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Imagine your uncle’s den—the one with the creepy taxidermy and cheap paneling where you played board games as a kid. Now imagine finding that room meticulously constructed en plein aire on a New York City sidewalk. It had that morning been the scene of a photo shoot featuring models who look a bit like your Aunt Phoebe and your Uncle Eddie. But now it’s been left behind for all to enjoy, and perhaps snap a few selfies for Instagram.
This is the premise of Justin Bettman’s Set in the Street project.
Bettman set out to create whimsical, cinematic images on the smallest possible budget and hoped to borrow studio space. He kicked the idea around with his friend and collaborator Gözde Eker, and as they discussed it on the roof of Eker’s building, Bettman looked down at the street. Inspiration struck. “A studio shot is just a back wall and a floor and that’s what the side of a building and a sidewalk is,” he said. “Why don’t we try to shoot these outside?” ….