The Sailing Sessions

The Sailing Sessions are an opportunity for clients to build a fashion and swimwear on a sailing yacht.  After participating in the sailing sessions, models have been booked through their agencies by various boat manufacturers for their advertising campaigns.  

The sailing yachts provide a luxurious setting and old-world romance.  The larger yacht is a 42' Morgan built in 1970, with a beautiful mint-green and teak wood deck.  This yacht is great for vintage or shabby-chic fashions.  The other yacht is a 2006 Hunter 33 with light-gray decking, providing a more modern look.  The cruises are on Lake St. Clair, Michigan, between Lake Huron and Lake Erie.  Lake St. Clair is part of the Great Lake system, and is one of the largest lakes in the United States.  Water colors vary from dark Pacific blues to the turquoise hues of the Caribbean.  

Typically the sessions are on weekends from early June to late September.  During those months, about eight sessions can accommodate less than a dozen clients.  Each session lasts up to four hours, which provides plenty of time for wardrobe changes, and a relaxing cruise back.

The sailing sessions are dynamic and the yachts will be under sail.  The yachts are large and stable, but they will pitch and roll with the waves, making posing a challenge.  Water will spray as the yacht moves through the water, and any hair styling is at the mercy of the wind.

All sessions are photographed by Alan Southard and Jay Auskalnis.

Registering and Reservations

Registration is easy.  Simply contact the photographer and you will be added to the exclusive list.  When a cruise is planned, the registered clients will be contacted by email to confirm their availability on that date.  If a client is not available on a particular date, they will have the option to pass and remain on the list.  Once the minimum number of clients are available, they will be asked to provide a $100 deposit to reserve their session.  If a client cancels within 48-hours, they will forfeit the deposit.

What to Bring

We have found that solid colors and simple patterns work well.  Blacks, whites, and navy blues work best, and patterns should be limited to stripes and polka-dots.  Bring light dresses, distressed jeans, button-down shirts, and of course swimwear.  High heels can damage the deck, and dark soles will leave marks.  Please bring white-soled shoes, and plan to be barefoot often.  Accessories such as necklaces, bracelets, and scarves are great to have.  Besides the obvious utilitarian roles, sunglasses and hats make great accessories.

Motion sickness is a real possibility, and wardrobe changes below deck are often the trigger.  At least a half dosage of medication for motion sickness is suggested prior to the cruise.  Generally, the yacht is moving and gnats and mosquitos are not an issue.  But, it is always good to be prepared with an insect repellent.  Exposure to the sun is almost assured, and sun-block is recommended. Lastly, we will be on a lake for a couple of hours, so light snacks and water are recommended.


Q: Do I have to be an agency-signed model?

A:  NO!  Anyone can shoot with me and I'll make you look like a model.

Q: Do the boats actually sail?

A:  Yes! Each session ranges from two to four hours of actual sailing on Lake St. Clair.

Q: Can I bring an escort?

A:  Space is limited, so only clients, photographers, and crew are allowed on the sailboats.

Q:  Is hair styling, wardrobe, and makeup provided?

A:  Please arrive with hair styled and makeup ready.  Bring your own wardrobe.

Q:  How many images do I get?

A:  Two images per look, or up two six edited high-resolution images (1500 pixels shortest edge, 300 ppi, minimum 800kb) delivered by download.

Q:  Do I have to make a deposit?

A:  Yes.  We are depending on a minimum number of clients to justify the crew expenses.  If you cancel within 48-hours, we will not have time to schedule another client, and you will forfeit the deposit.  We understand that things happen and we are sorry.  Just don't get a flat tire or your let your aunt contract a life-threatening virus two days before your session.

Q:  I'm running just a little late!

A:  Punctuality is key, and other clients will not be inconvenienced because of your tardiness.  Anyone not on the boat at the scheduled time will forfeit the deposit.

Q:  What if weather is bad?

A:  If weather makes sailing unsafe or unsuitable for a photoshoot, we will notify you of the cancellation.  Your deposit can be refunded or applied to the next available date.