1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 Table of contents

Page 31: Fun cruise photos cruises and memos. I work hard, play hard.

There was photography women money travelling ... A different era.

This is a follow up of P19.

Idea taken from the great movie "Airplane". No Photoshop then, so: planning, shooting, printing the poster, hanging it and reshooting.

Who could dream of a better job? A job that allows you to travel to exotic places, to meet new people and at the same time, make a living out of it!
But there is more to it: being a cruiseship photographer can put a lot of strain on you!

The older the photo, the younger I look!

The second photo of me ever taken on cruise ships, in 1980 by David Jones.
We did not even have a cash register.

Where is my picture?

Barrie Moss fears nothing. He got a clip fallen at the bottom of the dev tank. What a guy. Thanks Barrie

Mark Robert Reeve, Photographer 2011: "I just spent the past 30 minutes watching your slideshow into to your web site, compliments on great images. You where a great inspiration to me when we worked together for a short time in the early 1990's on the Sovereign of the seas. Thank you. I do remember you used to sandwich transparencies together to produce unique art.
I would imagine the digital revolution has opened new opportunities for you to do this kind of work. Good luck with all you undertake. Mark http://www.globalpanoramic.com Mark"

S/S Norway, ex S/S France. Beautiful indeed.
A shame the French didn’t know how to make use of her. The Norwegians did a fantastic job of it for a good twenty years.


FROM: CHRISTIAN FOURNIER, Chief photographer.
DATE: November 24th, 1989
Is it a "music at sea festival" as I already experienced on s/s Rhapsody?
Is the itinerary the same as normal for the Norway?
I have translated the most useful signs in French. See enclosed sheet.
If it is this "music festival at sea", it is very classy and expensive. We should, as I did on S/S Rhapsody, make a lot of money. But we need to be careful and discuss matters with the charter manager beforehand. They do not like embarkation, gangway and handshakes photos, which makes the crowd "feel like sheep". But they love decks and scenery photos. The magnificent out island, the inside of previous S/S France, fantastic food displays and of course all the concerts and famous musicians are the best sellers.
I will do all the PR work on this.
I also think that myself and the other French speaking photog should do as much of the shooting and gallery as possible and no darkroom work.
Extreme politeness and impeccable service is a must.
I have prepared a mini photo phase book (enclosed) English-French for the other photogs.
The video tape will not work in France (N.T.S.C. Vs Pal-Secam), so I would not bother with it.
I am very happy to be part of this exciting cruise, since I am the right person to make it a great success, due to my experience of it, my being French, educated, classical music lover and of course my usual amazing photo craftsmanship and salesmanship. (modest, hey?).
I have worked with Gary Brown 4 years ago. He is competent and dedicated .
I will not interfere with his normal production of the photographs and we shall all have a great week.
Raphael Christian Fournier.

See my page 33: SS France in 1989 (avec Eddy Barclay, César, Jacques Martin, Isabelle Aubray, Henri Salvador, Uderzo, Walter Spangero, les CoCo Girls, Pierre Vassiliu, etc...)
The cruise liner S/S Norway was occasionally rebaptised under her first name S/S France by French charters trying to revive some of the old glory…

The talented Charlie Dawson while singing his famous unicorn song "the unicorn" at Stanley's pub
Charlie said : "Christian Fournier never took a bad picture."
Thanks Charlie

He used to sing a lot of Jimmy Buffet like Margaritaville and Willie Nelson "On the road again" which he has adapted to: "On the ship again"

RIP Jimmy Buffet
"Charlie Dawson 1999 "HOW THE HECK ARE YOU ?????? I am on Facebook, and someone recently started
a 'Stardancer' Facebook site... It's so much fun to see all my old (I really
mean OLD) friends!!! ... Please let me know how you are doing, and if you
have a web site I can visit.. I hope you go to the 'Stardancer' crew member
site for a visit and sign in... (it's free) ... Everyone loved you and
they'd be thrilled to hear from you.. I hear you are in Paris with your own
studio. I tried to reach you for years and this is the first lead I have
gotten in a long time. I even put a bunch of photos from the ship up
there... Other ex crew members are doing the same..
Sure would like to see how you are doing... And I hope this is YOU !!"

The silk worm factory.

Here I take part in Chinese traffic jam.

With Dr Nicole Bordes

The movies "Pirates of the Caribbean" did not exist back then.

En 1992 sur des bateaux de croisière (Port Kelang, Malaisie, Djakarta, Indonésie, Bali, Semarang, Pulau Sepa, Singapore, Phuket, Thaïlande, Nias, Padang, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Shanghai, Padang, Manille, , Pukhet, Kuala Lumpur, Borobudur, Brunei, San Blas, Vanuatu, Nouvelle Calédonie, Corée du Sud, Bornéo, Japon, Palau, Nanjing, Shanghai, Padang, Manille, Philippines, Taïwan, Singapour, Viêt Nam, Guam),
puis avec Nicole en 1989 à Hawaï et Sipadan,
puis avec Frédérique en 2002 en Polynésie, à Sipadan en 2003, en Thaïlande en 2004.

Bali. escalade du Mont Batur avec Dr Nicole Bordes


During a Panama Canal cruise. The natives rowed in their pirogues to meet the ship and sell passengers their arts and crafts through the port holes.

The rain won’t stop us from taking photos.

No, there aren’t just old people on cruise ships. Here you see Chantal Lamer.

No, there aren’t just old people on cruise ships. Here you see Jacquie Roussos.

I shot this at Cabo San Lucas from a parasail. Someone (Jamie Harrisson or Tim Venn) also did it on my advice.

Burial at sea

A baby was born on-board the MV Stardander. It could choose the nationality of the ship's registry (Bahamas), or the parents nationality (Mexican) or the surrounding waters (Canadian).
The father, Dr Tabor, the nurse, Kathy Rathgeber, first officer, the baby and the mother.

We even had a murder on board!
A young lady was thrown overboard by her husband on their honeymoon.
The entire ship was declared a crime scene by the FBI on arrival in Los Angeles. I had to accompany their inspectors to find and reprint all the photos taken of the couple during their cruise. The officers never mentioned any payment for the photos or my time. Nobody was allowed off the ship until the investigation was finished, 8 hours later. This created havoc for disembarkation of the previous cruise passengers, embarkation of the new passengers, loading of all the stores (food, medical, gift shop, etc..). I had to cancel the embarkation photo shoot in order not to delay the process of some very angry people. I arranged it with my agent in LA to buy me a copy of the newspaper.

Charlie Dawson mimics an unhappy passenger : "You made me look fat!"

No mirror, rangefinder camera. So we could see the flash on subjects’ faces and know if their eyes were open. The viewfinder’s field was larger than the photo, which permitted us to anticipate external elements that entered into our view at the last moment, for example waiters in our photos in the dining room.
Here is exactly what you see in the viewfinder of the Leica MP4. The white lines are the frame of the final photo with the Summicron 35mm lens, the inside lines are the frame of the final photo when taken with a 50mm. If a shark approached the frame we would see it before it entered the photo.
You can also see a part of the lens to remind you which one you were using. You can see here that it wasn’t me taking the photo, since I am in it, the faces are cropped and the horizon isn’t straight. Copyrights were added for reasons that did not exist at the time (1980).
You could also focus in near absolute darkness.

Just as tireless as us, the photographers.
It’s only shortcoming: the synchronised flash at 1/60th of a second, too slow for photos taken outside of moving subjects, in which case the Nikon F3 was used.

This is the S/S Veracruz darkroom, before a printing session, in 1981!
This photo is dark, which is to be expected, as it’s a dark room.

This is the S/S Veracruz darkroom, after a printing session!
OK, this was a set up just for fun. In reality it was much worse than this.

SS France/Norway in the background. I am not mad, just happy

San Blas Islands. The fun was to row from one island to another.

The San Blas islands are a group of islands in the archipelago de San Blas, located in the Northwest of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. There are 378 islands within the archipelago and they are scattered around in an area of about 100 square miles. If you leave the Golfo de San Blas by boat you will enter the Caribbean Sea. The majority of the 378 islands have no inhabitants, but on the larger ones you will find the gentle native people known as the Kuna’s. These people can be found on the larger inhabited Islands; Aguja Island, Guanidup Island, Chichimei, Yandup Island and El Porvenir. You may ask yourself What is san blas? San Blas is an autonomous territory in Panama formally called Kuna Yala. No airplane can land there, because of lack of space to land.

The native people living on the Islands of San Blas call themselves Kuna’s or Guna’s. The district/region in Panama where you can meet the native inhabitants is officially named after them; Guna Yala or Kuna Yala. The Kuna’s are community of proud people that have their own laws, norms and values that go with their culture, which is by the way totally different than the traditional Panamanian culture. Since the last headcount of all the Kuna Indians an estimated 300.000 live in Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia, only 50.000 live on the San Blas Islands. When you visit the San Blas Islands don’t forget to try some of the traditional Kuna food.

Ha, dancers and photographers ...

Alison and Misty



Over the years I have worked for Cruiseship Pics, I have seen the prices of the photos go up, following the general inflation.
Every time, photogs say : nobody will buy any pictures any more at that price! And then, passengers do buy pics, just the same.
This last price increase, even though major, has not lowered our number of pics sold (see paperwork.) It has increased our revenue.
The portraits, with the oval folder, look classy and are a great buy for $20. For the 5x7", we have to make sure that they are shot properly. The Fuji paper is fantastic.

You can tell it is a real tiger. Like me. Only the little one was scared.

Scary dinosaur hunting in Skagway Alaska. Photo : Doug Plews. Of course it is a fake .... gun.
OK, inspired by "Jurassic Park! "!

2015 = Back to the future.

Security mirror on S/S Rhapsody 1985 Photo Robert Luxton

I got inspired by this for my business card in 1995

To celebrate my 35 years as a professional photographer, I redid this photo in 2015.
It was better before, as my grand mother used to say.

Alana: "What do you do with the old negatives?"

Cruise director Bernard Reid amongst his fans.

Very boring photo, just to show that I went to Japan, with the Club Med II, also very boring.

Jamie Harrison (R.I.P.), me, Andrew Bruce. The horse is moving, but the snake in my hand is dead. Photo by Alana. Thank you Alana.

Jamie Harrison 1999 : "Hi Christian, I'm working at Amateur Photographer now, though Nigel left about 6 months ago to work for a book publisher in Brighton. I am Technical Writer so get to play with all the new equipment as it comes out. Loving every minute. The technical editor is ex cruiseships too - Damien Demoulder who you may have heard of, I worked with him on the Seaward, so we get to reminisce a lot.
I got married to Andrea a couple of years ago and we had a baby boy, Tyler, last year. He's beautiful. Everything is going fairly well, and we are in middle of buying a new house further out in Essex - a place called Basildon, where Andreas parents live so we'll have access to a baby sitter.
I looked at your website- glad to see you are still active and as busy as ever- how is business over there? I know a few advertising guys who are struggling a bit at the moment in the UK - I hope you are more successful.
Sorry to keep it short but I'm really busy at the minute so I'll get in touch when I have more time. All the best"

Andrew Bruce as Santa.

Andrew Bruce 1999: "Hi Chris,"Your new page looks great! The memos from the cruiselines made me laugh.
Also some of the pictures brought back good memories. We watched the New Year celebrations on TV in Paris. It looked great. We wondered if you were there. Well, take care and talk to you soon."

Of course I owned more cameras than this, you fool!

Several participants of the Lakewood chamber of commerce second Annual Community Cupercruise mug it up for Stardancer chief photographer Christian Fournier on Friday, October 30th at 3 PM.
MV Stardancer Captain Smitterberg turned the Stardancer away from the wind and slowed his vessel from 19 knots to a comfortable 5 knots to ensure none of his passengers would become airborne while holding a 50 foot banner on deck 11. Thanks Captain!!


TO: CRUISESHIP PICTURE CO. LTD. FROM: C. FOURNIER, Chief photographer. NOV. 04 1990

Shop lifting is now an important problem, since the passengers are becoming more and more low class and cheap on this ship, during this season. Mainly, it is much too easy for them to steal the photos, because the cash register is hidden from their view and their are 9 exits to the photo gallery.
I have had a formal talk with the hotel manager this week about this problem: he refuses to move the cash register or allow the security cameras back. I explained that we were catching many thieves every week. Not only do we loose a lot of money but also we get many bad comment cards, because the thieves that we catch obviously hate us afterwards.
We must fight back, or what is the point of even having a cash register?
I bought two very special stamps. They are self inking, and the ink does not smudge, after stamping, on the back of the resin coated paper that our prints are made of. So now we stamp each print after receiving payment.
I have made and displayed signs in the gallery:It works extremely well. It is a great deterrent. It also proves if a picture has been paid or not, saving a lot of embarrassment. It is well worth the extra seconds in the gallery, stamping after each sale. This time I have not asked the hotel manager about permission for this, same as I do not ask him permission to use F8 on my camera, right? If he creates trouble later, I will emphasize the weak barrier between what we need permission for and what we do not.
I am learning a lot about politics, these days.

CHRISTIAN FOURNIER, Chief photographer

In Sicily: The Cappucins Catacombs.
The Capuchin Catacombs are a gallery of mummified Sicilian nobles.

The amazing team: David Turner, Chris Fournier, Barrie Moss.

David Turner in Colorado in spring 1983.No there was no cruise ships in Colorado, but we were on a break

Your can't see David much, he is the one drowning, I am the one paddling!.


TO: CRUISESHIP PICTURE CO LTD. Attention: Richard Dawson, director FROM: C. FOURNIER, Chief photographer Date: October 26 1990

I am sorry to inform you that your managers enforce wrong techniques. This business of having the lady's right leg over her left leg and her left hand over her right hand is unnecessary: it makes no difference to the final portrait, no difference to the sales, it just aggravates the models. Perhaps the idea is to try to appear professional, by giving firm posing directions? On the contrary, my technique is to relax the models: I smile to them, make them feel welcome and happy, let them put they legs how they feel best and natural, they smile to me, and I snap the picture. Believe my 11 years experience at selling photos to our passengers (remember: I am always at the desk, unlike most #1, now supervisors, and I listen to passengers' comments and I see what they buy) :

The man of the year


Don't worry, our staff is accustomed to dumb questions:
But I ordered a cabin with a view.
Has this ship ever sunk?
What do you do with the ice carvings after they melt?
Do these stays go up or down?
Is the water in the pool sea water? Ok, that explains the waves.
Do you have to leave the ship to do a shore excursion?

Allan Green, Barrie Moss monkeying, Chris Fournier. Photo by Janet, thanks Janet.

This is Janet.

One of those days!

It was better before, as my grand mother used to say.

I buy my first computer in 1986: the Apple Mac Plus (more expensive than my car!) And I discover word processors, databases and later pre-press. Copy and paste Woa! No digital photos at this time.

FROM: CHRISTIAN FOURNIER, Chief photographer


DATE: July 14th 1986
I now have a computer (Macintosh Plus) with a thorough and accurate program to do the weekly paperwork. All I do is punch in the new data at the end of the week and all calculations are accomplished and printed accurately. I cannot unfortunately duplicate your forms exactly. I hope this will not inconvenience you. I hope that typed data will make my paperwork more readable and more accurate. I can now use the valuable saved time for what I do best : shoot and make us more money! CHRISTIAN FOURNIER.

My cabin on M/V Stardancer. Please note the "mobile" phone under the Mac and the dot matrix printer on the left.

« Don’t imagine you know what a computer terminal is. A computer terminal is not some clunky old television with a typewriter in front of it. It is an interface where the mind and body can connect with the Universe and move bits of it about.) (de « The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Complete Trilogy of Five (English Édition) » par Douglas Adams).

Thank you Steve Jobs for the Mac and iPhone.
Specially the blue dot which allows me not to get lost in Paris.

Automatic program, as part of the weekly paperwork.

San Blas islands. Always ready to help.

The San Blas islands are a group of islands in the archipelago de San Blas, located in the Northwest of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. There are 378 islands within the archipelago and they are scattered around in an area of about 100 square miles. If you leave the Golfo de San Blas by boat you will enter the Caribbean Sea. The majority of the 378 islands have no inhabitants, but on the larger ones you will find the gentle native people known as the Kuna’s. These people can be found on the larger inhabited Islands; Aguja Island, Guanidup Island, Chichimei, Yandup Island and El Porvenir. You may ask yourself What is san blas? San Blas is an autonomous territory in Panama formally called Kuna Yala. No airplane can land there, because of lack of space to land.
The native people living on the Islands of San Blas call themselves Kuna’s or Guna’s. The district/region in Panama where you can meet the native inhabitants is officially named after them; Guna Yala or Kuna Yala. The Kuna’s are community of proud people that have their own laws, norms and values that go with their culture, which is by the way totally different than the traditional Panamanian culture. Since the last headcount of all the Kuna Indians an estimated 300.000 live in Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia, only 50.000 live on the San Blas Islands. When you visit the San Blas Islands don’t forget to try some of the traditional Kuna food.

Gérard Barray, né Gérard Marcel Louis Baraillé le 2 novembre 1931 à Toulouse en Haute-Garonne, est un acteur français.
Il reprend à 22 ans le rôle de Jean Marais dans L'Aigle à deux têtes, pièce de Jean Cocteau. 14 ans après sa création, cette pièce a été reprise au Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt dirigée par Edwige Feuillère. En 1961, après des entraînements d’escrime avec Claude Carliez, et de bagarres avec Henri Cogan, Gérard Barray campe le rôle du Duc de Vallombreuse dans le film de Pierre Gaspard Huit, Le Capitaine Fracasse, devenant après Jean Marais l’un des acteurs emblématiques du genre. Il excelle ensuite dans les rôles de chevalier au grand cœur. Il est D’Artagnan, Pardaillan, Surcouf et Scaramouche. Au total il pratique le genre dans une dizaine de longs-métrages qui pour la plupart sont des succès du box-office, largement diffusés à l’étranger.
Outre les films de cape et d'épée comme Le Chevalier de Pardaillan et Scaramouche et les films d'aventures comme Surcouf, le tigre des sept mers, il interprète le commissaire San-Antonio dans Sale temps pour les mouches puis dans Béru et ces dames. En 1969 il tourne avec la jeune Claude Jade dans Le témoin. Il y incarne le personnage de Van Britten, un mystérieux conservateur de musée, qui séduit une jeune prof d'anglais. C'était son dernier rôle principal. Pour Claude Berri il tourne Le Cinéma de papa, dans le rôle de Richard, un acteur super star et plutôt capricieux. Pour son comeback en 1997, il est Devernois, un personnage de la télévision, dans Ouvre les yeux d'Alejandro Amenabar.
Il se marie en juillet 1965 à la mairie de Montauban avec Teresa Lorca, rencontrée sur le tournage des Mercenaires du Rio Grande, qui était sa partenaire qui fut danseuse et actrice. Il est le père de Marie et Julien. Retiré en Andalousie, il pratique un art bien agréable, celui d'être grand-père auprès de ses trois petits enfants.
Il était un ami intime de Frédéric Dard.
Gérard Barray a été nommé Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres en janvier 20101.
Début 2018, l'acteur publiera une nouvelle pleine de hardiesse : "L'Artiste - La Mariée dormait encore" aux Editions Christian Navarro.

Finding friends with the same mental disorder as you ...

1984: Dry docks in Galveston, Texas.

28th March 1984: S/S Rhapsody was anchored off the famously beautiful "7 mile beach" of Grand Cayman. Passengers were being tendered back on-board after a great day of shopping, sun bathing, snorkelling, or scuba diving, etc … A storm was just starting with heavy wind and rain.
The rumour says that the captain was busy entertaining a female passenger in his cabin and therefore not on the bridge for the delicate manoeuvre of taking the anchors up in foul weaver. Personally, I doubt it.
The chief radio officer told me that the bad weather made the tendering slower that usual and passengers, eager to get back to the ship for a warm shower and dinner, where overcrowding the platform and stairs that hang outside the ship and a problem then occurred with the anchor. Personally, I do not understand it. The passengers cannot be held responsible for the cruiseship running aground !
Apparently the engines were not yet up to providing full thrust when the anchors went up. The wind and the waves pushed the ship towards and above the reef, all night long. In the morning, when the storm finally abated, the 25 000 tons on S/S Rapsody were perfectly horizontally sitting on the most beautiful reef in the world, one meter above its flotation line, just in front of one of the most beautiful beach in the world. The Rhapsody was firmly lodged where she lay.
The evacuation of the displeased and angered passengers and most of the staff took three days. Paquet had to find hotels and flights for them, plus an offer a free cruise in the future. All remaining cruises had to be cancelled.

- The most powerful tugboats from Holland, sailed from Amsterdam, to try pushing and tugging the ship afloat, in vain. They only managed to rip off the ship main wrenches.
- The most powerful sea and land wrenches were brought in at huge expenses to anchor the ship to solid positions all around and far way and pull on it. In vain. World experts were brought in to survey the situation.
- Paquet then managed to convince the Cayman Port Authorities, to accept damaging the most beautiful coral reef in the world, with dynamite. Backhands to ecological groups all over the scuba diving communities.
- Blowing off the precious coral to create a one meter deep trench along side the ship. But work had to be stopped immediately because the debris from the exploded reefs were brought to the 7 mile beach (one of the most beautiful beach in the world) by the underwater currents. More delays, more talks, more backhands.
- Paquet agreed to build (at their expense) a floating tubing and pump system to suck the debris far out to sea and away from the beach current.
All this took 2 months. In the bars alongside the beach, a new drink was invented : "The Rhapsody on the rocks". Some T-shirt were printed : " I survived Rhapsody on the rocks".
The French cruise line Paquet managed to control the Medias, so not many people ever heard about it. How did they succeed that ? I phoned my parents regularly to Paris France and they confirmed that nothing leaked in the French press.
On June 15th, the S/S Rhapsody finally came off the rocks, and was then towed to Galveston to undergo the necessary repairs. In September she was back in service doing cruises from Fort Lauderdale, but this was merely a last, desperate attempt from her owners to make her profitable again. Her time with Paquet Cruises had been a failure, and she was soon put up for sale again.
Paquet never fully recuperated, and in 1986, she was sold to Regency Cruise Line's, becoming REGENT STAR. MV REGENT STAR was laid up in 1995, following the collapse of Regency Cruises. She lay at anchor in Eleusis, Greece (technically renamed SEA HARMONY) looking very forlorn until being sold for scrap as the HARMONY in 2004.
I left the S/S Rhapsody in its dry docks in Galveston, Texas. As I left the ship, I was no longer bound by my "non divulgation contract" and took pictures of the ship in dry dock.

More of that in my reportage "Fire on the Ocean Princess" and the French so called freedom of press.

Mark Antony Chang: My Last ship, the S/S Rhapsody going through the locks of the Panama Canal.We ran aground in Grand Cayman (right off the Seven Mile Beach area) for a total of 72 days. It occured on March 28th 1984, the year the Olympics was in Los Angeles. I was aboard ship for the entire duration, right up to the very last cruise.The Rhapsody was firmly lodged where she lay, and it took more than two months to get her refloated. On June 15th, she finally came off the rocks after much difficulty, and was then towed to Galveston to undergo the necessary repairs. In September she was back in service doing cruises from Port Everglades, but this was merely a last, desperate attempt from her owners to make her profitable again.

Chief engineer Mec Lozadinos and Captain Guillou on a masquerade night.

Captain Guillou, me, Kay White, casino manageress.

The old S/S Rhapsody was then sold to Regency Cruises, then she was scrapped in Alang, India in 2004. I did not take this photo.
As Eric de Jonquière said: "The memories held within these walls......"

With Claire-Lise Ashton-Damond, Georges Gaillard, Mark Anthony Chang, Mark Haslam, Larry Larkin and the Amazing Kardons, Dave Armour, Ezra Todd Shelton, Jill Delamotte, Josée Jalber, Tim Riggins, Marie-claude Chauveau-gaillard, Glenn Grant, Cindee Hendrickson Forby, Rob Waterfield, Mark Anthony Chang, Claire-Lise Ashton-Damond, Hélène Vachon, Eric Fauque de Jonquieres, Janet Wakefield, Allan Jones (A.J.), Sylvie Lecointre/Mercier, Robert Luxton, David Turner, Barrie Moss, Allan Green, Angel Swanson Vanrooyen, Chief engineer Mec Lozadinos and Captain Guillou, Kay White, Martin Gutz, Lorie Young, Nick Llellelyn, and the entire officers, staff, and crew.

Carthagena, Columbia. Photo by Martin Gutz. Thanks Martin.

A $ 3000 Leica. I take great care of it. NO, it is not a joke. Here at Dunn's River Falls, Jamaica

These photos sell well, hence the Leica.

Andrea Dobson.

Raphaël (Chris),
Just wanted to let you know I'm still interested (214 620 9733) in modelling for you. I remember you said this summer sometime. I read in the Dallas Paper you had to abandon ship, that had to be a mess. Don't get stuck on any more sand!
Hope to hear from you, Kathy.

In the Mexican jungle, photo by Janet, after I explained everything! She did great. Thanks Janet.

Which one came out first?

Emilia Garcia Ward : "Hello, I remember you from the Southward, a very nice and humorous photographer."
"You are an artistic and creative person. I remember your happiness, I love pour pics. Thank you!"

It is the lack of communication between the engineers and decision makers that destroyed the space shuttle ...


I am at the bottom of the hierarchy ladder but I am in the front of our customers, Admiral and RCCL. Even though you do not read my helpful memos, I keep on writing them, perhaps just for references. At this crucial moment, when RCCL is looking at us closely and our concession is at hand (end?), you are not supporting me at all:
-I have been asking for receipt pads for the last three months.
-If I had not pushed at Admiral, we would have had one week without film or paper.
-You sent me an untrained, inexperienced new photographer so we had poor photos. (should you trained them a little before sending them in full view, on "important" ships?)
-A "returned to head office" tape only got to me 5 weeks later (see my memo!): Admiral's customer service dept. is not impressed!
-It took A.... L... 5 weeks to return our Hasselblad dark slide, taken off by mistake (I assume!), but very important to us.
-I was not sent decent signs on time (see memo).
-I do not have enough key chains.
-I do not get any help for repairs:
I am in US only 4 hours a week and that's on a Saturday, so I can't do much !
But, have no fear, I am looking after our concession !!!

Christian Fournier, Chief photographer

Smile Folks 1984

May smiles come back in 2016. With Frédérique Gorsky, a fantastic woman.
A beautiful symbiosis. No, not the Bogdanov brothers.

Part of the Panama Canal

Page 23 : Haïti in 1980, 1981 and 1984 for "Simply Living" and "New Men" magazines.

It was before Sebastião Salgado.

I spent time in Haiti, during my work on cruiseships and also on vacation to photograph Gwendoline Henry and Kathy K Palma.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. Haitians are strikingly kind and sincere. We, the rich and arrogant, could learn a thing or two from them.

Port au Prince, Cap Haitien, Le Relais de l'Empereur, la citadelle Laferrière, le Palais de Sans-Souci.

A resident of Cap-Haïtien in front of his home.


See the complete report.


The T-shirt says: "Sleep with a photographer and watch things develop".

Yes, I did fall, you idiot. Yes, I do all my own stunts.

Channeling my inner Indiana Jones.

Yes, we do portrait retouching! But no Photoshop then!



It used to be better before, as my grandmother used to say.


FROM: C. FOURNIER, Chief photographer
Date: July 22 1988

Our passengers here in Alaska, are hard to photograph, but they buy the photos once they see them on the wall.
I am experimenting with decent candid shots, as we cruise Tracy Arm fjord. I am using my own Nikon 300mm autofocus and hunt for smiling people. The photos look good (see samples). Passengers seem to like candids. It make a different photo than all the usual others, that we do, or that our competitors do. It is an added 10 rolls to our Tracy Arm shooting. The drawback is: people do not know that their photograph has been taken, so they do not specifically look on the wall for them. They can only see the photos by chance, or if friends tell them. I will make a sign at the gallery saying that candid photos are also taken and I will mention it during my staff introduction speech.
CHRISTIAN FOURNIER, Chief photographer


From : C. Fournier, chief photographer To: Cruiseship picture Co. Ltd. September 23rd, 1989

Since it is now official that RCCL is going to run this ship the same as the "Future Seas" (i.e.: we go !), it seems to me that the hatitude from this management towards us has changed.
We are now being used and abused, without any concern for our service to passengers and our revenues. Some examples:
* 42 pax got stranded in Juneau and spent the night in a lodge and rejoined the ship in Skagway.
Since it was a tour fault, Admiral gave them a free party with champagne. I decided to photograph the party, of my own accord. We made a group shot with the captain in it. The following day, 42 pax asked for their free photos at the gallery. The captain had not bothered to tell me that those photos would be complementary !
* I got a phone call, the last day of the cruise, to photograph immediately the navigation officers at the bridge. We were very busy with our normal work and worried we could not have all our photos on time for the last sale. But I did it (and well as usual!).
The 10x8 photos are a present from the "generous" captain to his navigation team ! I know that this kind of treatment of our photo business from ship management is, unfortunately, very common on most ships (I have worked on many, for the last 9 years!). But when I started our photo business on the Stardancer two years ago, I managed, thanks to my very much more mature and experience approach, to establish a climate of respect between me and the ship's management. Is there any major reasons why this could not be the same on all ships?
You are paying a huge revenue to the cruise line, and services are owed to us, by contract. So why can't we run the business in a respectable way? Shouldn't you put your foot down, for once, and straighten it all out, in a polite but firm way.
You would make more money, photographers would have much more respect for their jobs and achieve better standards. If you are interested, I offer my services to you, when I am a supervisor, to attempt such an important change in our policy: straight business, no more begging & crawling. I am convinced that it can be done politely, respectably, without hurting any one's feeling, or loosing any concessions. Would you like to try me? I managed here for two years. But now they now that we are leaving, they'll squeeze as much as possible from us.

Before Photoshop, you had to do this sort of things with prints and scissors. And people thought you were crazy.
The portrait of Dorian Gray!
The older the picture, the younger I look!

It used to be better before, as my grandmother used to say.

Prints are of a high standard. The Quality we expect on all ships. Keep the fine work. Thank you. Tom Long, Ops Manager for Cruiseship Picture Company. 13-8-1897.
Tom Long, Ops Manager for Cruiseship Picture Company2002: "You were always the most innovative photo manager who ever worked for Cruiseship Picture Co "


From: Christian Fournier To: Mr. R.C.. Dawson, Cruiseship pictures. APRIL 08 1990

I am experimenting with another new type of shot: something, different and modern, which might make the distinction between stagnation and intelligent marketing: I have bought Mylar iridescent curtains. I hung them up on the two dining room doors, using Velcro. Two photographers shoot the passengers exiting: 50mm lenses, soft filters, Mylar curtains in background. It creates a very new and different kind of photograph: soft, waist up, colorful background, and most exciting of all, the curtain isolates the model from the unwanted people behind, making it, for once, a personal photo, splendid achievement on dining room door shots. On the sample below you can barely guess someone's face behind the curtains; without the curtains, this very nice picture would have been ruined, (as is too often the case in our fast and in the "middle-of-crowd" shots), by distracting strangers in the background. This is all easy to carry, store and set up. It does not consume any time. It is cheap: $76 for two sets. It creates another photo opportunity. It can be done on many other ships. It can increase the revenue of our entire company.

The Alaskan bold eagle

The vital buoy. No, the buoy, not the girl.

From Asia…

… Ah Sweden.

Alaska with Nicole.


Nick llewellin, me, Jamie Harrison. We were young, remember!
This was just to show off our superb portraits in their albums.

The Amazon River. Yes, the piranha was already dead. And yes, the Amazon river near Belem is very large.

Please note I’ve never used a Minolta in my life.
But, well, as Napoleon Bonaparte once said:
“Don’t believe everything you see in magazines.”

Le 02-12-2010 de Simon Emm : Manifique Monsieur Chris
Manifique Monsieur Chris, Maybe one day I can visit you and sit in on a studio shoot? I love you work, and I'm taking small steps towards more studio work. I'm not that good yet.. salute mon ami.

Puerto Plata, on our way to Mama Suchi. On the right Stuart Ward. On the left Reinaldo Perez. We bought the horses for a low price and could go anywhere we wanted. What a life.
Stuart Ward : "Great shots from a time when few people had a camera".

Yes sir, the gift shop girl was impressed.



My advertising campaign to sell our video is as follows: __Continuous playing on the two gallery T.V.s of the tape with my explanation sign inserted at the beginning and end, and with sample photos (showing "your photo here" across it) inserted at the right place.(see sample photos) __Same tape playing in cabin TVs several times during the week, as agreed with captain and cruise director, with times shown in daily program. __Empty tape boxes displayed in gallery (see photos). __Messages in daily program , explaining and stating clearly when to order. __Letter of explanation handed out at the desk and available at all times on our portrait tables. __Large signs above gallery TVs saying :"Stardancer video with your own photos: $34.95 " (see photo.) __Two poorly worded large signs, from office, below the TVs. __Full explanation by me, during staff introduction, on stage, at beginning of each week. All this was fully operational at the beginning of the first week of videos. I am proud to be efficient.


The famous Carlos Lopez, musician. I met him on the S/S veracruz. This is in his home in Ontario, Canada. We are planning on redoing this photo 30 years later, wearing tuxes and "fortune" magazines. Not impossible, since we meet again from time to time when he comes to Paris.

A few years later in Paris.
Carlos Lopes is a composer, producer, Genie Award Winner, 2 time Gemini nominee and 4 time Golden Reel nominee. He is a highly respected musician across Canada who has produced hundreds of domestic and international musical projects for film, television and albums for more than 25 years. Carlos’ film credits include “Dinner At Fred’s” with Parker Posey and John Neville produced by George Harrison’s Handmade Films, “Greener Fields” with Giancarlo Giannini and Burt Young, Ken Kinkleman’s “Married Life, The Movie”, and “Reel Love” with Burt Reynolds and LeAnn Rimes produced by Nashville’s CMT. Among his television credits are “How To Be Indie”, “The Nature of Things”, “Puppets Who Kill” and “The Famous Jett Jackson”. Leading his own bands Carlos has performed at The Montréal Jazz Festival, Québec Festival D’Eté, Festi-Jazz de Rimouski, Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, Beaches International Jazz Festival (Toronto), Harbourfront (Molson Jazz Festival, Toronto), Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria duMaurier Jazz Festivals, and at the Ontario Pavillion, Expo ’86 (Vancouver). Carlos has played guitar with artists like Shirley Eikhard, Cécille Frenette and Sunny Paxton, and jazz icons Maury Kaye, Phil Nimmons, Claude Ranger and Terry Clark as well as leading his own bands with Earl Seymour and Kevin Breit. Some of the talent he has written music for and/or produced are Mike Murley, Julie Masi, Richard Lavoie and Robert Cyr, Liz Rodrigues, Dawn Aitken, Lyne Trembley, Damhnet Doyle, Devine Brown, Rex Gaudy, Vaness, Sierra Noble, Rebecca Nazz, Ariana Gillis and Suba Sankaran.

Carlos is on the right, being hugged by Sabine Crossen, famous actress, new to her boyfriend, famous scriptwriter (Pékin Express & Koh Lanta).
Carlos Lopez: "Hey Chris, Como estas, I've been working too hard & not playing enough. What we need to
do is find a 2-week gig on a ship, but no longer. Ah-well, just a thought.
Anyhow, I've got a week free in August and another in September. I'm thinking
about a trip to Paris around the 22nd or 23rd of September, are you going to
be there at that time?
Let me know what you think, take care, Carlos."

1988 : Don't sleep on an ant trail.

30 years later, my philosophical declaration / advise still stand: "don't sleep on an ant trail."

Check out the background. They do not show that on the Love boat

Again, I am not mad, just happy.

The pirates are great to stop the passengers coming out of the dinning room.

Andrea Dobson: "That was a funny day Christian Fournier, we were at Ciudad Guayana, near the Angel Falls in Venezuela, great place to dress up as Shirley Temple and wear tap shoes!!!"




Raphael Christian Fournier

Angel Falls in Venezuela. The highest waterfalls in the world. From Camp Canaima, a flight excursion from the S/S Veracruz

Camp Canaima

Le "fun couple" with Dr Nicole Bordes, before the "DesChiens", a famous French mini TV serie !

You have to remember that these cards where mainly intended to tease our British friends back home in the Christmas rain and snow.

Picture throwing: Barrie Moss and Allen Green, plus most of the cruise staff, musicians, casino, dancers and gift shop girls! ..

The photos and photographers are for sale.

Three grown ups waiting for a big wave. One of them is Carlos Lopez, on the left.

Hungawa, chief jungle, as baptized by Tim Venn

Tim Venn 2003 : "Hello Christian;
It is good to hear that you get to fly to exotic locations like Malaysia.
Me, I am just stuck in crummy old Miami Beach. I am thinking of coming over
to Paris on the weekend of April 4-7 with my family. Will you be there then?
I am hoping to meet up with some other ex-Photogs in Paris too. Some are
already in France and some would come over from the UK. This is tentative
for now - I will let you know for sure in the next couple of weeks.
Cheers, Tim"

I did everything to get our passengers to smile in the dining room.

Le 22-11-2010 de Tim Venn : thank you Chris
I love looking at your pictures Chris. You have an amazing collection of photos throughout the years that are very interesting and entertaining. You are the real photo maestro / creative genius. I had some great adventures on the Ocean princess with in the Amazon and Caribbean.

"My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain". Helmut Newton

Amazing archeological finds:
- In the old days, 35mm Kodak and Fuji photographic films grew on trees.
- Famous photographer Christian Fournier did die in action around 1988 in the middle of Del Apache Desert, New Mexico, USA.
Photo by Dr Nicole Bordes, then senior science researcher in Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA.

Just wanted to say "hi" to you! and that I miss you an awful lot! quelqu’un qui pense très fort à toi, du fin fond de son Los Alamos.

À Los Alamos, il faut donc être sur le qui-vive !

Los Alamos, 26 septembre,
Mon loup,
Me revoilà ! Mardi soir j’ai le cafard ou le scarabée ou l’araignée. Bref je me suis bien triste trois jours que je ne t’ai pas vu et tu me manques à un point que tu ne peut imaginer ! Trois jours quand j’y songe, ce n’est pas beaucoup, à peine 72 heures. Je suis occupée au labo. Je m’occupe ici à la maison mais rien n’y fait : une journée sans toi et loin de toi, ca fait plus de 24 heures. C’est même plus long qu’une journée en pleine mer à bord du Stardancer ! Tu me manques au physique et au moral ! J’ai envie d’entendre ta voix, de voir ton sourire, tes mimiques et de te serrer dans mes bras, retrouver le goût de ta peau sur mes lèvres. J’ai envie de t’entendre dire "mon ours" ou "mon chou", juste tenir ta main dans la mienne, croiser ton regard, mais il faudra me faire une raison.

Lost Almost, le 15,mai. Mon cher Chris, un petit mot en passant pour te dire que tu n’as pas cessé de me manquer depuis 16h15 samedi dernier et que le cela ne s’arrêtera que samedi prochain. Pour reprendre vers 16 heures. C’est hyper beau de pouvoir prédire l’avenir. Je n’ai pas très envie d’écrire en ce moment. Je veux juste te dire que la pensée de toi ne me quitte pas. Je t’embrasse très très fort. Nicole

More amazing archeological finds:
- Famous photographer Christian Fournier was suicidal when separated from above mentioned Dr Nicole Bordes, then senior science researcher in Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA, so the previous above mentioned photo could show a murder or an accident or a suicide.
- The rope in the picture suggests that this might have been a set up. So the previous above mentioned photo could habe been a set up too.
- This photo might have been taken by Graham Mitch in the quick sands of Zihuatanejo, Mexico, the country just below USA.

DR Nicole Bordes. Los Alamos, près de Santa Fe, Nouveau Mexique

Puerto Vallarta, Mexique

Boxed photog

L'ile des Pins, in New Caledonia.


Jakarta. Very nice and very poor people.

Dr Nicole Bordes.
Jakarta 1991
We are the photographic team on board a cruiseship, and for the third time, during our time off in the Jakarta port of call, we visit a slum, near the canal. What a contrast with the luxury of our floating resort : people here have nothing, often not enough to eat. They live in a horrible, filthy and smelly place. They have no hope of a better future : most are born and die in this horror. And it is not their fault. Many people have to live like this in Jakarta. Yet they smile most of the time, even to us, white Caucasians, and welcome us to their homes. We cannot help but compare their open smiles with the usual grins and moans from our overfed and "blasé" passengers. It is not these rich people's fault either : they were born in a different world, they feel that they, too, had to struggle. The usual conclusion : every thing is relative, and money isn't every thing. It is good to remember it, every now and then.
Why are there such horrible slums here ?
Jakarta, on the island of Java, is the capital of Indonesia. This country is a republic, it is made of over thirteen islands, only 8 % of which are inhabited. It stretches across more than 2800 miles. The island of Java has always been the most populated island of Indonesia. Fertilized for thousands of centuries by the rich nutrients of volcanic ashes, its soil supports a large population. Rice is grown intensively on the island. Mountains are carved in terraces. New fields are taken back from the forests by the slash and burn method exposing the soil to erosion. Most of the population of Java has a rural life but only a few owns a piece of land. Attracted by the hope of finding job and money, more people leave the countryside to come to the city : Jakarta.
With its still growing population of 10 millions, Jakarta is to become at the end of the century, one of the largest cities in the world. Located at the mouth of the polluted river Ciliwung, the city has grown chaotically around its harbor, in the oppressing heat and the ever present poverty. A lot of people fill the streets. Buses, taxies, cars, motorcycles try to force their way through the traffic, blowing their horn. Hell could not be much worse.
Unemployment, housing, sanitation are some of the problems that the Indonesian government has to face. People in the country side, starving, think that Jakarta is the place where the jobs are. So they come to the city, but the jobs are not there. A third of the Jakarta citizens lives in squalid cardboard houses that lack all amenities. But there are also some skyscrapers, some modern buildings, the 4 star hotels of Jalam Thamrin and Kebayoran ; poverty and wealth live next to each other : Jakarta is a city of contrasts.
The slum we visit is next to the Maritime Museum. We have to walk alongside the smelly black waters of a canal lined with trash. Some of the people recognize us and welcome us with smiles. Very soon, entire families step out of their wooden plank houses to greet us. We are may be the only "farangs" to come to this place. There is no hostility, no begging, just laughs and smiles : we are the surprise of the day ! We have our cameras with us and they all ask us to take pictures of them. One father insists that we photograph his son. One kid poses in front of the lens, looking very serious, and surprised by the flash, bursts into tears. We have photographed the same cute kid during our three visits, each time holding his latest photograph.
This time, we have brought some "gifts". We start distributing some of the pictures taken two weeks before. The pictures passes from hand to hand : everybody is laughing. These people living in the worst misery and sanitary conditions, are giving us a lesson of simplicity. We also have brought masks for the kids ; we are surrounded by tens of hands. Everybody is excited. The gifts disappear inside the poor houses. We decide to explore further inside the slum. The alleys are very narrow and crowded, so we use our fisheye lens.
A lot of children grow up here. Although family planning is available and has contributed to a decrease in the population growth rate, an average Indonesian family counts 6 children. Some of them show evident signs of malnutrition. The hope for a better future is virtually nil for these children. The women take care of the household : some are preparing rice for dinner. Clothes hang outside to dry. The elder children are looking after the younger ones. Some men are gathered around an improvised table and play (surprise ! )chess. These people live in an extreme poverty. There is no water, no electricity, no plumbing. The floor is just mud and a plank of wood here and there. We wonder what it must be like after a heavy rain. The narrow alley finally ends on a series of small stalls selling anything from food to clothes. Most people in Jakarta are unemployed and the average income is around $15 per day, for the lucky ones who have found work.
The fish market is about to close. One lady looks bored in front of her display of fish. Sadly enough poverty is colorful : the fish straight on the wooden table, the dirty sacks and drapes as background, the wrinkled and tanned frail women in the middle.
We go home with some great photos and a new look are our luxuries.

Photos : Christian Fournier; texte: Dr Nicole Bordes et Christian Fournier.

Ubud, Bali. I work with monkeys all the time

The photogs always got good service from the bar staff

The incredible Sharon Stanley in Mexico. Norman flash guns.

Homage to the Philipino guys in the dinning room and kitchen.

Homage to the pursers. Homage to the pursers who work hard on their desk. Chief purser Peter Nodal standing, Wilfredo Lazarte, Alana Mausley, Sandy Karatekeli, etc ....

DR Nicole Bordes. Santa Fe, Nouveau Mexique, USA

Lost Almost, le 15,mai. Mon cher Chris, un petit mot en passant pour te dire que tu n’as pas cessé de me manquer depuis 16h15 samedi dernier et que le cela ne s’arrêtera que samedi prochain. Pour reprendre vers 16 heures. C’est hyper beau de pouvoir prédire l’avenir.
Je n’ai pas très envie d’écrire en ce moment. Je veux juste te dire que la pensée de toi ne me quitte pas. Je t’embrasse très très fort. Nicole.



Please find herewith my video tape. It is a home movie, not a Hollywood production. This one is a prototype, with my own personal photos inserted. The idea is to show you that I could make a video presentation of our operation, which could be very useful for potential employers and employees. (P.R. work among cruise lines, train new photogs, not so new photogs, show some captains the behind the scene work so they'll understand and treat us better.) I have not included the narration yet, as I might divulge many trade secrets. This tape has cost me a lot of money to produce (hardware, software, studio and time) so please do not use it for commercial reasons, unless you repay my expenses. Please send it back to me when you've finished. The famous T.V. series "World of Photography" has just made a documentary about a similar photo operation on a cruise boat on the Mississippi river. I will contact them. It would be great "advertising for us: maybe we would gain more respect from photographers and cruise lines.


S/S Norway. View other reportages about S/S Norway, ex Le Paquebot France on pages 19 and 33

Don Lewis, the Cruise Director, introduces the photo team on board the SS Norway. I am the one with the green glasses. Left to right : Mark Bromhead, Kevin Mills, ???, Ian Johnson, moi, Trevor Curr

Mark Bromhead in 2000: "Are you still living in the same area of Paris? My fiancée is French and knows Paris well. She is involved with 'Amnesty International' and we often visit together when she has to go to a meeting or conference up there.
We just spent last weekend with Tom Long (Ops Manager for Cruiseship Picture Company) and family in Woking in the UK. He has an event photography business in London and he was telling me that he ran into of all people, Richard Dawson a few weeks back.
Ciao, Mark Bromhead"

Again, dancers and photographers ...

Carole Holt: Great to find you on the Ocean Princess facebook site. Don't know if you remember me - one of the Dancers - you took some great photos of me and Ginny in Tivoli gardens in Copenhagen.

Andrea Dobson, Andrea Harvey, and Carole Holt (top right)

Carole Holt: "Great to find you on the Ocean Princess facebook site. Don't know if you remember me - one of the Dancers - you took some great photos of me and Ginny in Tivoli gardens in Copenhagen."

Again, dancers and photographers ...
Other photographer is Dave King.

Dave King: "Lovely to hear from you. great web site mate, some lovely work (as all-ways).
Well, I have stuck with photography, left ships in 94 and got serious and
went to Bournemouth and did a degree in photography, moved to London and
assisted for four years, now doing pretty good in portrait and fashion both
editorial and advertising, in fact I am shooting in Paris very soon for a
client would be wonderful if we both have time for a bottle of wine or
something. Just got back from a job in New York, bought back memories of the
Song of American ! I seem to spend allot of time in the US these days, I’ve
gotta go back for three weeks to shoot in and around Death Valley, but they
pay allot more than in London! And you need the work with the living
expenses in this bloody City!
My web site will be up in March (at last) at the moment there is only one of
my shots www.kingphotography.com if you wanna check it. I currently have
lots of my work hanging in Passage du Havre (opposite Gare Saint Lazare). Did
a point of sale fashion shoot for them, models were a bit crap though, chosen
by the client! I have also started to direct a film for UK TV so exiting
times at the moment.
Enough of me, what about you, are you well, looks like you are busy. I guess
you are in Paris and as I said I would love to see you again.
All the very best. Dave King"

The great Nigel Atherton in Bermuda, now the chief editor of Amateur Photographer Magazine in UK.

Nigel Atherton 1999: "We haven't spoken in a while. I'll contact you at this email from now on. I hate those compuserve numbered ones.
We just got connected to the internet at home, but had problems installing the software and lost everything on the hard disc. Because we've just moved house and I couldn't find my re-install CD I used my brother's, but now it is running
really slowly (it takes two or three seconds to react to every key stroke and mouse click). It could be because he has an iMac and I have a standard G3 (which now thinks its an iMac). Perhaps its because the keyboard is different on mine.
Any ideas? Nigel"

Nigel got me a nice publication in Amateur Photographer Magazine.

With someone who looks like Nigel Atherton and a friendly passenger.

With Allen Jolley and Allan Jones and two friendly passengers

From Allen Jolley, 1998: “Dear Christian,
It’s already been 21 years since we worked together on the Rhapsody. I was in charge of the Shore Excursion. Your website is impressive and I hope you’re doing well. I’m hoping we can get back in touch and catch up, I feel bad for not making an effort to contact you before now.
I live in Montreal and presently I am the National Director of Sales for Tyco Healthcare in Canada, selling pharmaceutical ingredients. I still travel a lot, but nothing very exotic. Even with the attached photo you’ll have a hard time recognizing me (21 years of erosion).
Tell me how everything is going with you and maybe sometime we can meet up in our travels. Allen Jolley”

Cabin fever.

Sylvie Lecointre/Mercier in Juneau, Alaska

Patricia Perez.

Carlos Lopez in foreground, Sonia Herregods hanging.

A clue : 2 men (Chris Cole and me), one women.



Due to repeated requests from our pax, I am convinced that we would make a lot of money by offering a package of portraits: 10x8" and wallet size. You can buy a mirror lens that will produce, from a 120 neg, 8 wallet size photos on a single 8x10 sheet of paper. We cannot offer the choice of 8x10" or wallet, for we would loose on the 8x10", obviously. So, perhaps, we could offer purchase of wallet size, only after purchase of 8x10". Just another suggestion !


Stone Island in Mexico with the dancers.

Andrew Bruce is holding the Champagne. Andrew is now an optician in the USA.

No, not Ocean's Eleven, the Steven Soderbergh movie with George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
The only way to increase the daily rate on some ships.

The photographers are never behind their desk when you need them. With Nicole and Paul Carr.

Tom Long, Ops Manager for Cruiseship Picture Company, 2002: "I like your website photos especially the shot of you guys in the sales desk! I have not seen that one before. Many are hilarious and many I remember from the old CPC days. Great work! All the best, Tom"

The legs of Dr. Nicole Bordes.

In the Philippines with Marianna Chevara (left) who now lives in Germany.
The other girl Katy is an adorable dancer, whose expert legs have even served as stunt doubles for Jennifer Beals’ in the 1983 movie Flash Dance.
Marianne Chevara, 2000: “I’m really happy to hear from you. I just spent a good while on your website, which I found very interesting, and it brought back some good memories. I’m also happy to see that business is good for you. Do you ever come to the coast? I have lived in the same spot in Grasse for almost 5 years! My daughters, Philipine and Dove are 7 and 3.
Philipine is in primary school, she works hard, she’s already in a class of young talents (for dance). Dove is in preschool, she loves her teacher! Hoping to hear from you or see you soon. Your friend, Marianne Chevara”

The crossing of the Line (equator) ceremony on board the Ocean Princess. It was all fun, all organized by Cruise Director Bernard Reed. No aggressive feelings, unlike the same ceremony on French Club Med II (see page 33).

The ClubMed II and its unhealthy practices in 1992.
I am the official photographer for the ship’s maiden voyage from le Havre (where it was built) to New Caledonia (with stop-overs in Djibouti, in Australia, and in Japan to stir up some publicity). 3 months. I’ve never been so bored in my entire life!

I was taken aback by this “initiation ceremony” as we crossed the equator. I’d already seen the like on other American cruise ships, usually silly and fun, but this looked more like some sort of twisted ritual torture. The French seemed to vent their frustrations – aggressively, to my eyes— on the others. I was reminded of my shearing at the start of my short-lived military career. Such a difference from the other American boats where the goal was simply to have a nice laugh together.

I found a deserted abandoned hospital in Mazatlan, Mexico. The syringes were already there. All I added were the graffiti. No, I do not do drugs.

Even the passengers also had a good time!

And a great sens of humour.



We received from you a lot of memos stating that from such date onward it would be considered a breach of contract if the photographer does such and such thing. I do understand the idea behind the memo and I am usually all for it (receipts not given, vacation date in writing, etc ...). But to anyone who has notions of how legal matters work, it is offensive ! A photographer signs a contract with you in UK, he gets here and receive a memo stating that a clause has been added to the contract after he signed it. This is a totally illegal procedure. A contract signed by both parties states that the rules that cannot be changed afterwards. This makes our company look very amateurish and should be avoided !

CHRISTIAN FOURNIER, Chief photographer


Photography was pouring out of my ears

It was better before, as my grand mother used to say.


First Officer Kathy Rathgeber, one of my dive buddies for ship underwater surveys.

Raphaël Christian Fournier has been an underwater photographer for fourteen years. He loves coral reefs, pelagic fish and wrecks, but his skills are often also very useful to large cruiseships and boats. He has to dive under the hulls for photographic surveys about corrosion, dents, leaks, blocked inlets, broken propellers, stuck rudders, missing anodes, entangled mooring lines around propeller shafts, etc….
Most dives under ships are made while the vessel is at anchor. In harbors, the visibility is often very poor. Before the dives, Christian meets with the Captain and Chief Engineer for an informative talk. Everything has to be carefully planned. The dive time is limited, for the large ship must often maneuver while it is moored, to compensate for the dragging of the anchor. Christian prepares his equipment according to the job, often two Nikonos V with 15mm and macro lenses and two SB 104 strobes.
I had the luck of accompanying him on one such dive, under the cruiseship "Stardancer", off the tip of Baja California, Mexico. The captain needs close-ups of the rudders gear assembly, dents on the starboard blade, the port stabilizer, as well as a general survey of the hull. The scuba and photo gear is loaded onto one of the ship’s lifeboats to get to the stern. We admire a beautiful view of the arches of Cabo San Lucas where the ship calls in for the morning, having dropped anchor a short tender ride from town. The safety officer warns the engine room that two photographers will dive under the ship. The propellers will not be turned on for an hour, they will just stay on stand by, rotating slowly at one turn per minute.
The sea is choppy. We jump in, just in time to catch a glimpse of the 2000 heads turned towards us. The passengers and crew are all on deck, waiting for immigration and custom officials to allow them to go ashore.
Diving under a cruiseship in deep water is an eerie feeling. I am overwhelmed by the huge dark mass of the ship and the emptiness all around it. The visibility is about 80 feet. We cannot see the bottom, which, according to the captain, is about one hundred feet below. There is no fish, no reef, no life. Just empty blue. The two giant propellers and rudders stand out against it. I am moved by this sight. It is a magic moment, beautiful and frightening. I cannot envoy it for long because the strong current is pushing us away from the vessel. We must swim hard against it. Christian heads towards the starboard rudder and, Captain’s drawings in mind, localize the first area to photograph. The picture required is of the 12 bolts holding the rudder shaft cover ring, which is only accessible from inside a two inch gap. Christian stick the lens near the opening, and the strobe further away, pouring light inside the hole. He carefully takes notes on his waterproof writing pad of what each frame is about. Starboard, port, top, bottom assembly. I take a picture of him shooting close-ups of the bolts. He seems to be an astronaut during an E.V.A.
We can hear the rumble from the tenders going back and forth above our heads, between ship and shore. Passengers must have finally been allowed ashore. We will have to exercise caution while ascending, to avoid them. The hull under the water line is dull gray, covered with scratches and bumps, quite a contrast with the visible and manicured upper part of the ship ! In some areas, which Christian photographs and reports, barnacles have attached themselves to this peculiar rock. The anti barnacle paint must have worn off in these corners. The current is pushing us, so we keep on swimming towards the ship to stay still.
Christian then checks the starboard propeller blades. He passes his gloved hand all around the brass edge. When a dent is felt, he takes a picture of it, including a small ruler in the frame, using his macro set up. He also writes down the position of the dent. Since he needs his two hands to shoot or to write, I have to hold him by the jacket, so the current won’t drag him away. I myself hold on to the propeller. It all gets confusing as the blade rotates slowly. We use the larger dents as references to our position. This is more geometry than photography !
We must resurface and climb on the life boat three times to reload the cameras, change batteries and writing slates. Christian has prepared everything carefully, including the indispensable towels to dry his hands before unloading the Nikonos, so it all goes smoothly. Climbing back in is hard though, because lifeboats are not designed for scuba. I notice that some crew members are fishing from the back deck, even though we asked them not to, during our dive.
We then head towards the port stabilizer. It is a long way (midship) from the stern. The current is against us and there is little to cling on to. The hull is perfectly smooth, except for anodes welded at strategic points. By electrolysis, metal from the anodes is transferred and limits corrosion. We photograph these metal bars and record their positions, so the chief engineer is kept informed of their "melting". The stabilizer has been deployed, so we can check it and photograph what is impeding its movements. Christian sneaks inside the stabilizer opening, studies and takes pictures of everything. He does not find anything obviously wrong, but the photos will probably reveal the problem to the engineers.
Then we swim on for the hull survey and reach the bow thrusters, two 6 feet propellers at the bow of the ship. Christian gets some shots and disappears on the other side. A quick thought comes to my mind as I am going through one of the propellers : what about if it starts ? A second thought reassures me : the engineers know that we are underneath. However, I hurry through the narrow passage. We are now carried by the current back towards the main props.
Since the draft of this ship is 27 feet, we never went very deep, so we still have plenty of air left. Christian signs to me that we are going deep down. We soon reach the flat and muddy bottom. It is dark and cold. We can only vaguely guess the huge part of ship above us, and feel very small. I am awed. I can hear the faint hum from the generators and alternators which are running 24 hours non stop. It all reminds me of the movie "The hunt for Red October" It is scary, so we go back towards the props where warmth and light greet us.
Christian produces from his B.C.D. pocket his Santa Claus red hat and clings to the propeller so I can take a picture of him. The hat droops miserably, so we decide to add air in it to make it stand straight. Not a bad Christmas card.
Suddenly, a fast moving black form appears from the deep and swims away : a sea lion, probably from the family that lives on the rocks of Cabo ! This will be the only live encounter during the dive.
I feel a hitch on my left arm : a hook has just planted itself in my suit. Since I am holding the camera and flash in one hand, a slate and the ruler in the other, I cannot easily reach for my knife. I make frantic signs towards Christian, who probably cannot see the transparent Nylon thread from his position and does not understand my elbow gestures (we do not have a sign for "I have a hook stuck in my arm"). I give him the slate and ruler and manage to reach for my sharp blade. Christian then understands and cuts the thread, just on time, for the hook was tearing through my suit. As I remove the hook off my neoprene, I see Christian attaching the line to an anode fixture. These fishermen will have a surprise ! Pity we did not tie their line with one from the over side, it would have made a great game on deck.
It is now time to surface for good and look after the shots and write down the reports.
The Captain does not have to wait long to see the pictures. The films are processed right away in the on board darkroom. Christian is a bit worried by the shots of the bolts in the rudders. An hour later, he can see the results and is reassured. The sharp and clear pictures are delivered to the Captain. They show that the locking wire is broken and bolts are missing. Repairs will have to be organized right away. The stabilizer piston is O.K. from the outside, so research has to start from inside.
Christian shows me some dramatic shots of a broken propeller he had to photograph a few years ago. The Captain had asked him to check on the propeller because the engineers had noticed an uneven shaft rotation. Before the dive, the captain reminded Christian that everything seen under there would be secret (no need to alarm the passengers or crew). Both Christian and his assistant holding a three foot ruler descended towards the propellers. An unusual sight awaited them : one third of a blade was sheared off ! Christian took pictures of the assistant measuring the "dent". The Captain was waiting anxiously in the lifeboat and asked immediately as they surfaced :
- "What did you see ?"
- "I cannot tell, it is a secret", answered Christian," but the ruler is too short !"
The Captain would not believe it until he saw the photographs. All crew had a nice unexpected vacation as the ship went to dry dock.
Diving under this large ship was different. I was overwhelmed by this huge mass. It was eerie and lonely : no coral reef, no pretty fish, nothing to give a familiar scale. I could hear engine vibrations, water inlets and outlets working : there is life inside, but out of reach. Christian and I felt privileged : not many divers can have this kind of experience, even though these huge metal whales multiply year after year on the surface of our oceans!

Text and Photos : Christian Fournier; View the photos on section "reportage"

February 6, 1988
As we all know by now, there is a design fault in the Trimmer Durst ACS 8RSC. After 5 minutes of normal operations, the solenoids overheat and the trimming is erratic, to the point of being unusable.
I took the bottom cover off, placed the whole unit on two 6" x 6" pieces of wood and fixed a small fan there. It works 100 % and is very safe and stable.
Yours sincerely, Christian.

The blind photog. Note the background photos all crooked.

Ref The Monty Python

Embarkation = first contact.
Here is Jacqueline. You will she her later on, towards the end of this page, on my Penthouse publication.

1984, I get my diplomas in sailing, for fantastic cruises in the Caribbean (Bahamas, Us and British Virgin Islands: Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke), in Florida and in California.

Long live beautiful deserted beaches! Merci Antoine, Oh Yea! (for the young ones reading this, it’s a reference to an old French song).

This, to me, is extraordinary. The navigation charts of the Virgin Islands may as well be aerial photos. Select an island, if there’s already a boat anchored there, go to the next one, and you’ll have the most intimacy you desire. Sea, Sex, and Sun (sorry, young people, another reference to an old French song). Deserted Islands are fabulous.
Calm, clean, blue and white. I fear that after 30 years of growing tourism these quiet corners have become harder to come by, like my deserted beaches in Cozumel, in Mexico, to which I returned only to find them inhabited. Well, I haven’t had any children, who haven’t had any children, who haven’t had any children, and so on…

Hurray the deserted beaches! Many thanks to the girls who accompanied me.

View Page 25 for the full saga.

In the British and United States Virgin Islands, the weather is so magnificent and Anglo-Saxons have so completely adopted the “User Friendly” principle that nautical charts have been replaced by aerial views of the islands. Superb.


When your hair style matches the environment

On Bali nights, I stopped the passengers as they exited the dinning room for photos.

On Shanghai nights, Nicole stopped the passengers as they exited the dinning room for photos.
Anything goes to make your photos more seasonal with passengers at the dining hall exit.

Halloween, Easter eggs, 4th July, Xmas, Hungawa chief jungle, Bali king, Chinese princess, pirates, bear, dancers, Valentine's day, Magic Curtain, life rings, The Alaska bald Eagle ... I have done them all.

Grand Cayman's pirate 1984.

Archeological find : Pirates of the Caribbean feed on giant bananas.

Gina Rowcliff.
Gina Rowcliffe 2012: "Hi Christian! Hope you're well. I've got a photo of one of many you took of me outside the restaurant, do you remember? I will upload it now x"

The magic of Facebook.


TO: CRUISESHIP PICTURE CO. LTD. Attention: MR. DAWSON FROM: C. FOURNIER, Chief photographer. MARCH 07 1990.

If I were a supervisor for you, I would be very useful, not just a theory lecturer.
I would help your photographers, practically and physically, instead of just blaming them for all bad revenue or quality.
I would consider it my job to show them how to do intelligent color tests (most of them still do not use a logic approach).
I would show them how to repair their machinery (some have never been show any simple repairs).
I would book outside help from experts, too, which is not easy when you are sailing.
I would do, in head offices, what they can not do on board, since they are slaves to the ship's management (negotiate announcements, display spaces, shooting possibilities, storage spaces, etc...)
I would also care to bring them their repairs, sort out the delays of stores, the dry dock procedures.
I would teach them the best ways to shoot some events,
I would help them with their schedules and strategies.
I would be "bothered to answer the ship's designers about key chain panels".
I would inquire around for revenue changes in other departments.
I would offer real help, in other words, someone has to.

CHRISTIAN FOURNIER, Chief photographer

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Photo: John Cable. In the back but not for long, Nicole.

Cabos St Lucas, kilometers upon kilometers of deserted beaches.

Wanted by the CIA in Los Alamos

Los Alamos is a town in Los Alamos County, New Mexico, United States that is recognized as the birthplace of the atomic bomb—the primary objective of the Manhattan Project by Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II. The town is located on four mesas of the Pajarito Plateau, and has a population of 12,019. It is the county seat and one of two population centers in the county known as census-designated places (CDPs); the other is White Rock.
This is where Nicole works.

The image of LOVE with Dr Nicole Bordes.

The Sol Caribe Hotel in Cozumel was at the time the most beautiful hotel I had ever seen. There was a huge pool, with a huge waterfall and a bar in the middle where you could enjoy a cocktail, sitting in the water. There was also a Mayan ruin in the middle of the lobby. Non-residents, like the people of the cruise ships (me), were welcome.
I met Jimmy Carter vacationing with his wife Rosalynn. I took a picture of them despite the bodyguards. He first thought was that I was a paparazzi, and he complimented me on my power of persuasion. I described to him my work as a cruiseship photographer and he told me that I had a great job, being able to travel everywhere with my camera.
I did not know at the time that he had just created a new CIA section for the Middle East and the USSR and was at the origin, among others, of Operation Argo.

Just to show that I went in 1991 to USSR, Leningrad, now St Petersburg. Remember it was still the Cold War

With Christine Jean-Blanc. No we 're not KGB

On the river Volga, with Christine and Jérome. We are still not KGB.

10 day itinerary, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Leningrad/St Petersburg, Stockholm and back to Copenhagen.

No flash, no uniform. If you are clever, maybe you can guess why.

I was asked to photograph the vacant lot behind the Petrodvorets
because of suspicionof being an underground nuclear center.
I had to give the exposed, undeveloped film to the CIA. Of course, I couldn't keep anything for myself.
With the Putin threats in 2022, I hope my work has been useful.


Petrodvorets, Peterhof, Saint-Pétersbourg, Russie
Situé à 29 km à l'ouest de Saint-Pétersbourg, au bord du golfe de Finlande, Petrodvorets (ou Peterhof), ancienne résidence impériale du tsar Pierre le Grand, peut soutenir la comparaison avec Versailles. Elle est d'ailleurs surnommée la « Versailles russe ». Le palais dévoile une longue façade blanche et ocre sur plus de 260 mètres, cernée d'un parc arboré. En 1717, après avoir visité Versailles, Pierre le Grand confia à l'architecte français Jean-Baptiste Leblond, le soin de redessiner les jardins du domaine, peuplés de statues et fontaines animées de jeux d'eau, tandis qu'en 1745, Elisabeth chargea Rastrelli d'agrandir le palais. A l'intérieur du Grand Palais, qui brille par le luxe des salles d'apparat, des salons et galeries, on visitera le cabinet de Pierre le Grand, la chambre de la couronne, la salle des portraits, la salle de bal et les étonnants cabinets chinois. Le parc, avec ses terrasses, ses cascades, ses statues et ses fontaines, bordé de plusieurs pavillons (palais de Monplaisir et palais de Marly), est une pure merveille.
Pas loin de là : Suvorovskiy Gorodok.

Licenced to shoot / licenced to get killed

Life boat drills.

Hong Kong.

The perfect advertisement.

I go glacier climbing in Alaska.

Many thanks to Barrie Moss for the initiation. It's beautiful.

I’m more of a Mac guy, but one of my photos is chosen as an International ad for the launch of Windows 95!
Juneau, Mendenhall glacier, Skagway, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay, those names still make me vibrate.

My picture was used for the Microsot Windows 95 program..
I am more of a Macintosh guy, but the client is king.

Mendenhall Glacier. Jim Ackers and me. Jim would say, “If I die, my mother will have a fit”.

See page 26 of my report: glaciers.

Avec DR Nicole Borde. sMendenhall Glacier, Alaska

We were sad to leave Alaska.

Charlie Dawson

A bride (model: Patricia Panizzi) on the ClubMed II.
A message from Patricia Panizzi: “Dear Christian, I came across your cruise ship album and it was really you! How have you been all this time? THANK YOU so much, again, for those beautiful photos that you took of me in the wedding dress on the ClubMed II bridge during the Le Havre-Nouméa crossing!!! I see you’ve made quite a career for yourself in Paris. As for myself, I’ve been living in Italy for 17 years and I work for an Italian NGO called The International Institute or Humanitarian Law www.iihl.org. I’m actually their photographer! I love photography. The work is amazing, you meet people from all over the world, from Afghanistan, Mongolia, Lesotho, etc… I’d love to catch up with you. Love, Patricia”

Yes, we advertise the photo gallery hours everywhere

it worked.


It feels pretty good to tell the Captain over the walkie-talkie to turn the bow towards me to get a better view.
The photographer is a man of power.
The maritime company Paquet never had the chance to pay me for this cover, since they went bankrupt.

The image in the viewfinder of the Hasselblad 500cm is inverted horizontally.
No, it’s not the fault of the English! (Pardon the French expression.) Even if it was Isaac Newton who first described the workings of light.

With a little hand from my friends

Kay White, a fan of my diving publications.

See the complete report on page 17.
I get my Private Pilot Licence, FAA, in 1982

I get my Private Pilot Licence, FAA, in 1982, (validated in France in 1986) in Missouri, to access, among others, the fantastic Alaskan landscapes. Wilderness, here I come. With my camera, of course. I feel ready for "National Geographic".
With the wing above the cockpit, Cessnas are ideal for aerial photography. The 152 is the most popular single engine, two passenger planes in the world. Maximum speed 204 km/h, fix landing gear, fix pitch McCauley propeller, take off maximum weight: 757 kg, flight autonomy 5H, runway take of: 408 m.
Here in the small Cessna 152, during my first cross-country solo flight. Weather is bad. I fly below the clouds. I had secured my Nikon F3 and its fish-eye Nikkor lens 16mm F2.8 on a tripod, solidly tapes with gaffer behind the seats. Remote control triggering with the remote attached to the yoke.

I am frowning only because there is a storm in front of me.

Voir le reportage plus complet page 17.

At the time, the onboard computer was a simple slide-rule, the aeronautical charts were large paper maps. That tube in the upper-left corner is a kerosene tester.

Alaska’s magnificent landscapes will always be a part of me.

My cabin on the S/S Rhapsody with Lorie. No, nothing kinky, just a Hallowe’en party. Check out my photos on the walls.

with Lorie.
Swimming across a lake surrounded by ice in Alaska.
The result of a dare between Lorie and me. This magnificent lake appeared to us along a long hike we made from Juneau. We put our clothes on the shore to keep them dry, then we swam across the lake, then we ran (among other things) on the snow to warm up. An immaculate and deserted lake, ice all around, and a beautiful girl. An unforgettable moment.
Thank you Lorie.

Text and Photos : Christian Fournier

All these reports have been written while working as a photographer on cruiseships.
Just to show that I worked hard.

ANSWERS FROM YOUR PHOTOGRAPHERS = Sign for the photo gallery.

1: Yes, we photograph you many times: cocktail parties, on deck, going ashore, etc.,....(for special request, please contact us). We have a friendly system: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY THE PHOTOGRAPHS.
2: We display the photos in the photo gallery, situated between the Gift Shop and the Pacific Lounge.
3: If you want to order a photograph, please fill in the order form at the gallery and drop it in the appropriate box.
4: Your print will be available at the reception desk before the end of the cruise. For payment: they take cash, travellers 'checks, Smart Cards, Visa, jewellery, cameras and videos.
5: The photos are $9.00 (U.S.) each. This means $18 for two, $27 for three, $36 for four, etc.,...
6: We do not barter. In order to avoid a potentially embarrassing predicament, please do not attempt to do so.
7 :Discount for a hundred pictures or more: $8.99 each.
8: Our names are: Christian (the old guy) and Derek (the older guy).

9:Yes, we are single.
10: No, we are not gay.

11: No, we do not send our work to be processed. We have a converted cupboard, without plumbing, for a darkroom.
12: Yes, we are qualified color technicians.
13: No, we are not qualified camera mechanics.
14: Sorry, we'll do better next time.
15: No, we do not spend all our time at the bar.
16: There are no tax or custom limitations on the photographs
because they are "local craft, made on board".
17: Keep smiling.
18: At the end of the cruise, the unsold photographs are recycled to make trees.
19: We can also develop and print your own film.
20: We wish you a pleasant cruise.

I don't think they would let us to this nowadays.

Underwater Casino

Miami, thanks Barrie Moss for this photo.

I showed my photos of myself and Barrie Moss water-skiing with our tuxedos to the casino staff and managed to convince them into an amazing scuba shot.
Jonathan Hall : "Karen Hall, my wife, is standing to the right. The taller of the two girls with the blondish curly hair is her friend Sue is standing on the left.
This casino scuba shot was on the Bermuda Star back in 1984.
I remember working with you for a short time on the Stardancer and you were a great chap to work with.
Then we met again on the Ocean Pearl out of Hong Kong in 1991.
It looks like you have had a fantastic career in photography.
I remember you were always doing great shoots while you were on the ships.
I mainly do video production these days.
I am not very good at keeping in touch with shipmates."


Laura Lang

An old modeling shot taken by the incredible Christian Fournier who was the ships photographer at the time. He used me and a few others to practice his art. Christian is now a very famous photographer photographing presidents and stars, so I'm very lucky! Judging by the hair.., it was quite obviously in the 80's, lol! No photoshopping here, unsure if it even existed back then. Hair (my god!) and Make-up: Me.
LAURA LANG 2001: "Hi Christian, Thanks for your New Year note! (Yup, a bit of a slow response, but...)  :o)
And yeah, always have great projects going on. Check out www.singcity.ca to see what I've been up to! Now have three locations and close to 150 singers!
No planned trips to UK or Paris, although I'd love to soon. Talked about hiking across England one of these summers. :o)
Hope you are well.
Founder, Director, Producer - SING CITY™ & FAT CHANTS™
Vocal/Piano Instructor - Singer/Entertainer
Sing City: Website, YouTube & Facebook
Laura Lang: Singing & Piano Lessons: Website"

Laura Lang : I remember being very close to lightening once on a ship (remember Christian?). It was VERY rough seas and a lightening storm very near by. We were told to stay off decks for safety reasons, but I course, just had to go out there on my own to experience it, and then saw the ships photographer (Christian!) out there too. I mean, one cannot expect HIM to stay inside! It was the first time I was close enough to lightening that I could see the fine hairs coming out from the bolts, as in the second photo. And I remember feeling SO exhilarated out there in the rough seas and lightening. I'll never forget that feeling. (Probably absorbing some of that electricity, lol!). And Christian, I've always regretted not buying the pics you took of it as a reminder for myself!

I got Nicole to work as a photographer on board my ship M/V Stardancer. No women as ever worked as a photographer on board any ship, but my Cruiseship Pictures known they cannot refuse anything from me.


From: CHRISTIAN FOURNIER, Chief photographer
To: Mr. R.C.. Dawson, Cruiseship Pictures.
I am very happy and proud that RCCL is keeping us on board the Stardancer/Viking Serenade. We had to face strong competition.
To keep it and possibly expand in RCCL, I suggest we employ a #4 photographer on Stardancer. We could thus offer better service, more service and will not depend on pursers and cleaners for some of our tasks! (for instance, this week the pursers could not do the gallery on formal night because they were busy with RCCL, so we had a problem.)
So far, the only problem to get a #4 was berth space.
Well, I have a happy solution: my fiancée, Nicole, wants to take a sabbatical semester off from her scientific researches and be a photographer. She has been on board for 4 separate weeks as my guest and has helped a great deal at the gallery and in the darkroom. She fully understands our operation and is already trained for it. She is 29, French, bilingual, post doctorate in physics, keen photographer.
Most of our male passengers would smile more easily to Nicole than Robert, so we would have an extra asset.
Paul Smith and Allan Lake have said in the past that we needed 4 photogs, like all other 1200 pax ships. The Fair Princess has 700 pax, no videos, 4 photogs (including 2 girls)
We are already paying per week $85 for gallery help, $20 for camera reloading, $60 for key chain help and $60 for video help in Alaska, so a #4 photographer would not cost much.
We could open the gallery longer, have 3 portrait sessions, better coverage of events, faster services and smile more; in short : MORE REVENUE, BETTER COMMENT CARDS, TO PLEASE RCCL. So we have all to gain, nothing to lose, by employing this charming lady.
You are welcome to contact her direct, while she is in France for her Xmas vacation, so she could get her C1/D visas in Paris US consulate.

Count the hands

It worked, Nicole was the first female photographer in Cruiseship Picture Co. She did great.


My cabin on the M/V Stardancer

Del Mar Fair, Californie. Nicole pose près de la photo que j'ai faite d'elle en Alaska.

Nicole in Skagway, Alaska.

Cabo San Lucas, ville côtière à l'extrémité sud de la péninsule de Basse-Californie
Oui, il y a des phoques !

I am based in Torrance, California. I rent an apartment (above) with Nicole in an apartment complex (pool, reception room, the works…)
Right by the beach, close to downtown LA and Hollywood, not far from Long Beach nor the LAX airport, perfect for the errant photographer.

The other residents of our LA apartment complex were very social, hosting welcome parties, brunches. Why, there’s a whole room in the building dedicated to these gatherings. I’ve never seen anything like it in France.

Je n'ai jamais eu le temps d'acheter des meubles corrects. Toujours entre deux valises. Ici Nicole mettant à jour nos Macintosh portables, les PowerBook 170 en 1991.

Vendu 4 600 $ à sa sortie, il constituait le haut de la gamme portable d'Apple. Il était en effet doté d'un processeur Motorola 68030 à 25 MHz (contre 16 MHz pour le PowerBook 140. Il était aussi le seul à intégrer une unité de calcul en virgule flottante et un écran à matrice active, bien plus confortable que les écrans à matrice passive. Il était globalement deux fois plus rapide que le PowerBook 140. Il sera remplacé dans la gamme en octobre 1992 par le très populaire PowerBook 180.

Fax to Frédérique et Charlus, 5 villa des Pyrénées 75020 Paris France Tax 011 33 1 44 93 03 92
From Nicole Bordes, 2537D pacific Coast Hwy, suite 444, Torrance CA 90505 USA Tel/fax : 1 310-375 8229
October 26, 1992.
My encounter with Christian almost didn’t happen. In June 1988 I booked a November cruise to Mexico. The cruise was organized by a hairdresser friend from Albuquerque for his birthday, and he asked me to come along. As I had never been to Mexico nor on a cruise, for me it was as enchanting as the S/S France. I accepted almost without thinking, but as time passed I started to have some doubts.
At the end of October I telephoned to ask the Cancellation Policy. If I didn’t go, I would only get back 25% of the price I’d paid. So I did end up going, and I arrived in Los Angeles with another twenty excited newly-declared Mexicans on Saturday November 2nd.
I’ll spare you my first impressions, but when I saw the boat and the programme I thought, “This is going to be the longest week of my life”. I didn’t meet Christian until Sunday night at the formal evening. The custom goes that the day after setting off the Captain shakes hands with every passenger before dinner. As there are quite a few passengers, they line up, and the onboard photographers jump on the chance to shoot anything that moves with their cameras, machinegun style, and take some portraits.
I was waiting in line and Christian appears, a showman in his element, trying to get me to agree to a photo with the usual arguments, all in English. After a moment of thought, saying nothing, I went over and plopped myself down on the stool. He took the photo, then asked if I was French. I was surprised: I hadn’t even opened my mouth! I said yes and he introduced himself. How did he know I was French? I don’t really know, he explains, it has to do with how I pose for the camera, timid and awkward. That was that, we spent the week together and promised each other to meet up again. Christian came to visit me for a week in Los Alamos in December. We went to Hawaii in February. I came on a couple cruises as a guest. Probably the craziest thing I’ve done for another person: one or two times a month, I got up at 4 a.m., drove two hours to Albuquerque, took a plane to Los Angeles, rented a car upon landing and rushed to San Pedro where the boat was docked. Christian got off at around 10 a.m., we spent the day together until 4 p.m., when he was supposed to go back onboard, I caught my return flight at 5 p.m. and I got home around 11 p.m. I kept this up until January 1980. The contract in Los Alamos was up. I wanted to do something else, to be with Christian, and I decided to take a year off. The photography company Christian worked for agreed to hire me, and I learned the ropes quickly enough.
It wasn’t always easy but I was with Christian! After a year onboard, I looked for a job as a scientist but with the Golf War and the lackluster economic situation, I came up short and so I rejoined Christian aboard the Ocean Pearl, while continuing to send my resumé everywhere. Today I’m still looking for a research position but I have no regrets about that decision I took in 1990.
Christian has a taste for adventure, he is interested in everything. You only have to glance at his souvenir albums to appreciate the diversity of his life: skydiving, glacier climbing, scuba diving, sailing, rafting, and above all his passion for photography. Wherever he goes, there’s a camera close at hand. In photography, everything interests him: glamour, fashion, landscapes, people, underwater photography, sports.
He refuses to confine himself to a single style and brings his own creativity to every subject.
The job as a cruise ship photographer allowed us to travel to fascinating exotic places, to try new and exciting things: one day exploring a coral-covered shipwreck, another playing badminton in disguise with two artist friends in the streets of Shanghai, or walking among the people living in Djakarta’s slums.
Life at Christian’s side is a varied and different life. Among the future projects bouncing around in his head, without any promise they’ll be brought to fruition, and in complete disorder: a photography studio, publish his photos, a sailing excursion, scuba-diving in the Bahamas, diving and hiking in Australia, dives in Micronesia, and of course, lots and lots of photos.

Handling billions of slides.

Dr Nicole Bordes. The great wall of China.

Philippinos are wonderful and hard working people.

OK, we worked hard too.

Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic (Spanish: República Dominicana is a sovereign state located in the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two countries. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area (after Cuba) at 48,445 square kilometers (18,705 sq mi), and third by population with approximately 10 million people, of which approximately three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.

Simon Emm 19 septembre 2015: Back in 1982 I loved your photography. I still do and hope to visit you one day. "Creamaginity" is a word I have made for you. I don't think I have ever met a photographer(no disrespect guys) as Creative and Imaginative as you Christian. And with the French charm, always going to succeed :)


DATE: June 24th, 1988
Our passengers in Alaska are very hard to photograph, they do not want to stop for our cameras, but they do buy the photos once they see them on the wall.
So the bear, the ring, the dancers are valuable shots, for they stop passengers.
Decks, dining room and excursions are a real challenge.
A videographer does not have to immobilize people, or even get their attention. Pax can still keep on eating, drinking, talking, walking : the video will still look decent, when a photo would be gross. Very many people have camcorders in hand at all times. They love video, no doubts. I can foresee a good business with video on here, in Alaska.
Our video tape could cost $50. It will contain views of the ship, inside, outside, ports, excursions, shows, buffets, etc... For $50 you can buy only 10 photos, which carry much less information. We must do the video ourselves. There is a great market for it.
I volunteer to do it. CHRISTIAN FOURNIER,


Therefore, do not make them wait, do not make them do awkward poses, do not touch them too much. -"Just keep your back straight, look into the camera, think about exciting things!" I look at them in the eyes, I smile to them, they smile back and I take the picture.
Of course you cannot do that when you hand hold your Hasselblad, as was the trend on many ships: they is no eye contact through the finder and the photographer can not see the actual shot, because the mirror is up. (yes, it would be OK with professional models and 100 shots per pose). I have proven these facts (and taught them) many times over: remember that Alan Lake took $2000 less than I, during each of the two weeks he took over from me on the Stardancer, and I increased the Norway portrait takings from $500 to $5000 a week (over Mark Broomhead), when I was portrait consultant. Why don't you listen to me? Don't you want to make money? Who are those supervisors you hire, that talk but do not know?

Report on Song of America by Christian Fournier

-I do ALL 35mm printing, reprints, D&P, mixing print chemicals, key chains. I also tidy the darkroom, although not as fast as they can mess it up. I repaired rep pump, broken belts. I help with stores, gallery, processes, shoots... I got two times one hour off for the entire first week.

La suite. Continued....

Janet and the Banyan tree in Miami.


15th July 1993
We shoot this new backdrop, with rail, on the first formal night on Mondays from 8.30 PM to 11 PM in the lobby outside the main lounge, called the "Can-Can" lounge.
Prior to this, from 4.30pm to 8.30pm we shoot portraits with the two blue backdrops, just outside the photo gallery, next door to this "Cancan" lounge, where the Captain's cocktail party takes place. We have to divert the queue to circle around the lobby in order to get passengers to get near the blue backgrounds before entering the cocktail party. This is not always successful, specially when the cruise staff tell the pax to go straight to the captain.
We have signs that point to where we want the line to go. We employ the Port Lecturer Tim to direct the traffic. But we still loose a lot of passengers because they all pour in from the top or bottom stairs and see the lounge in front of them and naturally go straight to it, regardless of signs or staff (our guy tells them to go towards the portrait settings, the others tell them to go straight in, friction occurs).

Christian Fournier

La suite. Continued....


Christian Fournier
The shooting schedule is:
Monday: embarkation, no boat drill, sailing, clown (yes, 2 photogs, dressed as clowns, with good make up on and full length costumes, greet the pax as they exit the dining room: two doors, two clowns, two photogs, two sittings.)
Tuesday: Freeport gangways (8 am to 12 am), 2 sets of portraits on main lobby, before captain, handshakes, walk-in lounge (-see enclosed pictures-with a Bowens flash head and an umbrella and a flash on slave behind the pax. Shot on 35mm and enlarged to 10x8" for $16.95), sitting in lounge, 2 sets of portraits for in and out of the dining room, inside dining room: couples only.
Wednesday: Nassau gangway (8-11am) An arrangement has been made with the taxi drivers, so there are no more frictions. Honey mooners: 7.30pm. Night gangway could be possible for many pax leave, dressed up, for the Nassau night club shows.
Thursday: Cococay: tender-path shots, then beach shots with a pirate. Sail away/decks. dinners: couples and tables. Portraits 2 or 4 backdrops according to whether the pax are good spenders or not.

-The date of the cruise is printed on the embarkation boards (see enclosed pics).

-There is no staff introduction with photographers. The photographers do cruisestaff duties during passenger life boat drill.

La suite. Continued....

USEFUL COMMENTS on Sovereign & Majesty

My criticisms are not to annoy anybody personally.
I just want to point out the problems I have encountered, so we can all work on them and get a smoother running ! Insane running is what caused me to resign. May my rash action be of some use to somebody!
On the Sovereign of the seas:

-Need more CL-2 pods and QBC-5 chargers: ran out during lounge and lost money. Some QBC-5 are broken and should be replaced immediately. Timer is a drawback. I have used and reused same Sunpack pods for 4 years on Stardancer/Viking Serenade. They do not build up a memory, unlike some other brands. They should be put back on charge immediately after use, whether fully discharged or not, and remain on charge at all times. Pods are warm to the touch when charged. Photogs should only use warm ones to insure maximum charge for shooting. A label with a number should be on each pod to make identification of broken ones easier. All pods and chargers and fresh films should be in the gallery storeroom, instead of the darkroom, for quicker access to them while shooting (all the shooting is much closer to the gallery than to the darkroom) See my report and photo of my CL-2/QB-C 5 rack on Stardancer.

-Trimmers: one is out of order, other one needs two feed spools + take up tray. Read instruction book if you do not believe me. Why were they thrown away? Why were they never replaced? Without the feed spools, only a small roll of prints (100 prints) can be trimmed: the heavy and unbalanced rolls drag through and the cutter drive cannot cope, making transport, therefore cutting, erratic, and also huge wear and tear on the motor. The absence of a take up tray: the photog has to remove the prints by hand, one by one, 24 000 times a week. Often the prints get out of order, which makes coding and displaying of duplicates an ordeal. It takes one photog one full night to trim the formal night pics. Plus a lot of frustration and many pics cut in half. What a waste, for a few dollars spare parts! I showed Nick the Durst manual with pics and order numbers. I have use this very same trimmer on the Stardancer/Viking Serenade for 4 years: it performed perfectly and trimming was much faster and much easier. When you trim all night long it matters. Because of the trimmer inability to cut large rolls, Nick ordered the printers to use only small rolls of paper, of 3 rolls of film each. When you print 90 films in one night, you then have to load and unload your Durst 5000 printer 30 times a night!!! None of this makes sense and should be rectified immediately.

More of this report. Continued.... CHRISTIAN FOURNIER, 20 APRIL 1993

Homage to Allan Jones, affectionately known as AJ. Died ten years ago from Hepatitis. RIP AJ. I met AJ on the cruiseship S/S Rhapsody around 1983. Great guy. Pianist. Always happy and ready for adventures. I did many great dives with Allan in Cozumel, Mexico, in the Bahamas, Grand Cayman, the US and British Virgin Islands and also in Alaska with dry suits.
Here he is in Chancanab Lagoon, Cozumel, Mexico. The underwater world has a soothing effect on our metabolism, ask the aquarium enthusiasts. And since music also does that …. The water is so clear that Allan put his sunglasses on.

See page 24 to check out my dives.

Chaise victorienne et smokings, flash Norman, pas mal sur un glacier. En premier plan, Nick Llellelyn.

If I were not upon the sea, something else I'd rather be ……..Balls to you sir, balls to you sir, may I serve you now.
Merci à Les Riley pour cette photo.…..Balls to you sir, balls to you sir, may I serve you now.
Merci à Les Riley pour cette photo.

Tribute to Laura Lang.
In around 1987 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Thanks also to Joe and Alana for the making of photo and to Andrew Bruce for his assistance.

LAURA LANG in 2015: "I sent the sepia hammock shot to my Mum and she just loved it. I also sent the ones with Joe to him and I'm sure he'll love them too. Thanks again, Christian! If you run into anymore in your archives as you go along, please feel free to forward them! :o) All the best."

Laura Lang: WOW, how lovely. (And the shot is great too. :-)))). From my friend Christian, an incredible photographer who has photographed so many famous people in this world, from Presidents to movie stars. My very first "model" shots were taken by him, a few of which I posted. He's a SUPERB artist and I was SO lucky to have worked with him back then. I knew he'd grow to super stardom. :-)))))

Thank you, Chris. Wonderful to get a birthday greeting from around the world. You introduced me to a greater love of photography that has now been passed on to my younger daughter. So cool. I'm glad I got to be a part of your life so many years ago. Merci, Alana.

CRUISE LAUGHS By Nicole Bordes

In order to appreciate the following pages, one needs to understand what is the job of the cruiseship photographer.
During a cruise, the on-board photographers will be taking hundreds and hundreds of pictures of the passengers and try to sell them. Any event during the cruise is an "excuse" to take pictures.
It starts first, when the passengers get on board, then, when the ship sails for its destinations. Next day, they will have their picture taken when they meet the captain and during the cocktail party. Another difficult task will consist in taking shots in the dining room and this is tough (can you imagine asking eight persons to stop eating and eventually to move a little bit just for one picture?).
During the cruise, the cruise staff will entertain the passengers by organizing some special events such as the pool party, masquerade, country and western night ... If there is no event, the photographers will create one. For instance, they take pictures when the passengers are getting out from the dining room after a good meal. Taking turn, each photographer will take out his or her clothes to jump in a bear or a pirate suit.
Finally, there are the deck shots where we photograph people on the decks (that makes sense), at sea or as we are sailing in or away from a port of call, or when the ship is in a scenic location.
Add to this the non scheduled events such as the honeymooners, weddings ... You now have a pretty good idea of the job as far as picture taking is concerned.

AT THE PHOTO GALLERY Finding their own pictures on the wall can be a very hard task for some passengers so they come to the photographers with some pretty neat questions: "Can you find the picture with two people in it?" Sorry, we don't do those! "Where is my picture with the Captain coming on board in the dining room?" As a lady could not find her picture, she asked one of the photographers, showing him a key chain with her picture in it: "Can you find my picture? This is what I look like." Well, Madam, we can see what you look like! Some think that we remember the face of the people we photograph: "Yesterday, you took my picture. Can you tell me where it is on the wall?" "Are they (the pictures) by alphabetical order?" No, by shoe size! "The pictures displayed on the left are the ones from the people that were on the left side of the ship?" In some cases, there is no hope: "Yesterday, somebody asked me if he could take my picture. I said no. Is my picture on the wall?" As all the pictures were displayed on the walls, one person asked: "Excuse me, is this the photo gallery?" At the end of cruise, one question always come back: "What do you do with the rest of the pictures, the ones that we don't buy?" Answers vary: - "They get recycled to make trees." - "We send them to this factory where they make the streamers that you throw away on the first day of the cruise." - "We give them to the engine room." - "We give them to the FBI." - "We eat them." On average, around 600 new pictures are displayed at the gallery. Some people still ask us: "Do you have a darkroom on board?" In addition to the pictures, we are selling videotapes of the cruise. When the passengers come to the sales desk to pick up their video: "Is my VCR ready?"

SOLUTIONS PROPOSED After having experienced the system, some people come up with some ideas, suggestions or remedies to improve our sales and the way we display the pictures. People always complain about the price of the pictures, so they give us some marketing techniques such as: "On the last day, all the pictures should be half price." I bet there will be a huge sale on the last day! "If your pictures were half the price they are now, you will sell twice as more!" So, what is the difference? "Why don't you put the pictures by alphabetical order?" I imagine the photographer writing the name of each passenger he is photographing! "You should print the photos in the order you took them!" Easy when you are in the dark with more than 20 rolls!

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS Very often, the photographers have to deal with some very technical questions: Passengers bring a roll of film to the photo gallery asking the photographers to tell them whether the film has been exposed or not. They seem disappointed when we tell them that the only way to know is to process the film. "Do you take slides and then print them?" No, we take a Polaroid, take a slide of it and print it on paper! "I have opened the back of my camera, do you think that my pictures will come out?" Yes, but very dark! As the chief photographer was using his new 15 mm lens (fish eye looking lens), a person made the following remark: "Oh! This must be a light gathering lens." "I have bought this fast film, what shutter speed should I use?"

DURING THE CRUISE As a crew member you are expected to answer any question, photo related or not and be, of course, extremely polite: As the ship was sailing for Juneau, capital of Alaska: "At what time do we arrive in Jupiter?" As the ship was sailing in the inside passage, the captain pointing out the mountains and mentioning they were 10000 feet above sea level, one passenger asked: "And us, at what altitude are we?" Difficult question as this altitude vary with the location of the person on the ship! As we were on our way to San Francisco, one passenger once came to me and asked me: "Where is the pier on the ship?" A classical one: "Do you live on the boat?" No, I commute every day! Another classical one: "At what time is the midnight buffet?"

COMMENT CARDS At the end of the cruise, each passenger is asked to rate the different departments from poor to excellent and to give some comments on the cruise in general. Talking of the Alaskan cruise: "Should cruise more inland." "Should cruise warmer places." "The cost of the price of the pictures is too high." "The photographer made me look fat."


Who could dream of a better job ? A job that allows you to travel to exotic places, to meet new people and at the same time, make a living out of it !
But there is more to it : being a cruiseship photographer can put a lot of strain on you !

We have followed Christian Fournier, Chief Photographer and his assistant on board a 700 passenger cruiseship. 7:00 AM : Christian is in the darkroom and makes a first colour and density test in order to print the negatives processed the night before. The coffee is passing through.
Meanwhile, reprints ordered by the passengers are done. 15 minutes later, the test is fine and Christian can start printing the 20 rolls taken the day before. Then, he will have to change the paper format, test and print the six rolls of passengers. 09:00 AM : The assistant cuts the long roll of pictures. The photos are to be displayed at 10 :00 AM at the photo gallery. 09:45 AM : Both photographers meet at the gallery to put the pictures on the wall.
The first customers arrive. At 10:00 AM the photo gallery is officially open. People gather around the new photographs. Some passengers come to retrieve the orders placed the night before or to get their own film back. 10:30 AM : Christian takes his camera and flashgun and go on the decks to take some shots of the passengers suntanning, playing cards or relaxing on the decks. 11:15 AM : The Staff Captain needs some pictures of the area where an accident involving a passenger has occurred. These will be used by the insurances. 12:00 PM : The gallery is closed. After a quick lunch, the assistant goes to the darkroom and starts mixing chemicals. 2:00 PM :
The gallery opens. Christian meets the Chef : the cruise line needs a presentation of some of the meals served to the passengers. 3:00 PM : The gallery is quiet: the assistant starts setting the photo studio next to the gallery where formal pictures will be taken during the evening. 3:30 PM : Christian has finished with the Chef and decides to make a second round of photos on decks on the deck. 4:00 PM : The photo gallery is closed for tonight because of all the formal photos to take. There are several orders: 9 reprints and 8 passenger films. The photographers have less than 30 minutes to take a shower and dress formal. 4:45 PM : The ship is going to pass next to the Krakatoa.
All passengers have gathered on the decks to observe the still active volcano. Both photographers start taking pictures of the passengers with the volcano in the background. 5:45 PM : Christian is ready to take formal portraits of the passengers of the first sitting on their way to the farewell cocktail party. 6:00 PM : The doors of the lounge are open: while Christian is taking formal portraits next to the gallery, his assistant is photographing the passengers in the lounge dancing or sitting in the chairs. 6:00 PM : The dining room is now open for the passengers of the first sitting.
The photographers rush to the officers mess for a quick dinner. 6:45 PM : Both photographers enter in the dining room to photograph the people at their table. 7:30 PM : Christian is back to the photo studio for the formal portrait session of the second seating. 8:00 PM : The lounge is open for the farewell par
ty of the second seating. 8:30 PM : The dinner for the passengers of the second seating is being served in the dining room. Five minutes later, the photo studio is dismantled. 8 :50 PM : The photographers enter a second time in the hot and noisy dining room to photograph the guests at their tables. 10:15 PM : The Captain requests the presence of the photographer for the famous Captain’s table picture. 10:30 PM : The assistant rush to the darkroom.
The evening was good : 6 rolls of decks, 5 rolls of lounge, 4 rolls of dining room and 8 120 rolls of portraits ; to this, the 8 passenger rolls must be added. 11:30 PM : The passengers get in line to see the Buffet Magnifique. At the end of the line, Christian is getting ready to take some shots of the passengers
with the Chef. 12:00 AM : The day is over, a new one has already started. Christian go back to his cabin for a short night sleep. The 31 rolls need to be printed first thing in the morning and be ready for the beginning of the afternoon. When comes the end of the cruise an average of 100 35mm rolls and 20 120mm rolls have been used, 5000 5"x7" pictures and 400 8"x10" pictures have been displayed, 3000ft of paper and 450ft of 8" paper have been used. 21 % of these pictures will be sold, the rest, at the great despair of the passengers, is packed in a box and sent to the incinerator.
This percentage may seem low but, as in all businesses, the benefit marge between the real cost of the picture and the price asked for it is high enough to make this business a profitable one. The wages of the photographers are a percentage of the sales.

No worries, I am very secure about my manhood (see page 28)

Thousands upon thousands of photos every week, printed and put on display in the photo gallery.

1980 : The older the photo, the younger I look !

Fun signs at the photogallery















With John Cable.

I'll never go home now!

I pretend to be a junky.

I invented the Water Bucket challenge!

Here with Terri Russel.

Terri Russel agreed to my suggestion. Some say that I am very persuasive.

The first soft toy in 1980

With Tony from the gift shop.


All of the photos were taken in Alaska, on the famous Mendenhall Glacier.
Mendenhall Glacier is large glacier in southeast Alaska, about 10 km from Juneau, the capital city.
The season is, of course summer. It is often nice out and sweaters are often stowed back into backpacks.
The special aspect of this glacier is that the Americans built an asphalt road that brings tourists right up to it front. A visitor center has also been built on the edge of the lake beside the glacier. This makes it the easiest glacier to visit, in the world.
For climbers like us, it is also much easier: we park our car at the visitor centre, then we walk an hour or two along the small mountain trail which follows alongside the glacier. When the glacier becomes accessible, that is to say without too many crevasses or frequent landslides, as is the case on the shredded end of the glacier, we lace up our crampons under our mountain shoes and jump onto the ice.
And it becomes fantastical : we discover crevasses, streams (the surface ice melts), waterfalls, small blue lakes, tunnels (formed by the flowing surface water), and caves with crystal walls. We each have spikes, a pick, and a rope. This allows us to climb even very steep slopes with relative ease, even vertical walls. We also like to jump across small walls, sticking to the opposite sides like flies. And I, the photographer, descend to the bottom to immortalize my companions who seem to fly above my head.
The only danger along our hike across the glacier is that the surface on which we are walking can collapse. So it is important to listen for the sounds of flowing water so as to avoid walking upon the roof of an underground river, and to “tap” the terrain with your pick.
I love the silence of the glacier: only the sounds of trickling water and the crackling of the ice. I love the different blues that the sun creates through the ice. I love the silences shared between climbers. I love sharing, through my photos, the beauty of what I’ve seen.

COLD PLUNGE Alaska summer 1990.

Shannon Templeton: "That's a memory I will never forget. The suit I was wearing had a tiny pin hole near my ankle and a little jet of icy water numbed the lower half of my leg really quick. I still have my "official suit tester" certificate somewhere written up in beautiful calligraphy. Thank you for this memory!"

DR Nicole Bordes est à droite.

Texte : Dr Nicole Bordes et Christian Fournier
Photos : Christian Fournier.

This strange orange object floating on the water is not a new breed of seal but a human being wearing a survival suit. These suits are mainly made for people like fishermen, who navigate on cold waters. In low temperature waters (less than 45 °F), one could not survive more than ten minutes without special equipment. Based on the principles of a dry suit, a survival suit will allow a person immersed in cold water to survive for several hours (this length of time depends on many factors such as the water and the outside temperatures, the resistance against cold of the person... )
However, unlike dry suits, these suits are not designed for diving purposes but for survival only. They are about 1/4 inch thick. Boots and gloves are attached for better protection, as well as a hood. A front zipper closes the suit up to the chin, the front seal and a piece of neoprene placed over the mouth and the nose provide a relative waterproofing. Buoyancy is achieved by two different ways. As mentioned above, the survival suit is made out of neoprene rubber that contains millions of tiny insulating cells filled with air, making the suit very buoyant. In addition, a balloon-like ring attached to the suit under the arms can be inflated by mouth using a hose included in the suit. Apart from buoyancy, this ring provides a support to the neck and allows the person to float without effort, head out of water.
Thermal insulation is not achieved, as commonly thought, by the suit itself, but by the air trapped in the suit : this air is warmed by the body and provides an effective insulation. Unfortunately, in cold water, the heat loss is high and the human body must continually compensate for this loss. At a certain point, it becomes impossible for the body to keep up and the body temperature drops ; eventually, the person will die from hypothermia. Hopefully, rescuers will be there before this happens. The color orange of the suit has not been chosen for fashion reasons but because this is the color the most easily detectable on the sea.
These pictures were taken in Tracy Arm (Alaska) during a safety drill, demonstrating the efficiency of the suits. Six volunteers jumped from a lifeboat into the ice cold water of Sawyer glacier, under the indifferent eyes of harbor seals. After some paddling around, these special bathers were given a flare used to draw attention. Wet or even immersed, these flares continue to glow with a bright orange "flame" signalling the position to the rescuers.
This drill has been conducted every week, for more than three years now, on board the M/V VIKING SERENADE, formerly M/V STARDANCER, during the Alaskan season, for the delight of the passengers. Many crew members are looking forward to this "icecapade", but the waiting list is very long and only six suits are available on board !

MV Ocean Gala (ex Viking Serenade, ex Stardancer) was beached at Alang today 4 april 2018 for dismantling (photo credit: Vaja Nilesh).
Message from Kjell Smitterberg in Stockholm today:
Dear Friends, sad to know that our "Stardancer" now is gone.... I remember with pleasure our 101 crew members from different countries and especially our last evening on every cruise, the "Crew Show" and when we all were singing "We are the World"......
Indeed a Happy Ship & a Happy Crew !
I miss you all !
Kjell, Stardancer captain.

Channeling James Bond.

Miami. Thank you to Barrie Moss for this photo.

We are better than Casino, Beauty Salon, Gift Shop, Excursions, Band, Daytime Activities, Evening Entertainment and the ship in general.

One of the spirals on which you had to load exposed 35 mm films, in the dark. Be careful that the surfaces of the film do not touch.

Then they were stacked in racks of 36 and dipped in the different baths.

Roy Woodford, le troisième propriétaire de "The Cruise ship Picture Co Ltd" et moi-même, aux Bermudes.

Messages: (213) 325-6774 * Mobile: (213) 300-7275 * Fax: (213) 325-4661

17th May 1990

Great tip for a new concession

Disney World is opening near Paris in two and a half years time.
They are already taking offers for a photo concession.
If you get this concession, I would gladly run it for you.
No, this is not a Mickey Mousse concession!

Raphael Christian Fournier
PS: What happened to Club Med and Marriott ?

1 Photographer Christian Fournier, inventor. Not of the tux, but of this way of shooting!
2 Girl waiting for her turn to pose.
3 Interchangeable poster display featuring a photo by Christian Fournier
4 “Russian doll” stool set for photos of families and couples
5 Roll of painted canvas with a cloud in the middle
6 Telescopic Manfrotto autopole which extends from the floor to the ceiling, moveable and no screws or nails
7 Manfrotto tripod with quick release support
8 Hasselblad 500CM with waist-level viewfinder, softening filter Hasselblad Softar 1 to smoothen skin
9 A piece from the “Russian Doll” stool set so that the photographer can be slightly higher up than the models
10 The Casino and the pub ‘Stanley’
11 The dining hall exit
12 Off-screen: the reserve (a tiny cupboard) to the side where all of this is stored during “non-Gala” evenings

I invented studio photo shoots during formal evenings, my famous “Formal Portraits”.

I had noticed, early on, at the very start of my employment as a ship photographer, this phenomenon, which seems strange to a French tourist:
passengers, during the two “Formal evenings” (where men would wear tuxedos and ladies their evening gowns), all want beautiful photos of themselves and their family, even if it had nothing to do with the cruise. They would often ask me for a photo, in the middle of a corridor, even with no particular decor.
It was a perfect occasion to have a good photo of the entire family, united and well-dressed, at the same time and in the same place (and yes, many passengers are a family reunion who meet up to see each other without hassle).

No need to make an appointment with the town photographer.
I dreamed on the idea of a real photography studio, yet ephemeral, when passengers were waiting in line to be introduced to the captain. We just had to be very fast and take pictures of everyone during this formal dress evening, which always takes place on cruiseships on the second evening on board.
I experimented, with the 35mm Leica, hand held flash and a plain corridor wall. These photos sold very well. Obviously it would have been better with a neutral background, like mottled cloth, popular at the time (the 1980s). And in larger format, something more professional like 6x6, a bigger photo with better lighting. Yet, this would require a lot of change for our team.
I had long discussions about this with the director of our Photography Company, Cruiseship Pictures Company Ltd, John Davies, an excellent business man. We met at his superb home, on Grand Cayman Island, which was along our ship’s itinerary at the time, the S/S Rhapsody, a French ship. He agreed to let me experiment with large formats, and gave me free reign to solve all these problems (including the proverbial usage of 'tip' to help the authorities). This required authorisation from the maritime company as well as the on-board managers. I did receive authorisation on my French ship.

A week later John Davies sent me all the necessary stuff: Hasselblad 6x6cm camera with a dozen A12 backs, Bowens studio flash and umbrellas, the canvas blue background, the Manfrotto cross bar, autopoles and tripods, 120 roll films, kit to modify our film processing machine, kit to modify our roll paper printer from 5x7" to 8 x 10 inches, 8 inches paper rolls, cheap cardboard folders to show and sale the portraits.

I worked night and day for a week to install everything, calibrated it all, and made it work.
I persuaded the cruise director, Bernard Reid, an extraordinary man, to make official this new photo taking by telling the passengers about it during his cruise presentation.
I persuaded the captain Jean-Marie Guilloux you to let me attempt this experience, promising him not to slow down the line up before handshakes.
I persuaded the hostesses, with backhands and the unlimited use of my body, to help manage the crowd.
I persuaded the Hotel Manager M. Chabot to let me install my photo studio in the corridor in the middle of the queueing crowd, emphasising that's all electric cables would be secured to the ceiling and there would be no accidents.
I let my photo team (two assistants David Turner and Barrie Moss), both very good and cooperative, to shoot on their own the usual pictures of handshakes and cocktail party, and I myself tried the formal portraits.
The key to success was obviously to convince people to come in front of my blue background, pose them and photograph them as fast as possible without too much loss in quality. Luckily Americans understand these situations rather fast, and cooperated, as they were keen on a studio photo with their families. I also had to be extremely fast reloading my A12 Hasselblad film backs, which only contained 12 photos each. I believe I acquired, over the weeks, an unequal dexterity at A12 backs loading. I should have made it to the "Guiness book of records"

Obviously, I hit Immediate success. My beautiful 8 x 10 professional prints sold like hot cakes, often several copies of each, even though it had nothing to do with a cruise. Later on, I improved my technique:
- Advertising campaign in the photo gallery and in the entrances to lounges, with on posters showing samples of portraits
- Public address speeches before and during the portrait sessions
- Written inserts in the daily sheets delivered under cabin doors
- I trained hostesses to manage the line-up
- I improved the lights for faster changes from singles to families
- I acquired a Hassleblad Softar One filter too soften ladies and old people skins
- I got a flash meter to measure the lights properly
- I got a remote control triggering of the flashes to eliminate sync cables
- I got a set of posing stools to help with families
- I got a Nylon tripod bag to keep the A12 backs exposed and unexposed separate, and within the photographer's reach, and out of reach of passengers
- I standardised all poses to go faster
- I got castor wheels for the tripod to make faster and smoother movements for close ups to far away views
- I fine tuned my speech to the passengers in the line-up to make them relax while waiting and smiling during the poses, etc.

John Davies was very impressed by the sales figures and the photo quality. He immediately supplied all other ships with all the necessary equipment and samples of my portraits.
But after a few weeks, few ships could match my sales and quality. Most other photographers were highly trained at running after the passengers with a Leica in hand, but not at convincing them to come to the studio. Advertising and marketing was necessary. You had to believe in the new technique. You had to negotiate with the ship's management. You had to know how to install and use a professional photo studio (most photographers had never been to a photo school). You had to learn how to pose people in a studio. You had to learn the use of a Hasselblad. You had to learn how to modify the paper processor to a larger format. You had to learn how to load 120 film spools in the dark.

John Davies asked me to spend a week or two on-board each one of the company ships, as a portrait consultant. A lot of work, a lot of airplanes. I realized it might be difficult to interfere with the authority of the other chief photographers and try to change their habits. I am not even English! I would also have to negotiate with the ship managements. I would also have to supervise the shipping and installing of all the new equipment. I would also have to teach studio photography. I would also have to teach posing techniques. I would also have to teach advertising and marketing. And the worst, I would also have to teach "smugging" (the essence of our job, the reason we are paid more that musicians ...) passengers in a line up, for a very fast studio photo which has nothing to do with a cruise!

I knew my best argument would be to convinced them that they would earn more money due to the increase in revenue that my portraits would bring.

I agreed with John Davies to do it, for a simple salary: a straight 20% of the sales increase that my portraits would generate.

I worked hard, very hard. Luckily, as that time, I did not know the meaning of the word "jetlag".
The financial success of my portraits had been grossly underestimated, so I became rich. Well, not as rich as Bill Gate, for I am very stupid compared to him, for I did not negotiate a time duration or copyrights of my "invention".

Very rapidly, all other cruiseships, including from other photo concessions, copied my idea and made it a standard all over the world.

Je retourne une fois à Paris en 1988 pour des vacances et travaille avec un mec génial,
Eric Naras, responsable de l'exploitation photo sur "Les Bateaux Parisiens" célèbre compagnie de croisières sur la Seine.

I met up again with Eric Naras in 2004, near La Rochelle.
“I adore your portrait gallery, I instantly recognized your creativity and your capacity to laugh at yourself. Let’s keep in touch more often, because time flies by so fast. I’ll call you regularly to see what you’re up to and even to talk just to say nothing, about photography, graphic art, or not, about the Higgs boson if you want or the Planck wall and all those things which are beyond us but which are so fascinating. Until soon, my friend.” From Eric Naras, January 2015.

In my school notebooks On my school desk and the trees On the sand on the snow I write your name
On every written page On every blank page Stone blood paper or ash I write your name
On golden images On warriors’ weapons On kings’ crowns I write your name
On the jungle and the desert On nests and in the brush On the echo of my childhood I write your name
On the wonders of night On the white bread of day On the fiancéed seasons I write your name
(And by the power of a word I begin my life anew I was born to know you; To name you Liberty
Poem by Paul Eluard, Poésies et vérités (Poetry and truth), 1942

8th June 2017 = I met Peter Simpson again after 25 years. Peter is the guy just above myself on the left. Originally from Australia, Peter is now a web project designer and photographer in London.

FROM: C. FOURNIER, Chief photographer.

I had worked for many years for Cruiseship Picture Co. when I resigned on 9th January 1991.
I have made hundreds of improvements (technical, marketing, photographic, paperwork) now currently used all over the company (see my booklet).
I have increased the revenues.
I have impressed the cruise lines with my efficiency and high quality services. I am a science university graduate, 37 years old and an authority in photography.
Yet, inexperienced young photographers got promoted to supervisor positions, and not me.
The vice president, Paul Smith, sees me as a "threat to his empire".
This was confirmed to me by director Michael Sebel, during my resigning phone call.
Paul had been making my life difficult for the last two years and was spreading false rumors behind my back. He even tried to get my previous assistants to write down that I was lazy and incompetent. Every single one of them refused, they said that on the contrary, I was working very much harder and better than any other #1.
I wrote angry memos to the head office and started to openly criticize the numerous errors made by the Miami office (see my memos of complaints for an entire year).
Paul Smith turned down my request for the Crystal Harmony, stating that I did not have enough experience! No other photographer, including him, has more experience or seniority than me in this company.
So I knew that my future with this crowd was limited!
I had been very unhappy with the way the company had been running lately: stores always late, chaos in the Miami office, insane demands from Paul Smith on extra work and experiments, my wage decreased from 8% to 7% to 5.6%, photographers quit due to insulting treatment (mainly from Smith), rumors of bankruptcy, R.C.C.L. abusing the concession, etc...
I offered my organizing services, in writing, to Mr. Richard Dawson, several times and never got one reply.
I accepted a position on a new ship, cruising around the world. There would be no money, but I would be far away from the Miami office.
On the day of sailing, Paul Smith was openly hostile to me and I learned that a junior executive would be on board with me to learn my tools of the trade, so they could get rid of me! I had no choice but resign.

CHRISTIAN FOURNIER, ex-chief photographer

I dove under the Paquebot France.

This is Graig Hellmann in this photo: "Objet: Facebook, Christian
Oh my god, what a surprise, can't believe all the old names on this site. checked your website... still taking great photographs. Hope all is well with you."
Live just outside Washington DC, work for the government in a forensic lab...crime scenes and fingerprints. Which is about all I photograph these days, other than my happy snaps.
Still diving frequently, actively teaching, and try to get in the water as much as possible. Certified my 13 year old daughter a couple years ago, so now we have a good excuse to head to the islands.
Looks like you are staying pretty busy!!!"

Under the cruise ship S/S France, the American Virgin Islands.

The propeller shafts weren’t turning evenly. I am employed to photograph the props in order to evaluate the mess. The majestic cruise ship S/S Norway, once the liner France, is in the mooring off the coast of Saint Thomas. Besides the impressive mass of the ship in front of us, there is nothing else but a deep blue. I pass my gloved hand over the rim of the propellers and, when I feel a catch, I photograph it properly, in macro, including a tiny ruler in the photo, and a note its position on my slate. There are about twenty chips on the eight rotor blades.
The current is pushing us forcefully and we have to do everything with one hand held onto a rotor blade. There wasn’t a single fish and nothing but blue around the boat.
It leaves a lasting impression. Boundless blue and a mammoth metal machine. I felt very small and fragile. And privileged as well, to be able to dive under the most beautiful ship in the world. The report was published in every francophone diving magazine. Nostalgia for the SS France?
For extraordinary diving? For my magnificent photos?

Bottom right is Kevin Mills.

Michael Gould :« “You’ve got a way with passengers, models and women, Chris. A nice way, but a way nonetheless. The same way a professional gambler knows the way to count cards. »

Christian Fournier, ready for digital photography in 1989.

A rather sad photo: S/S BLUE LADY, the former S/S FRANCE, S/S NORWAY in Alang, in India, January 21st 2008, to be dismantled for good. Bye bye, S/S France. I didn’t take this photo.
What a shame that France wasn’t able to make her work as a cruise ship (too many recurring strikes) while the Norwegians did so successfully for 20 years. A shame she wasn’t turned into a museum or a floating hotel.

In the streets of Shanghai, Nicole dressed up as a Chinese Princess, Alain Weiller the musician as a pirate and myself as Mao. We’re playing badminton, of course. Photo taken by Anne-Lise, the singer.
The Chinese were surprised to see us. They’ve only got ping-pong over there, you know.

Alain Weiller in 2012
Alain A. Weiller is an epicurean in music, the diversity of his compositions is a true testimony of this. His artistic formation reveals his pugnacity to make through the projects that he is in charge of, so as the disciplines he studied, never suffered approximation.
Indeed, he began at 9 years old with the Annie Fratellini Circus ‘s School where he was taught the jugglery, the thread and acrobatics. Annie was the first to advise Alain to learn music. (The circle was closed when he composed in 2011 the new PINDER’s musics, the mythical Circus of «La piste aux Etoiles» , a famous french TV show in the sixties and seventies.)
At the age of 10, Alain took trumpet’s lessons at the Pantin’s Music Academy, then at 16 years old he got an Academy price, and finally obtained the 1st Excellence Price of Music Formation. He studied in music’s writing, and discovered music assisted by computers, which was just beginning at that time. So, he grew up with a double culture : classical & electronical styles.
Thus his passion for music led him to learn all by himself the piano, keyboard and singing. During 15 years, he travelled and played on numerous stages all around the world.
In 1998, he started a Japanese Tour where he composed, arranged for various artists including TV show for NHK. In 2000, he composed, co-produced, and played as well in a Musical Fairy Tale project in Tokyo, which replaced the famous « Cirque du Soleil ». In 2001, he settled down his own recording studio in Boulogne Billancourt. Since when, he composed songs for severals artists, but, as well, musics for advertising, TV shows, cinema.
In 2016, Alain arranged and produced 12 originals songs from Michel Legrand for Big Band and orchestra with more than 60 musicians, for Smaïn’s album, who is a very well-know showman in France.
The same year, Alain received the award of best composer at the «Festival Arte Non-Stop of cinema of Bueno Aires» for the film «For One» by Mathieu Rivolier.
In 2017, he also settled down 2 others recording companies ; the first one in Bruxelles and the other one in London. He composed the music of «Meurtre à Orleans» by Jean-Marc Seban who’s breaking all audiences records at the french TV.
For 2018, in spite of the different musicals projects, Alain is composing a flugelhorn album called «Velvet Syncretism», played by himself, a mix of cinematic mood and very large melodies.

In Barcelona, in 2016, I saw the “Harmony of the Seas” the biggest cruise ship in the world.
The Harmony of the Seas is a cruise ship constructed by the company Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. She was built in the former shipyard of l’Atlantique STX France in Saint-Nazaire between September 2013 and May 2016.
Length: 362 m, Height: 70 m, Home port: Nassau, Capacity: 6 296 passengers, Owner: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), Speed: 20 knots while cruising, 23.1 knots maximum

My last gig as a cruise ship photographer

This company was founded by John Davies while he was the Director of Cruise Ship Picture Co Ltd (based in Esher, Surrey, England) and he was the cause of a great war between the two companies which both had to up the ante to get contracts with the maritime companies which led to the demise of Cruise Ship Picture Co Ltd.

Tom Long, Ops Manager for Cruiseship Picture Company, oct 2018 = "Michael Sobell who became Richard Dawson’s business partner was an ex crooked lawyer from London who started dating Roy Woodford’s wife and wormed his way into the business. Together him and Dawson mis-managed the company by expanding it but not paying creditors whilst lining their own pockets. Many many people were owed money by these two crooks (greed made Dawson corrupt). Most of the office staff in the UK and Miami were owed money. Alan Lake was owed $100,000!"

Sea Cruise Services Incorporated, 1015 N. America Way, room 118, Miami Florida 33132
Letter of Employment
This is to certify that Raphael Christian Fournier of French nationality, passport number 85 FC 79452 has a confirmed position on board the Sovereign of the Seas of Norwegian Registry. He is to report to the Sovereign of the Seas on or about March 20th 1993.
This letter of employment is valid until March 20th 1993. "If the above named seaman fails to join the vessel to which he is assigned, or some other vessel of our line, within the period of time for which he is admitted, this company will be responsible for any costs incurred in deporting him to his homeland or to the country in which he obtained his transit visa."
Seacruise Services, Inc. Michael D. Brinkhurst, President.

Vancouver, pour moi : la plus belle ville du monde.

1990: I buy a large property in the woods near Vancouver, Canada, and transform in a photo studio: "The studio in the Woods."
Drainage, 20 clearings, 40 tons of gravel and bark mulch, electricity, statues, fountains, paint, etc….


A- Bedroom: 4 poster bed, clean cute drapes and sheets.
B- Black classy couch with fireplace.
C- Modern science-fiction set: bright lights, smoke machine ...
D- Fake garden: arches, flowers, astro turf ....
E- Balcony with city lights in the background.
F- Shower set: gold and classy.


1- Plastic shapes: triangles, cones, cubes ... in vivid colors.
2- Corner of brick walls with two windows.
3- Window arrangements (fake).
4- Bridge.
5- Stream.
6- Bamboo house (fake, with see through floors for flash lights).
7- Polished, painted white trees (to be used with smoke machine).
8- Wooden white pretty fence
9- Corner of barn with hay.
10- Swing (one single, one double).
11- Stump.
12- Benches (in different styles).
13- Log shed (for country and western shots and for storage too).
14- Fiberglass animals.
15- Natural tree.
16- Mirror set (mirrors all around).
17- Greek temple.
18- Fiberglass large "walk-in" camera with two welcoming arms.
19- Part of a wagon.
20- Castle tower (fairy tale type, partial).
21- Arches and flowers (different kinds: stone, wood, bricks, plastic, steel,...)
22- Mannequins planted around.
23- Stairs (for large group shots).
24- Scarves hanging around.
25- Crazy sculptures (made from scrap metal and welded together).
26- Open house on grass (couch, fake TV set, phone ...).
27- Bathtub.
28- Jacuzzi.
29- Fountain.
30- Statues. 31- Hammock.
32- Fake stone well with wrought iron and flowers.
33- Pond.
34- Open areas for temporary sets.
35- Gazebo with patio furniture and flowers.

Soap bubbles set. Tree house. Arab tent. Water curtain. Green house condensation effect. Mylar and plastic hangings.

June 1993. My ruin.

After 13 and a half years of happiness in the USA, I return to France to be part of an international underwater archeological expedition (I was promised "National Geographic"!). It did not work out. I later discovered that the organiser, E.... S…. (I hide his name for he tries to sue me for libel), was a fraud, all his previous and later expeditions were fiascos) and ruins me ... Tough, tough.
See the entire story ...

Le 12 juil. 2015 à 01:15, Andrew Bruce a écrit :
Hi Chris: Hope you had a good birthday. Yes, the cruise was very nice. How things have changed, however. We visited Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria, and explored Tracy Arm Fjord. All the ports have grown since our days on The Stardancer, still beautiful though. The scenery is as impressive as ever. We took a whale watching excursion and got up close and personal with some Orcas and Humpbacks - I'll send you some pics once I have edited out the best ones. The ship we were on had 3400 pax and 15 photogs and, of course, all shooting digital. Their major emphasis was on formal portraits every night, even when dress was casual. A little overkill in my opinion.

We had one taken the first formal night in front of a beautiful spiral staircase, with some great ambient lighting. Their posing was ok, but they simply had one light-box, front and center. When we saw the finished product, it was over-flashed, and their shutter speed selection totally eliminated the ambient light - one of the things making the setting what it was!!!  I asked the photographer if we could try it again the next formal evening with them stopping down a little to avoid over-exposure, and using a slower shutter speed to capture more of the ambient light. I was informed that all the settings are set by corporate and if they deviate by even 1/2 stop, the photogs are subject to major disciplinary action!!!  How stupid is that! I tried to talk with the chief photog on several occasions, but he was never around. I guess his duties must be strictly administrative! So, I wrote a lengthy letter to him, strongly recommending he discuss modifying the settings to improve the finished product. It's so basic! I can see the need for consistency. We always aimed for consistency for ease of printing, but we used settings that were best suited for the setting. I guess the photogs nowadays may not have the training to make such decisions. It sounds like a stupid call Paul Smith would have made!!!

I thought you would like that story. Anyway, we had a great time and it was exactly 28 years ago, this month, since Angie and I first met, when you and I were on the Stardancer. We had our first date in Haines, and it will be 25 years, on Bastille Day, since we were married. Mason had a great time, also. He heads off to college in September, to California. He graduated high school the top of his class and in the top 1% of seniors in the state of Washington. He's a hard worker, and we're very proud of him. It's amazing how the time has flown by, however. I hope you are well. Send me an update as to what fun things you are up to. Take care, and I'll send you some pics. Andrew.

Brunei est un petit État situé sur l’île de Bornéo. Le territoire du pays est coupé en deux parties cernées par la Malaisie et la mer de Chine. Brunei est réputé pour ses plages et la biodiversité de sa forêt tropicale, qui est préservée grâce à des réserves naturelles. La capitale, Bandar Seri Begawan, abrite la majestueuse mosquée Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah et ses 29 dômes dorés. C’est également dans la capitale que se trouve l’immense palais Nurul Iman, la résidence du sultan actuellement au pouvoir.

1991: The harbor is of a foul stench.
Brunei is the richest country in the world.
2019: Brunei sets the strictest sharia law in the world.
The small sultanate of Brunei on Wednesday (April 3rd 2019) introduced the death penalty by stoning to punish homosexuality and adultery. A very religious decision that masks a political strategy to strengthen its image of Islamic leader in the eyes of the most conservative in the country.

Their is nowadays (2018) a similar company, also based in Grand Cayman, which is probably the same.


Life On Board
Working as an onboard photographer is more than just a job – it’s a lifestyle. For many people it is a great experience working with a diverse team in exotic locations and earning a rewarding salary. Working on board a cruise ship is not for everyone, though, and it is important that you understand both the benefits and the potential drawbacks before making a commitment.
Cruise ships are often described as large, floating hotels. Your accommodation comprises a shared cabin, with toilet and shower facilities. The crew accommodations are small and you need to be able to live in a very compact space. Most ships’ crew represents a large cross section of different nationalities. It is important that you can get along well with your cabin mate, the team and fellow crewmembers.

Join Our Team
Do you enjoy photography? Like to travel? Want to meet new people? We are always looking for outgoing, friendly individuals to join our team of Image photographers. If you have the following qualities, then we would be interested in hearing from you!
• Sound knowledge of the workings and operation of a Digital SLR camera
• Speak fluent English. Additional languages preferred
• A team player
• Great interpersonal skills
• Can adapt to new challenges in a fast-paced environment
• Prepared to be available seven days a week for a six to eight month contract. Your first contract will be for 8 months
• Embrace our core values of Operational Excellence, Respect, Ethical Behavior, Superior Service and Empowerment
We hire for all levels of experience of photographers, videographers, photo lab managers and more. After initial screening, candidates are interviewed in full-day group sessions through a series of presentations, role-plays, group exercises and photo shoots. 
Cruise ship photography is all about photographing guests and selling the memories of their cruise. The team is responsible for the entire onboard photo business. From photography, to processing and printing and the sales of the finished photos and photo products, the Image team does it all!
Typical onboard photography events include meeting the Captain at his cocktail party, in the dining room during dinner, costume shoots on the gangway and more. You will also have the opportunity to take photos in a professional studio environment on formal nights, for family portraits, weddings and other special events. 
As a ship’s photographer, you must be prepared to work long hours and understand that on a busy ship you will have little time off. On all ships and in all positions you are required to be available seven days a week and occasionally wear a costume. It is definitely not a 9-5 job!

Homage to the women I met on cruiseships.
They were all great people and I thank them all.
We had fun, with no hidden thoughts or hopes.

I am a convinced feminist: political, economic, cultural, personal, social and legal equality between women and men.

After the pill and before Aids, before the organized Spring Breaks, during THE LOVE BOAT TV shows.
No I will not die frustrated, like many others ...
Thanks to them, I shared incredible lives, varied and fascinating. I learned social classes, religions, traditions, schoolings, fashions, politics, professional lives, morals, conjugal relations, the underwear and outdoor wear of the USA.

For info, I am not Mick Jagger, I have not slept with all the women in my photos.
Their company was often enough for my amazement.
It also show that I am capable of taking pictures everywhere and in all circumstances
For info, I do not dance, I do not smoke and I do not drink.

For info, the disco Dazzles on the S/S Norway, ex S/S France, was out of bounds to all female staff because the ratio men/women was too low the female passengers. Male photographers, musicians, casino staff were encouraged to visit Dazzles. They just needed to sit alone at the bar and were immediately surrounded by women eager to bring them back to their cabins. How about it? Your place or mine?

Whatever happens on cruiseships stays on cruiseships

How about it?. You're place or mine?

*Ruth Westheimer (born June 4, 1928), better known as Dr. Ruth, is an American sex therapist, media personality, and author. The New York Times described her as a "Sorbonne-trained psychologist who became a kind of cultural icon in the 1980s.… She ushered in the new age of freer, franker talk about sex on radio and television. She encouraged sex and more sex and participated in the 1980 sex revolution in the USA.

Yes, the T-shirts are very sexy indeed

The 2020 versions

Censored for the USA, don't you wish you were in France.

Debi Anderson, the ship's masseuse, a very beautiful women.

Gwen in Martinique and Haïti

Hello Christian,
I’m writing you this little message from Tunisia where I am on vacation with my family. I had only been back in Switzerland for less than two weeks before I was out the door again, but this time only for ten days. I found myself a sort of internship in Switzerland for a year. I start on September 5th.
Nathalie is here too, she brought the slides you had sent her. Such a pleasure to see them, thank you so much. I’d love to know what you thought of them and see the others. I guess you won’t have had time yet to develop all of them. If you do get a chance to send some of them I’d really appreciate it.
I hope all is well with you, and to hear from you soon. Hugs, Gwendoline.
In case you’ve misplace it, here’s my address: Gwendoline Henry, … Switzerland…

Hello Christian
Greetings from the Azores! Yes, I’m currently on my way back to Europe via the maritime routes. I’m glad to have had this experience. It took us 28 days to get to the Azores, now we just have to get back to France.
After, I’ll be heading back to Switzerland for a year on internship. How about you, how have you been since Martinique? I didn’t see you leave, I hope you’re not mad at me for some reason.
Whatever the case I’ll always cherish my memories of Haïti, I hope the feeling’s mutual. Please if you do get a chance send over some photos, I’d love to see them, and write to me in Switzerland of course.

26 December 1987
First, I’m really sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I was thrilled to get your letter but these past few months have been impossibly busy. So many things to do and most of all a quarterly review. As you’ve guessed I’m working on getting my junior secondary school diploma, which means that I’ve tons of work to do. But as they say “you get what you give” and I have excellent results.
I’ve sometimes wondered if you’d forgotten about me, so your letter really made me happy. I would have loved to go on a cruise with you, thank you for inviting me, it would have been a superb adventure for me, but you can’t do everything. I hope that your invitation still stands so that one day I can finally take you up on it and escape.
Your brochure is great, the graphics and layout are well done, and of course your photos are excellent, as usual.
As for me I have continued in photography, for the past little while I’ve been working on an ad for a Longine wristwatch. I know you asked how Nathalie is doing but I haven’t heard from her in some time, as you know I’ve been too busy to write.
Well, with these words I’ll leave it to you. I hope you’ll be able to come visit soon. Maybe you’ll be passing through Switzerland one day, who knows? I’ll do my best to come your way, too. Big hugs, Gwendoline.

Ellen Ridgely.

Ellen Ridgely in Little San Salvador, Bahamas, deserted island owned by Norwegian Caribbean Line (Cruise Line) around 1984

Julie in Death Valley, California, my favorite studio.

1986: Jacqueline, magnificent. Assistants Eric Naras and Karel de Gendre. Published in 1993 in the magazine Penthouse.

Penthouse, Australia, 15 March 1993, to Raphael Christian Fournier, from Phil Abraham.
Dear Raphael, Thanks for sending us recent examples of your work. We appreciate the professional quality of the material and its presentation. I would be pleased to discuss the purchase of this material. I'll be in Los Angeles around the middle of next month. Perhaps we could meet then to discuss your work. I'll be in touch when my travel details are finalised.
Regards, Phil Abraham, Editor.

Jacqueline, 27/12/87
Christian, I was so pleased to hear from you. I want to thank you for your invitation. I hope everything is still going well for you, in your last letter you seemed very content with your work and your life in the States.
Since the last time we saw each other I’ve done many things but nothing very important. Days fly by without our realizing.
But I’ve decided to go to the States too, to find a family and learn English. Being bilingual is very useful professionally.
I wanted to know if there’s any chance I could come stay with you during my first few days, I’d like your help getting on my feet over there. It would be a real treat to see you again and I’d rather not be alone in a strange country.
I’m planning on going in January, I already have my visa and I’ll buy my ticket as soon as I’ve got it all planned out.
I hope to hear from you soon. Hugs, Jacqueline.
PS: My letter isn’t very long but it’s hard to summarize my life in a few lines. I forgot: Best wishes in the new year! I hope that 88 will bring you all that you desire. Cheers!

I saw Jacqueline again in 2015. She has become an impressive businesswoman.

Michelle Farelly

A photographer, Mike Gould I believe, had modified our storage space onboard M.S. Skyward into a secret bed, hidden behind fake photo paper boxes.
Photographers must often share cabins, so this a great idea
Thanks Mike. Thanks Linda who allowed to show here its use.

Those were the days.

Mike Gould : "You know how to make a girl smile"

Mike Gould : "You are Zaphod
« One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn’t be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn’t understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid. He was renowned for being amazingly clever and quite clearly was so – but not all the time, which obviously worried him, hence the act. He preferred people to be puzzled rather than contemptuous. This above all appeared to Trillian to be genuinely stupid, but she could no longer be bothered to argue about it. » (de « The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Complete Trilogy of Five (English Edition) » par Douglas Adams)

Je suis le photographe officiel de la croisière inaugurale qui part du Havre (là ou il a été construit) jusqu'en Nouvelle-Calédonie (avec escales à Djibouti, en Australie et au Japon pour faire de la pub). 3 mois. Je ne suis jamais autant ennuyé de ma vie !


Clear sailing with Ken Grantman, circa 1983.
Exposed: The man who really runs the ship.
If you're like most innocents, you probably think the Captain is the master of his ship. It is my sad duty to inform you that such is not the case.
The man who pull all the strings is an anonymous chap whose name is never printed in any cruise line brochure or daily program. In fact, the fellow who arranges everything on board is seldom, if ever at all, even an employee of the shipping line.
Who he is? Well, you'll see him before you even Set foot on the ship. He follows you around everywhere. And he spends a lot of time in dark rooms.
Enough hints. The finger is on the ship's photographer.

Suite .........

*All packed for the cruise ship -- all my sexiest dresses and make-up. Really excited.
*Entire day at sea, beautiful saw whales and dolphins.
*Met the Captain today ~ seems like a very nice man.
*At the pool today. Also some shuffle boarding and hit golf balls off the deck.
*Captain invited me to join him at his table for dinner.
*Felt honoured and had a wonderful time. He is very attractive and attentive.
*Won $800 in the ship's casino.
*Captain asked me to have dinner with him in his own cabin.
*Had a luxurious meal complete with caviar and champagne.
*He asked me to stay the night but I declined. Told him I could not be unfaithful to my husband.
*Pool again today, got sun burnt, and went inside to drink at piano bar for rest of day.
*Captain saw me, bought me several large drinks. He really is charming.
*Again asked me to visit his cabin for the night. Again I declined.
* He told me if I did not let him have his way with me he would sink the ship.
*I was shocked.
*Today I saved 1600 lives.
*TWICE !!!

Ma vidéo : "Confessions of a Cruiseship photographer" en 1989.
Video Mark Rumbarger, Nick Lellewellin, John Cable et Christian Fournier. Technique : personne. Ceci n'est pas une production Hollywoodienne, mais un truc fait à la maison.... pour ma maman.
Ezra Todd Shelton :

My video: "Confessions of a Cruiseship photographer" in 1989.
Video Mark Rumbarger, Nick Lellewellin, John Cable and Christian Fournier. Technique: no one. This is not a Hollywood production, but something made at home.... for my Mom.

About the sound track: in 2018 I met Ennio Morricone at the Paris cinémathèque. I showed him this video and he said he was happy that I choose his music. Great guy.

One last cruise ....

Andy Novis, November 2018 : "Bonjour Monsieur ! je t'aime, pourquoi ?
Because you have photographed 7 different species of squirrels. Your ears must have been burning because I have just been talking / bragging about you in a pub in Western Australia. My friend is old school pro photog from London. I told him about your Xmas cards, the dugongs, the black bear in Alaska, the mud hole in Death Valley, the scuba diving, the double exposed vaginas, streams, etc, etc, etc..."

In the foreground, the S/S Rhapsody.

Portes ouvertes CroisiEurope le 25 mars 2022 à bord de MS Botticelli et MS Renoir, quai de Grenelle Paris 75015. Cela m'a rappelé des souvenirs de ma période croisières.

CroisiEurope Open House on March 25, 2022 aboard MS Botticelli and MS Renoir, quai de Grenelle Paris 75015. It brought back memories of my cruise ships time.

Philippe Katerine, the most "exhilarating" of contemporary French artists must not have liked his RCCL cruise!

Musée du Titanic de Belfast
En août 2018, Frédérique et moi avons visité le Musée du Titanic à Belfast, Capitale de l'Irlande du Nord.
Le Musée a été inauguré en mars 2012 à l'occasion du centenaire du naufrage du Titanic sur l'ancien chantier Harland & Wolff où a été construit le navire lui-même. Il retrace l’histoire du Titanic de sa conception à Belfast au début des années 1900, sa construction, son lancement, son inauguration jusqu’à son naufrage suite à sa collision avec un iceberg en 1912 dans l'Océan Atlantique qui l'a rendu tristement célèbre dans le monde entier. Des répliques de parties du bateau ont été construites présentant quelques cabines de la 1ère classe à la dernière classe ainsi que quelques pièces et salons.

Voir aussi en blog 2023 : Visite de l'expo Titanic à la Porte Versailles avec Maïna Le Gall, Alexandra Jacquet, Jean-bernard Ruet, Elena Meunier, Valérie Dany, Raphaelle Raphy, Elena Meunier, Thanh-Loan Tran, Gjam Delorme, etc... le 20 août 2023.

Visite de l'expo Titanic à la Porte Versailles avec Maïna Le Gall, Alexandra Jacquet, Jean-bernard Ruet, Elena Meunier, Valérie Dany, Raphaelle Raphy, Elena Meunier, Thanh-Loan Tran, Gjam Delorme, etc... le 20 août 2023.

Gjam Delorme

How about it? You're place or mine?

Alexandra Jacquet: "Ne t'inquiète pas Rose, on va le retrouver Jack" 
Maïna Le Gall

Alexandra Jacquet

Maïna Le Gall

Alexandra Jacquet et Maïna Le Gall

Maïna Le Gall

Voir aussi dans blog 2018 : En août 2018, Frédérique et moi avons visité le Musée du Titanic à Belfast, Capitale de l'Irlande du Nord.
Le Musée a été inauguré en mars 2012 à l'occasion du centenaire du naufrage du Titanic sur l'ancien chantier Harland & Wolff où a été construit le navire lui-même. Il retrace l’histoire du Titanic de sa conception à Belfast au début des années 1900, sa construction, son lancement, son inauguration jusqu’à son naufrage suite à sa collision avec un iceberg en 1912 dans l'Océan Atlantique qui l'a rendu tristement célèbre dans le monde entier. Des répliques de parties du bateau ont été construites présentant quelques cabines de la 1ère classe à la dernière classe ainsi que quelques pièces et salons.


Here are about 620 examples of my photographic event coverage since 1984, that is to say, 30 years. This is without counting those which my clients have requested that I do not show and photos that have been lost.

I know it's enormous.
No, I am not a photographic robot: my mother had me tested

This list begins with the compilations: Fashion & Models, Lingerie, Beauty, Makeup & Hair, Portraits, Events, Objects, Archi & Deco, Industry, Press, Celebrities, etc.

The sensors and web capabilities from 1995 to 2005 were horrible compared to now (2021). 40 KB max by images. My uploads at this time were therefore bad. I replace them little by little. It's long. Thank you for your indulgence.

Conclusion 1: I must not be bad, so that all these people trust me.
I have loyal customers, a sign that they are satisfied with my services. Examples: Tollens, MEDEF, Dior, GMF, Unesco, L'oréal, Anaé, Agefiph, Essilor, Genzyme, Embassy Ireland, The Advertisers Club, Garmin, VW, etc. ...

Conclusion 2: Thanks to all these varied clients (industry, wedding, corporate and personal portraits, press, events, objects, medical, culinary, diving, sports, pageants, etc. ..), I see extraordinary slices of life, confidential or public, trades and fabulous countries. I do feel very privileged. Real life, live. Thank you customers.

In rough estimation, I take 5,000 photos a week. 5,000 x 52 = 260,000 a year. For 35 years = 9,100,000 photos. Well, I would like to reach 10 million anyway!

Conclusion 3: Photography is my language

There is also a search command, not always up to date, but pretty comprehensive on all my reportages.

Due to manipulations between prisedevue.photos, prisedevue.photos and famousphotographer.com, some links may be broken. Sorry. I'm working on it !



Not many photographers have the courage to show their photos on a daily basis. I do it to show that in a wide range of photography, I always take good photos for my clients. Technical perfection and an obvious sensitivity. If you imagine the logistic necessary for these missions (estimates, preparations, equipment, transports in traffic jams, safety, etc.), you can see that I am a photographer who achieves results in all circumstances.

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013



Intellectual Copyright Property 2020 Christian Fournier.
All rights are reserved. All texts, photos, graphs, sound files and videos in this website are protected. Their reproduction, modification and uses on other web sites than those by Christian Fournier are strictly forbidden.

Most of the photos on my web site are for sale, except, of course, the ones for which I do not have the models or decor releases.

I am at your disposal for any query you may have.

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