Bringing a child’s dream to life – Unique Fantasy Photography

Young 6 year old Adenia had a vision for her very own Story Art fantasy photo piece. When Amanda, Adenia’s mum contacted me about creating a commissioned unique fantasy portrait for her daughter Adenia, they already had the idea of their piece in mind.

The story centred around gorgeous Adenia who absolutely loves horses and wanted to ride atop a beautiful fairytale like horse in a make believe storybook land. Adenia wanted a castle, waterfalls, and a sweet little bird sitting in a fantastical tree as her scene.

The first part of making Adenia’s dream for her image come true, was to create the background scene. I always work on the scene prior to photographing my subjects, as it gives context to ensure the subjects are photographed on the correct angle with the correct light.

Below is the draft of Adenia’s scene:

Background Adenia Flat

I created this scene over 10 hours. It is a magical land made up of blended images from my adventures over the past two years. The castle was photographed in Bli Bli (interestingly this castle is up for sale and could be years for a few million). The waterfalls and river were from Marysville, Steavenson’s Falls. The Tree was made up of multiple trees from the the Buderim area of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. The Tawny Frog Mouth was from a zoo, the sky and distant view also from multiple captures in the past year or two.


Photographer Note:

One thing to note here (of interest to photographers) is that up to this point the scene was made up of photography stock that I had personally photographed within the past 2 years. I always like to work with my own photography if possible as it enables me to have the option of entering specific competitions such as WPPI or the AIPP APPAs. At times however, there becomes need to use photographic stock. When stock that is not your own is used, various competitions do not allow you to enter. It’s important to check the rules and ensure, if you have used someone else’s stock, that the competition allows this.

Another important factor in ensuring my angle was right when photographing my subjects was to include a ‘place holder’ 3d object from Pixel Squid to pre visualise my shoot. I actually created a tutorial on this technique which can be accessed by Premium Members here: -tutorial/

Planning for Perspective Tutorial


Now ready for Adenia’s session we set up at Ayr Hill Equestrian Park. A big thank you to the Ayr Hill Equestrian team for making this dream possible for Adenia. Her photoshoot was a highlight experience. Summer Pearl and young 4 day old River were the perfect models for Adenia’s composited art.

Adenia’s completed photomanipulation will be printed onto beautiful Canson Infinity Baryta paper (calibrated via my EIZO CG277) and framed by Art Defined with the following verse chosen by the family:

“For I know the plans I have for you,”  declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


Adenia Final

If you would like to enquire about your very own commissioned fairytale artwork, enquire via the contact page.

Equipment and Products used in this project:

Canon Australia – Canon 5dsr and 5diii, 24 – 70 2.8L, 16 – 35 2.8 L
EIZO Australia – EIZO Coloredge CG277
Canson Infinity – Baryta Fine Art Paper
Wacom Australia – Wacom Cintiq Companion 2
Kayell Australia – Supplier of Canson Infinity and Epson inks
ProTog – Jinbei LED Continous 150s, HD600’s and 400W Jinbei Strobes – Tethering cables, attachments and stands for the Wacom to 5DSr on location and in studio
Pixel Squid – 3D Object (Horse) that assisted with angles and placement
Art Defined – Framing of the finished print

Thank you to Syliva Tuz for her behind the scenes footage



1 thought on “Bringing a child’s dream to life – Unique Fantasy Photography

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *