Monday, January 12, 2009

Coney Island: Electric Couture take 1

It started with a whirlwind of hairspray & heels; with eyeshadow & earings covering every visible surface in the photographer’s studio apt., a hop skip and a jump away from Union Square.

Marley Rizzuti: the new all-star photographer in the HOJB family, Jillian Villofane: layin' on that funky makeup all heavy and hot, Laura Lalanka: teasin’ hair extraordinaire, Gia Gutierrez: super-stylist, Rachel Zoe move over, and me: the intern.   

Anyway, hustling out of the room, balloons and bags of shoes in hand, we were ready to embark on the first official shoot of Electric Couture.

          The drive was nerve-racking, considering the hour of sunset was unknown at that moment, as was the duration of the traffic jam in which we found ourselves. It wasn’t what anyone would particularly call a “sunny” day either. And what will fall rapidly approaching, we could be losing the light before we knew it.

It was Jackie, Emily, Gia, Laura and I in one car, Jillian, Marley, Deirdre, Gabriella, and the other model, whose name escapes me now, in the other. (Ok, I know I spent the entire day with her, but considering the fact that that model spoke particularly broken English, therefore refrained from making much conversation with me, the intern, really makes me less of an ass for not remembering her name, right?) 

So we get there. Some of the ladies hit the famous—or infamous, depending on personal taste—Nathan’s hotdogs.

Emily and I were elected to run and ask how we might go about shooting inside of the gated-off, creepily deserted, completely depressing, and almost overwhelmingly eerie Coney Island Astroland Rides.

What used to vibe gleefully, emit quintessential NY fun, and color the summers and lives of those who enjoyed its shores, now lie defeated and empty, except for the toothless man who we shamefully tried to coax into letting us in. We smiled, we laughed, we mentioned swimwear models, only to find out that this man had no authority whatsoever. He did, however, have a finger to point us in the right direction of civilization (security office) and the ability to totally embody everything you could possibly attribute to or associate with a Coney Island carny… at their absolute best.

 With him, I regret, we have no picture.

Still a little shaken, we hurried up some metallic stairs with hope and a grip of balloons still in hand. After asking the officials politely and attempting to bribe them with those same balloons, we were ultimately shut down. If only we had called sooner or at least taken a stab at setting this up, we probably could have had a shot. Whatever. It was back to the boardwalk.

Within an hour of shivering, yet sexy poses, Marley had called it a wrap and we were set.

I think despite the obvious beach-bathing suit connection, Coney Island was a perfect spot, at least artistically, to shoot.

A more electrifying backdrop would have jolted the viewer, muted-retro was the way to go.

I dug the shoot. All women on set. Great ambiance. A bunch of people meeting for the first time and working together. You really should have been there, really.


No comments: