Parsons • Digital Photo + Video • Summer '18

Two beach babes turn heads on the Coney Island boardwalk in 1974. (Ed Molinari/New York Daily News)

WEEK 1 | Wed: 7/11 D.O.




Coney Island Baby: Tom Waits

Coney Island Baby: Lou Reed

Coney Island Washboard: The Mills Brothers (an old 78 recording on a victrola)


  • Your mission: (See your homework assignment), BUT ALSO: you MUST approach and photograph at least four different people while you’re there. This will be easy for some of you and extraordinarily challenging for others. If you’re doing this with your partner, you each need to approach four people each, so together, eight in total (you can switch off approaching but it’s fine if you approach together). You will find that the more you do this, the more comfortable you’ll get, even if someone would prefer not to have his or her photo taken. Also, you may want to walk down the boardwalk a little or deep inside the arcade so that you’re not all approaching the same people (when I’ve done this elsewhere, students often take photos of the same people over and over; it defeats the purpose). When you’re friendly and non judgmental and genuinely curious about someone’s story, one will usually be happy to share one’s story with you. Remember, on the whole, people like to talk about themselves. I’ve also found, over the years, that someone’s appearance will never indicate his or her willingness to be involved in your creative endeavors. Often, if I am nervous to approach someone, he or she will turn out to be the sweetest in the bunch.
  • Please be careful. You’ll be shooting in pairs or groups, if you so choose, but don’t accept invitations to get into any vans or anything like that and DO NOT go back to anyone’s apartment!! Please stay within sight of people. We’re all going to be out shooting on our own as it’ll be more interesting and fun for you that way (in pairs, but on our own rather than moving together in a large group), but make sure that there are people around you at all times. You’ll have my cell phone number programmed into your phone and we will all have our phones on, just to be safe. You can call me or text me for anything—any questions that you may have. Myles and I will also be in one general vicinity so that you can come to us with questions when you need to or text us to meet you.

Amy Finkel • July 11, 2018

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