Villa Richter

Case study

With this case study, I would like to tell you how a photographic contract can be processed and what outputs can come out of it. Especially then to shpw my way of working and what needs to be done to get the best results. At the same time, you can directly look at the difference before and after editing the photos, where I show you my possibilities of what I can “pull out” from the photos within their post-processing, which is an integral and essential part of my work.

Customer’s reference

“Marek Ondracek is a professional, always prepared and with a responsible attitude to work. The result of our cooperation in taking photos of our restaurant are high quality images that perfectly met our requirements and expectations.”
 – Jaroslav Hykl, owner of Villa Richter

In early 2019, we agreed with Villa Richter to take pictures of the villa and the adjacent vineyard for the purpose of promoting the restaurant and the premises as such. The customer had started the reconstruction of some rooms and wanted to have up-to-date photos on his website, social networks and printed flyers to promote specific events.

The agreed scope of work included taking pictures of winter exteriors and spring exteriors and interiors. The first photograph was therefore taken on 3.2. 2019 and the last one on 2.6. 2019.


Winter photographs - exterior

Winter photography was very dependent on the weather. This is true almost always for exteriors, but waiting for snow in Prague has been even more specific lately. Once it started snowing, I immediately took advantage of conditions that may not last long.

Winter photos look especially good in the evening. This means using a relatively short period of time when the remaining light of the sky and artificial lighting are in balance. Falling snow is virtually impossible to capture, so it may be necessary to deliver it in the post process. It helps to revive the photographs and create the right atmosphere.

In addition, I also took several photos at dawn, to capture the soft morning light over Prague.

Example of photo editing - before and after

Winter photos were supposed to have a truly winter atmosphere. So the photograph needed to get a dark bluish color in the sky, while maintaining the warm colors of the artificial lighting. At the same time I added snow to the photo to get the most out of the winter atmosphere. You can also notice the windows of the villa that wasn’t originally lit – with some magical editing work I can create light even wher there was none at the moment.

Spring photographs - interiors and exteriors

Spring photos were taken during a very intense weekend photo shoot. It was necessary to align the shooting with the ongoing weddings and the operation of the restaurant, and at the same time to take advantage of specific moments when the light was good. The exterior photos were supposed to express an optimistic spring mood, full of green and blue sky; the interiors were mainly about capturing their most interesting elements (fireplace, mirrors, windows view, etc.)

Photographing interiors (not only) of a restaurant requires close cooperation with the customer and staff. All the rooms and the outdoor seating were carefully arranged in such a way that the space itself as well as the possibilities of setting and arranging the furniture stand out in the photograph. During the weekend, a combination of day and evening photos was created, from which a selection was subsequently made.

Example of photo editing - before and after

Especially in interiors there is much more work to make the photo look really balanced, distinct and yet natural. In the photos below, I normally took 12-15 shots using a few flashes, etc., to eventually combine them into a final shot. Especially the picture of the room with the fireplace also includes advanced retouching on the walls and the montage of a fire into the fireplace. It is a demonstration of my possibilities in editing photos, while I manage even more difficult situations.


In total, this contract required 2 meetings to explore the site and determine the scope of work; about 25 hours of photography itself and then about 18 hours of editing work on photographs. It was in a way an extraordinary large-scale contract. However, it represents a good example of what it may be necessary to combine and capture and what are the possibilities in terms of the output photos.

In many cases, the photography process is easier and faster, as well as there can be also larger and more challenging projects. Everything is a matter of agreement and thorough exploration of the site itself.

If you are interested in taking pictures of your restaurant, house, apartment, hotel or other space, I’ll be pleased to arrange a personal meeting with you – to contact me, see the Contact section.