How to prepare

Getting ready for that memorable photo session

Preparing for a Client Shoot

A Client Shoot is when you hire me to shoot for a specific purpose or image(s) you want.

The first thing you should do is try to develop a good idea about the images you want to get. Look on the Web for images that illustrate the poses, lighting and style you are looking for, and send me those that are the closest to what you want for yourself. This will help me prepare the shoot and hire the right stylist and makeup artist for you.

Reservation and cancellation

I require a 50% deposit upon reservation, the rest is payable at the beginning of the shoot (25%) and when I deliver the final photos (25%). I will not take any pictures on credit (sorry, been burned once too many!). Most people email this via Paypal or bank transfer. Just let me know if this suits you and I’ll send you the invoice. On the day of the shoot, you can pay the 25% installment in cash or with a credit card via Paypal.

If you want, I can have a professional makeup artist / hair stylist to help you prepare. Her fee is an extra $120 and she stays the entire shoot, making sure you are always at your best. This is entirely optional of course and you should feel completely free to book her or not. Once she is booked however, you cannot opt out less than 72 hours before the shoot.

If you are forced to cancel the shoot for a major reason (accident, death in the family, severe sickness, extreme weather, etc), you must inform me as soon as possible. You are allowed one re-booking within 2 months of the original shoot date without losing your deposit.

If I must cancel the shoot for a major reason of mine, I’ll give you the option of a) getting back your deposit or b) re-booking within 2 months of the original shoot date. If rebooking within two months is not possible for you, I automatically give you back your deposit.

Clothes, accessories and makeup

Unless we have already agreed that a stylist will be present, you must bring your own clothes and accessories. Don’t bring too much, however. We rarely have the time (or energy) for more than three or four different looks. Again, you should try things on ahead of time and develop a good idea about what you want. If I’ve explicitly told you that a stylist will be present, you don’t have to bring anything (but you can if you want).

The same goes for makeup. Unless we have already agreed that a makeup artist will be present, you’ll have to do your own makeup. In that case, it’s best to put only basic makeup before getting to the studio and adding some just before the shoot. Bring your own kit. Wait until you get to the studio to put on your final makeup. I prefer that you arrive completely natural and that we work on the look together. If we have agreed that a makeup person will be present, it’s very important that you don’t put anything on your skin before walking in the studio. The makeup artist will take care of everything.

Preparing for a Creative Shoot

A Creative Shoot is when you agree to model for me on a project of mine in exchange for promotional use of the pictures that feature you. If I haven’t already done so, I’ll send you some inspiration pictures or a link to a mood board. Try to match the clothes and accessories you see and don’t hesitate to ask me for advice. On a creative shoot, I normally take care of styling, hair and makeup. You just have to show up (on time please!) and bring whatever clothes or accessories we agreed upon beforehand.

On the day of the shoot

(the following applies to all types of shoots)

Go to bed early the night before and get a good night sleep. If you are not used to shooting in a professional setting, you may be a little nervous at the studio. Eat a good breakfast, but go easy on the coffee. I want you to be relaxed and in tune with yourself.

Please arrive on time. The studio is in high demand, and arriving late means we will have less time to work. It is usually impossible to extend the session much past what has been agreed upon.

Please avoid wearing any clothes that leave skin marks. Wear loose clothes and underwear and avoid anything that is tight or that has elastics. Skin marks are difficult to erase properly in Photoshop.

You are free to invite one (1) guest to accompany you for the shoot. Unless it has been agreed ahead of time, I will not take pictures of that other person. If you are a minor, I absolutely require that a parent, agent or caretaker be there with you for the entire shoot. If it is your first shoot with me and we are doing lingerie, glamour or nudes, I definitely prefer that you bring someone with you, and I will require it if you are under 21 and have no professional modelling experience. If we agreed that you will bring someone, I have the option of refusing the shoot if you arrive alone (and you will lose your deposit).

How I work during the session

I’ve been doing photography for over 30 years, and I’ve developed the habit of taking my time to make sure we get the image right at capture time. If you’ve worked with other photographers, you may find that I don’t take that many pictures during a shoot (typically about 100-150 frames). I am very meticulous and I make sure every shot counts.

During the session I will give you clear directions on how to move, act and pose to get the desired results. You may find some poses unusual and maybe a bit uncomfortable, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate the results. If you are a professional model, you know what I’m talking about.

I like simple and natural looks and attitudes, those that reveal the person and carry durable emotions. This means you must be ready to reveal yourself and let go of your defenses. I am patient and I will wait for this to happen, which means it may take a while before I say “Yes! Hold it!” and take a shot. Don’t worry however, I’ll help you get there!

The session will last exactly the time we have agreed upon. If the work is very good, we might finish earlier. If the work is exceptional, then I might ask you to stay a bit longer and explore beyond the original concept (you can always refuse, of course). In any event, I will shoot until you are satisfied that we “got the shot”.

I always leave a lot of room for improvisation and creativity, so don’t be surprised if some elements change on the spur of the moment. You are also free to let your imagination loose and propose any wild idea that crosses your mind. Those very often make the most interesting photographs.

I have the reputation of being very considerate and respectful of the people I work with. Still, for the sake of artistic creativity I might ask you to do something that you consider a little outside of your “comfort zone”. You are always completely free to accept or not. Under no circumstances should you feel pressured or uneasy about our work together. Please tell me in advance what you feel uncomfortable about: your nose, your legs, a certain type of pose or clothing, etc. This will help me better understand you and know where your limits are. Everybody has their own, and they are all worthy of respect. My main concern is that you always feel good about the work we do and that you leave the studio with a positive and happy feeling.

After the shoot

Depending on my workload and the nature of our agreement (paid shoot or creative exchange), it might take from one day to a week or more before you see the proofs. I upload all the good shots to a private area on my website, to which only you have access. You get to review the shots and pick those that you prefer. I will then professionally retouch the number of shots we agreed on. The final photos are put in the private area for you to download. If we agreed on prints, they can be mailed to you or you can pick them up at the studio.

Voilà! I hope this covers the information you need. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any question:

Looking forward to our shoot together!

All photographs are © Copyright - Richard Blouin. All rights reserved worldwide. No reproduction without authorization.