Friday, November 23, 2007
The Party Set
Miami Beach is certainly one of the world's most famous nightclub cities. And, one of its newest clubs is Set from the Opium Group developers.
Personally, I have never been a part of the nightclub scene. With two young children, my wife and I are lucky just to get out for a few hours to eat a quiet dinner somewhere close to home. My college years were not much different: I was always the first of my friends to go home and fall asleep, usually before midnight. And before I married my wife, I was on a date with a woman who actually told me, "You're boring!"
So, when the avant garde magazine Wallpaper asked me to shoot the newest, hippest and most exclusive nightclub in the world's coolest, hottest city, I felt this project would be the closest I could ever get to such a place.
As we were setting up the location, the club's daytime manager ran down the list of famous people who drop in from time to time, including: Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Diddy, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy, Sean John and The Artist Formerly Known As Sean Combs. The club manager also mentioned other famous names but I hadn't a clue who they were...further proof of my unhip life. (That's ok because I love getting a good night's sleep and nothing spoils fine cuisine like the burn of a tequila shot going down your throat.)
The first image is the main bar area with an original Dale Chihuly chandelier and two green vertical plexiglass tubes. On any given night, club-goers will go inside the tubes and dance for the gawkers down below who pretend not to notice. These are not paid, professional models but regular SoBe partiers (as if there were a difference). The large vodka bottles shown are Belvedere magnums which sell for $1,500 apiece. So, with nine bottles appearing in my shot, we were careful not to bump any.
Another shot features the DJ booth with a giant flat screen. We needed to freeze an image from the looping video so I chose a frame with artist Andy Warhol, seemingly filming the nightclub crowd down below (a subtle hint to South Beach's exhibitionist lifestyle). Adding some scale to the over-sized faux elephant tusks is "DJ Jazzy" Jeff Herron, a fellow photographer who assisted me on the shoot.
The main bar shot appears on page 144 of Wallpaper's December issue.