nude and I don’t want to show such on this blog. My client has given me permission to show this image to you, but he wants to remain anonymous and not recognizable, so on his request, I have covered his eyes on the picture with a black band.

If you could see the whole artwork,   he is kneeling in the middle of a  galaxy and part of his body is hidden in the mist rising from the dancing stars.  The composition of the picture is very similar to the original “Gaia” image, which has inspired my client to ask me to create this artwork. But even if the composition and background are similar in both images,  the final artwork looks very different and original.

Gaia - Original Image I have created and which has inspired the client to ask me to create a somehow similar artwork for him.

Gaia – Original Image I have created and which has inspired the client to ask me to create a somehow similar artwork for him.

I am attaching “Gaia” picture as a reference, so you can see what I mean.

As you can see, I can not only photograph you, but also digitally enhance pictures you already have, as long as their quality is good enough and you have the permission of the photographer to have it done.

To see more of my digitally enhanced fine art portraits,  please visit my Photo Illustration Gallery and  Fantasy Portratis and Fashion Gallery.

To read more post like that, please subscribe to this blog and sign up for my newsletter to be the first to hear about my new artworks, special promotions, events,  upcoming shows, art collecting and display and more.

I would be also always happy to hear from you, so please comment on this blog and let me know what you would like me to write about. You can also contact me via phone or form on my website.