personalised photoshoot in Rio de Janeiro

When We Model Rio invited us to be models for the day, we didn’t hesitate.

We Model Rio is a company in Rio de Janeiro that offers clients a ‘model for the day’ experience by combining a personal style assessment and customised photoshoot that captures the subject’s beauty, personality, and style. The two-person team is made up of photographer Maarten Zeehandelaar from Holland and personal stylist and shopper Sara Passaglia from Italy. The two already have their own sideline companies – BluePrint Studio and Vire Chic, respectively – and have joined together to bring tailor-made photoshoot experiences for those looking for a specific personal collection of photos. Having never had a day of pampering followed by a photoshoot, we were keen to see what it’s all about. 

Our first stop was meeting with Sara to find our perfect style and preferences. After a quick assessment, she determined that I was a winter colour and Yvonne was a summer colour. Armed with this new wealth of knowledge, we went to Hippie Chic in Copacabana, an amazing store that sells big brands at hugely discounted prices, and picked out some new clothes that would suit us best.

I usually steer clear of bright in-your-face colours and keep well within my comfort zone with my trusty blacks, greys, and whites. As a result, I was doubtful with my new clothes choices in shades of vibrant pinks and bright blues. I was reluctantly entering whole new territory when I went into the changing rooms to pull on a shocking red dress. Yet despite how much I had convinced myself that red just wasn’t my colour, I was surprised at how well it suited me and how much confidence it gave me to try this whole new world of clothes and colours that had never really registered on my fashion radar before.

Sara was really great in styling us. She gently guided us into trying new styles, whilst expertly walking the fine line between something different and a dramatic makeover. The results were invaluable nuggets of advice about colours, flattering cuts, and eye-opening tips on how to jazz up simple outfits. And of course, a whole new wardrobe.

The next step was the actual photoshoot. Despite waking up early in the morning, we were both super excited to get to the Olympic Boulevard, home to Eduardo Kobra’s street mural, to begin the photo shoot. This was a whole new experience for me and I was excited to try it out. Much to the bewildered and curious looks of passersby on their way to work, Sara prepared our faces to be camera ready, smudging in eye-popping eyeshadow and adding a slick of classic red lipstick. After we’d slipped into our clothes, Maarten got to work on the camera. I naturally feel incredibly awkward in front of the camera (hence why in nearly 100% of my photos I either have a wide-eyed caught-in-headlights kind of look or a droopy-eyed I-swear-I’m-sober-I-just-don’t look-it style) but Maarten managed to relax me by giving me instructions on where to put my hands (something I NEVER know what to do in photos), correcting my posture, and generally making me feel totally at ease. I really enjoyed it and soon let myself imagine that I was some Victoria Secret Angel living the high-life at a professional, exotic photoshoot (I have a good imagination).

Yvonne and I were looking for clean, professional photos for Now in Rio that looked strong and smart, without being stuffy and too formal. We’d specified this at the start and that is exactly what We Model Rio did for us. We got 10 photos in total. Here are a couple of my favourites.

personalised photoshoot in Rio de Janeiro
personalised photoshoot in Rio de Janeiro

Our final conclusion is this: we loved the whole experience of being models for the day. Maarten and Sara are both professional and just generally lovely people. To speak to them more about booking your own personal photoshoot, then check out their website, Facebook page, or Instagram.

We would love to hear about your own experiences during your photoshoot. Let us know in the comments below!

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