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Bring back the family photo album

Do you ever take a photo of your child and wonder whether one day he or she will look back at that photo and relive their past? How do you think they’ll view that photo?  Will they have to flip through your old computer, your phone, or maybe an old hard drive, to do it? Have you backed that photo up somewhere where it will stand the test of time and survive a crash on your system if something like that should happen? Or do you have a family album where all your family’s history is recorded? 

When I was younger,  one of my favourite pastimes was to check out my parents  albums from when they were younger. It kind of put a jigsaw together for me of when my Dad immigrated to Australia, the ship he came over in, where my parents lived in Geelong West. Their wedding album, albeit in just black and white, was just fascinating. It showed me relatives I’d never met, some of which had long gone, and places I’d never been to. 

I looked through those albums so many times but I was always fascinated, and never tired of the photographs. My mother would patiently explain to me who the people in those photographs were and my relationship to them. Those photographs were, and still are, the fibre of our family’s history. 

As I got older, our own photos were added to those albums. My brother and I growing up, our birthday parties, first day of school…and eventually the last day of school. My mother kept adding photos to the albums as the copies grew. I even remember that on at least three special occasions, my mother organised for us to visit a professional photographer to do our family portraits (and before you ask, yes I am friends with that photographer to this day) so we could display some on our walls.    

Like most children, I hated having my photo taken. But we stood there and smiled and when the photos came back from the lab (at least a week later!!) we’d quickly open the packet and flick through all the photos. We’d have a laugh at the person who’d blinked because they were the one that ruined the photo, and then slip the photos into an album ready to be viewed at a later date. 

When digital cameras (and eventually smart phones) came along, all our prayers were answered! We could finally take thousands of photos, see them right away and delete the blinks all at zero cost!!  Plus, we could store them on floppy disks that took up less room and they’d be there forever. Well the floppy disk was quickly made obsolete and CD’s and DVD’s took over. CD’s are now on the way out by the way, but anyway, who needs those, our phones now have 128 gig of space in them!! Why would we need to store things on CD anyway? Oh wait, the CD has gone, we’re now storing them on Hard Drives…who needs those anyway, I have 128 gig remember!! AND I have them right in my pocket all the time and they will be there forever, won’t they?

The family album, which I so vividly remember flicking through the pages in our Geelong West home,  is in danger of extinction, if not already lost to time. I keep telling myself that I need to print some of my digital pictures and make an album but I never get around to it and, because there are now thousands of digital files, the task becomes more daunting by the day. 

Printing them isn’t something that needs to get done just for me but for my daughter who, if she’s anything like me, will be amazed by looking at actual photos of myself and my wife when we were young and of her grandparents, aunts and uncles. A digital file can’t be kept in an album and many files will unfortunately disappear as technology makes previous storage media redundant.  In the ever-evolving digital age, old printed photos of our ancestors or relatives have become a prized treasure in the lives of young people as they piece together their own jigsaw of life. 

Photographs tell us where we came from and help give many a sense of importance. 

Geelong portrait and child photography by Riccardo Studio


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Displaying portraits in your home

Choosing the best way to display portraits in your home can be a daunting task. You’ve gone to the effort of making sure everything was perfect, the clothes, the location. You’ve made sure the kids know they have to sit there and smile! But now that your session is over, it’s time to decide where you are going to put your photos and what will look best in your home.

  • Canvas – We offer beautiful canvases stretched over varying thicknesses of wood to make it stand out more or less depending on your preference. These photos are free-floating and do not require a frame.
  • Framed on Wall – Dress your photos up with stylish frames to match your home décor. We offer a variety of print sizes for you to choose from. Contact us for more details.

*When hanging photos on your wall (framed or canvas) you can choose to hang a single photo, or a group of photos in a collage to change it up.

  • Framed on Shelves, Desks, Tables – If you are renting or don’t want to put holes in your walls from prints or canvases, you can also frame your prints and place them on shelves, desks, or tables around your home. (You can also do this in addition to the wall hangings if you’d like.)
  • Photo Boxes – Customized photo boxes are totally in! These are very popular amongst our clients. This is a great way to display your photos, and you can keep more prints inside or use them as a keepsake box to house your precious memories.
  • Albums/Coffee Table Books – If you just can’t pick out a few photos to display in your home and you need more space, you can always get an album printed up and place it on your coffee table or bookshelf. Pull it out and look through it to remember how fun your session was, and how much your family loves each other.

The most important thing to remember is the the portraits are to be enjoyed, so the best place to hang them is in the spot where you will see them the most. Especially in the case of a  Newborn portrait where your little baby changes so quick, it’s important to get your Wall Art displayed and enjoyed for may years to come. 


Riccardo Studio

To see more portrait images, or to make an appointment to visit our Geelong Studio, click Here


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A Summer Family Portrait – dress correctly!

It’s hot outside, but fear not, a Summer family portrait can be fun and give you many years of enjoyment if you dress correctly. Here are some cool wardrobe tips to make sure your summer family photo session is a hit and will guarantee that your family portrait won’t look dated in just a few years. 

  • Wear light fabrics that let you breath, but still look polished. It’s OK to show some skin, too. Shorts are good, as are tank tops, but like any family portrait session, avoid clothes that have writing or patterns on them. Plain is best! Oh and don’t forget to colour coordinate. Choose one colour and make sure that the whole family dresses in a similar tone. So if for example you decide that white is the way to go, you can wear light blues, pale pinks etc. But don’t have one person in white, one in black, one in red…it just doesn’t work and will ruin your family portrait. 
  • Really play up the summer accessory factor. I’m talking sun hats for the ladies and big sunglasses for all. Bring your sun umbrella and bathers for something unique. It goes without saying too to bring a towel as things can sometimes get a bit out of hand with the splashing. 
  • You can even bring summer-appropriate props that complement your outfits. Maybe it’s a beach ball, balloons or a giant lollipop. For some extra fun, why don’t we get ice creams? It may get messy but there’s a good chance you’ll end up with some funny photos that you’ll look back on and always have a laugh over. 
  • Choose shoes that are comfortable and summery. Thongs, loafers, open-toed pumps, even Crocs are ok on your kids….do you even need shoes at all? We are in the sand after all!  

Having been a family portrait photographer in Geelong for almost 25 years, we are more than lucky to have some very beautiful beaches right at our doorstep. Why not use them to our advantage at this time of the year? 


To see more family portraits, please visit my website


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Photographing kids and animals

I keep getting told that I’m either brave or crazy for taking on a project that involves photographing kids and their dogs…but I love it! I had a half page story recently in the Geelong Advertiser, and this is what they had to say:

“The saying goes, never work with animals or children, but this Geelong Photographer missed the memo. “I’ve heard that joke from everyone who’s come in for a photo,” said Riccardo Gentiluomo, who is creating a book filled with pictures of children and their dogs. Mr Gentiluomo is hoping to capture 100 raw moments between youngsters and their furry friends for his Tails of Geelong book, which doubles as a fundraiser for the RSPCA. He is almost halfway there snapping pugs, huskies, staffies and French bulldogs playing with their humans, and wants at least fifty more signed up by next month. He said the trick to capturing the perfect moment was patience and perseverance. “They don’t know what you want, the dog doesn’t know what you want, so the best way is letting them play and catching the shot in between” he said.  “you can bribe kids to a certain extent, but with dogs if you give them a treat, all they want is another treat.” Mr Gentiluomo hopes he can raise about $5000 for the RSPCA through the $49 photography fee from each client, who will be immortalised in the book along with a cute fact about the pair. People can register on Mr Gentiluomo’s website ” 

I am still looking for kids with the dogs to try and reach the goal of 100 dogs and there is just one month to go, so click on the above link to register. I’ve been photographing German Shepherds, Pugs, French Bulldogs, Staffies, Bernese Mountain Dog, a Chihuahua and a couple of border collies…but there is room for more. So no matter what type of dog you have, you’re welcome to come in and have a portrait taken. I’ve also been asked by a few people if they can just bring their dog in as their kids aren’t kids anymore and the answer is yes. They obviously won’t be in the book because the title of the book is “Tails of Geelong, Kids and their Dogs” but there is no reason why we can’t do a special portrait of your fur baby. 

Here’s a related article on photographing newborns 


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Why I love photographing kids and their dogs



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Geelong Photographer wins Awards

Not everyone gets to photograph a wedding in a castle. But late last year, I was fortunate enough to be able to do just that. It was never going to be easy, I mean, just because I had a gorgeous bride with a beautiful dress and in a stunning location didn’t really mean it was going to be easy. I had hoped to visit the location prior to the wedding, but being that it was just before Christmas, there was no way I could be two places at once. So, with a bit of help from my old friend Mr. Google, I set about planning Giselle and Giovanni’s wedding day. Some of the photographs I saw of the location gave me ideas, others just confused the matter as there was photos where people had tagged my location, but in actual fact the photo had been taken elsewhere (nothing like keeping me on my toes huh). After a lovely service and some cafe photos at near an old prison, we made the trip across town to our location. Whilst I had a list of spots that I had planned to photograph the bride and groom, the main idea I had was the spiral staircase. So, after a few wedding portraits outside, we headed inside. Wow, that’s all I can say. This place is a dream for any photographer.  Whilst it doesn’t look like it from the photo, I actually had to go up 5 flights of stairs to get to the top. It was so high up that in order to get the brides face in the photo, she had to hold her head back as far as she could and hold the pose for a couple of minutes. Everything was checked and fixed before I got her to tilt her head back..the dress, the hands, the expression on her face and even the spot where her groom was going to kiss her. So up I went. I was that high up that I couldn’t really see the expression on her face. So I had to take a few photos, just to make sure I had one that was perfect. I knew as soon as I posed the couple that I was on to something, but it wasn’t until a few days later when I was able to sit down and play with the image in photoshop that it came to life. So much so that I had to enter it into the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) awards in the United Kingdom. Now to be 100% honest, I entered the image and was looking forward to seeing the result, but I kind of forgot about it as I was busy with other things. So imagine my surprise when I saw on the SWPP Facebook page that it had not only won a Gold Award, but it also won the Judges Choice Award for the best image. There were one thousand entries, only 27 Gold’s awarded and only one Judges Choice!! Then, just to add some icing on the cake, the same image was also awarded a Silver at the Victorian Awards for the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers. Hat trick completed. Not a bad effort for a small Geelong based studio if I do say so myself. First Geelong photographer to have ever won a Gold and Judges Choice Award at the SWPP and one of only a select few Australians to have ever won this as well. One month on and I’m still smiling! America, you’re out!!



You can contact me Here

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Christmas Portraits

You may have noticed some things appearing in the shops over the past few weeks..things such as Christmas decorations!! What…already!!! Yep, I actually saw some in Myers in early September. In actual fact, as soon as Fathers day was over, out came the decorations. Most guys wait until Christmas Eve to grab their gift vouchers, so there’s still plenty of time!! Well that’s what we like to think anyway. Many of my clients have started their own Christmas tradition, being that they come in for their once a year Family portrait.   Every year, it becomes one huge rush to photograph the session, have a viewing and then have the portraits printed and framed in time for Christmas day. So this year, if you are a previous client, you will receive a little gift in your email over the coming weeks to beat the rush. If you haven’t experienced my services before, then don’t worry, there’s something exiting for you as well. So, if you are wanting Christmas portraits this year, keep an eye out on here, my Facebook page and my Google+ page or you can Contact the studio for more details. Just don’t delay it because before you know it, they’ll be playing Christmas carols all around Geelong!





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Glamour Promotion

What woman doesn’t want to have a nice glamour portrait of herself? Or even better, what woman doesn’t want to have a pamper session and then have a glamour portrait of herself afterwards! Why not combine an outing with your girlfriends, or a organise a day with your mum and come in and have a bit of pampering done. Unlike your traditional glamour portraits, I’ve organised a package that you can use on yourself or with a group of girls. Here’s how it works, come in and have your make up done by Rachel, our Arbonne specialist. While you’re here, have a glass of champagne and a few nibbles and then have your photograph taken. You choose the style of glamour portrait that you’d like and then let us do the work. Bring your mum and daughter in and why not capture a generational portrait. Or what about if it’s a hens night, bring the girls in, have your make up done and then go party!!  So, for a limited time only, you can have all this for only $50 pp. Plus, because we know how much you’re going to love your portraits, you’ll also receive a $50 gift certificate to put towards your portraits. You won’t get a better deal than that in Geelong at the moment! Booking is easy, contact the studio by clicking Here . Spots and dates are limited, so he offer is on a first in best dressed basis. Why wait, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do!!




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Fathers Day Offer

Only two weeks to go before Fathers Day!! What will we get dad that he doesn’t already have? (Or doesn’t really need!!) Well, here’s something that he needs and, because it’s my first Fathers Day, here’s an offer that doesn’t happen very often. Anyone purchasing a Gift Certificate between now and the 6th of September 2015 will automatically double their voucher value! So for instance, if you purchase a $50 certificate, the value will actually be $100 for you to spend. Purchase a $100 voucher, and the value will actually be $200.  How many businesses give you that sort of value huh??  This offer is strictly only available until Fathers Day though, so get in contact with the studio Here to organise your Gift Certificate.

Dad’s just love a nice portrait with their child. Photography sessions can be done in our Geelong studio or on location. With Spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get out and have your portraits done in one of the many beautiful spots in and around Geelong. And remember, Dad’s aren’t the only one’s who benefit from this offer because not only is a family portrait is something that lasts a lifetime and is enjoyed by the whole family, it also becomes an heirloom once your babies grow up and the grandkids come along!!

To purchase a Gift Certificate, you can contact the studio Here or simply by phoning 52 77 2221.


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Wedding expo

It’s wedding expo week in Geelong this week with the Geelong Wedding and Event Expo taking place this Sunday (the 16th) at the Arena. I have a few different things happening there on Sunday, so if you are coming to the expo, make sure you leave yourself enough time to have a chat! It does tend to get pretty busy there and I can’t always chat to everybody.  There is an extra special special for anyone looking at booking their wedding plus, details of which I am only going to reveal on Sunday, so theres another reason to stop by and have a look. All brides that come along will automatically get one of my vouchers when they enter. The voucher though isn’t for your wedding, it’s for a glamour pamper session, so keep an eye out for that in your goodie bag as well. If this is the first time you attend a wedding expo, then here’s a bit of advice for you, take your time and go around to all the exhibitors more than once. Because there is so much happening, it’s pretty easy to miss things. Taking your time and going around a second (or third) time helps you take it all in. So how do you remember who and what you liked? You do tend to get advertising material from all the exhibitors, so if there’s something in particular you want to remember, quickly take a photo of their stand with your phone! That way, when you’re back home and sorting through the material, you can quickly match up the photo to their handouts. Makes life a lot easier!! Of course it goes without saying that if you are coming along on Sunday, then please stop by and say hello. To be honest, I can’t remember my site number (I never do, luckily they write our names on the site!) but just look for the big purple and yellow sign, you can’t miss it!


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Fathers Day Portraits

As promised in my earlier blog post, here is my fathers day portrait promotion. Normally, my promotions include extras that are added to each package. But this year, I’m doing things a little different. To take advantage of this promotion, you must book prior to the 6th of September. Every person that books prior to Fathers day will receive a $100 Gift Certificate to put towards any portrait products that I have available. You can upgrade your package, add extra prints or, as one family did this morning, have the Gift Certificate made out to a friend so that their friend can come in and experience a portrait session. I leave that totally up to you. I know a few of my regular clients have used this opportunity to book and then use the portraits as gifts for the grandparents. A lot of people tend to forget the grandparents and tend to give them gifts that never get used. I remember having a grandparent come in months ago wanting to look at their daughters family portrait session so they could order their own portraits!! (so keep that in mind!) So, how does the promotion work? Simply contact the studio, either by email or telephone, and book a session. Sessions are limited!! I like to personalise my portrait sessions, and this can’t be done if I have three or more in one day. In order to keep the session unique to your family, a maximum of two session times are available each day.  Generally, once I know the age and in some cases sleep patterns of the children involved, a time is then set. With the weather the way it is, if we are photographing a newborn baby, I would suggest we photograph in my  studio but, if the children are a bit older, you generally have the option to either have the session in the studio or at any location in and around Geelong. I have a list of popular locations so it’s just a matter of us organising a time and spot for it to be done.  If you are wanting the portraits back before fathers day, then book in a time as soon as possible so I can guarantee the portraits will be back on time. As with all my portraits now, as an added bonus, you automatically receive a lifetime warranty on all wall portraits.

You can contact or book your session by clicking Here



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