From idea to print in 5 silly steps

I recently printed this image. It’s an environmental portrait of my girlfriend Gosia on the beach. Let me take you on a journey filled with romance, excitement and silly puns as I’ll tell you how this wall gracing masterpiece got blown into existence.

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Gosia on the beach


  • (In Greek tragedy) excessive pride towards the gods, leading to nemesis.

Completely sold on that second definition!


1. The Idea

In any case! I really love that summer dress on her, it accentuates all the right places, it’s really colorful and it was dirt cheap.

Every time I see her in that dress I see a warm summer day…

[fade in a romantic scene…]

Picture this; sunset at the beach, the sand still warm as it slips between our toes, the waning sun rays coloring our silted skin red as we are making our way home. Our bodies tired but honed for love making that evening.

[rudely cut out of romantic scene]

Back in reality our son would be walking behind us crying of exhaustion with piss running down his legs. But pictures don’t have to be about reality and they hardly ever are.

Needless to say I wanted the portrait to have a bit of mystery a lot of romance and a hint of magic.

2. The shoot

Here are a couple of shots I rejected.

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I don’t smoke.
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Where the sun never sets.
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I believe I can fly
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Is this going to take much longer…

3. Editing

I picked the following image as my final. This is unedited straight out of camera (people seem to find that important).

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I picked this image as my final.

4. To Photoshop or not to Photoshop

For this photo I wanted to edit out the strobe, do a some retouching and go nuts with the colors. The sand and water line turned out to be a bit trickier than I anticipated but I managed.

Here’s the result.

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Gosia beach final image edited and approved.

5. Print and presentation

A Photograph is like a good sauce you need to let it marinade (or in my case add a bunch of hot sauce and a whole lot of salt because screw it I suck at cooking). It often happens that right after I shoot or edit a photograph I can’t judge if it’s good enough, I need to forget about the image and then look at it again.

The day of the shoot was April 1st (no pun intended) 2014. Only in 2018 I picked the image to be printed. The idea came after talking to my local printer who told me how he prints on rough fiber paper and finishes it with a special selected varnish that he rolls on himself. The idea fascinated me and the image of Gosia immediately came to mind. We reviewed the image and discussed how it should be framed. I relied on his expertise and I didn’t get disappointed!

Here’s the end result neatly hanging on our living room wall.

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It’s all in the presentation.

The printer is RigidPhoto:

Ridigphoto came recommended by my good friend Bas Adriaans:

Gosia wishes to remain anonymous.

Written by

I bend the truth like a lens bends light, a visual narrative of strangers but exclusively about myself.

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