News & Runway

Postcards From Paradise: Closed Set With Julie Bensman

Julie Bensman, closed set

Julie Bensman postcard

Last week, I touched down in Nassau, Bahamas. My mission: To facilitate two swim shoots for the summer issues of Vegas and Ocean Drive Magazines. My crew: Photographer Rony Shram, Stylist Yahaira Familia, Hair/Makeup Artist Craig Honeycutt, Videographer Nardeep Khurmi, and the stunning Chrissy Teigen. My reminder: my job does not suck.

I’d been planning our shoot at The Cove Atlantis for about three months, working with the Kerzner PR team to coordinate logistics (flights, rooms, transportation, permits, locations, the list goes on…) and Rony to hone the creative. Producing this shoot wasn’t all sunshine and daiquiris (although I made sure to experience both in the process), but shooting in a location other than New York City left me feeling inspired, refreshed, and ready to do another (any takers?) In an effort to recap, I penned two postcards at the beginning and end of my trip, transcribed below for your reading pleasure:


Dear TFS,

We've finally arrive in beautiful Nassau (well, most of us – the stylist missed her flight but is catching the next one out). When a photographer carries a five foot scrim through customs, more than a few uniformed men stop to ask questions. Luckily, we had acquired two letters from the Ministry ahead of time, which permitted us to bring in photography and video equipment for our business purpose (not to mention a few million dollars worth of clothing and jewelry).

Our limo dropped us off at the gates of the beautiful Cove breezeway and from there, the work began. Rony, our fashion editor, and I met with PR to scout the property, while Chrissy headed to Mandara Spa to get a mani/pedi (if you think her job sounds easy so far, don't: her call time for the next three days will be 5am). In fact, we all plan to go to bed early this week – despite the sandy beaches, amazing sunsets, and all the activities The Cove has to offer, we know we're here to work.

xoxo, Julie

julie bensman postcards

Photos: Laurie Brookins


Dear TFS,

I write you this time with a little color on my cheeks and many more amazing shots on Rony’s camera. Cabana 15 served as our home base, from sun up to sun down, where we trekked about shooting at the pool, the beach, and in the water. With a tiny crew and without the luxuries of a studio, people had to do double duty: Craig emerged the crew’s MVP, moonlighting as Rony’s photo assistant and doing so with a North Carolinian smile. As I head back to Nassau airport, believe me when I tell you that producing an international shoot isn't exactly a vacation, although I'd be lying if I said I didn't sneak in a visit to both The Abyss and Leap of Faith waterslides (I have the knee bruises and scraped suit bottoms to prove it!) You know what they say about all work and no play…

See you soon, NYC…

xoxo, Julie

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Julie Bensman, editor-at-largeThe Fashion Spot's Editor-at-Large, Julie Bensman, is also the Entertainment Editor for Niche Media, whose titles include Gotham, Hamptons, Ocean Drive and LA Confidential. Closed Set is a collection of her musings on all things fashion, from an editor’s desk to your desktop.