Thankyou :) If it helps people then great as nobody tells you this stuff until you get tripped up. A lot of it will never crop up when there's a good working relationship with the photographer, but it's all too easy to land with a less helpful one....
I should give Rob Scott some credit (photographer of the copper steampunk corset) as he helped out a lot with this.
This is great, and even more interesting for me as I used to be a full time photographer so I read this 'from the other side'.
I would add that as a client you don't need to be shy about asking questions if you don't know how the process works. As Alison says an experienced photographer will guide you through the process but there may be extra things you want to know, and most photographers are happy to explain.
Asking questions means that not only do you get answers but your photographer also gets a clearer idea of your concerns, which in turn means that s/he will be able to tailor their working process to accommodate your needs.