Back Story: Braving the Looky-Loos

Photographers Take Note: California is the capital for rubbernecking onlookers

Photo: Glenn Chivens

California has a reputation for being flaky, and let us reassure you, it’s true: Witness the photo shoot that Gregg Segal [above] staged for our Dream Job profile of Brian Gallagher, the guy in charge of electrical systems for the all-electric Aptera car. ”The car is very cool—it looks like a spaceship,” says Segal. ”So we were a real magnet for looky-loos.”

Sixty or 70 people stopped to rubberneck. One surfer dude stayed for hours, first hitting on Aptera’s public-relations woman, then posing as a PR man himself and inventing answers for onlookers’ questions. One woman’s car was festooned with bumper stickers in praise of the earth, the trees, and the Wicca religion. Marines from a nearby base trooped by.

Segal began the shoot at a spot overlooking the ocean, not far from Aptera Motors’ headquarters, in Carlsbad, Calif. He propped the car up on blocks, up and over the curb, but got in only a few pictures. ”Then the park rangers shut us down,” he says. He had to finish the shoot with the car parked legally.

Segal, a Californian himself, shoots a lot of cars for advertisements and magazines, but he also pursues conceptual art. ”I did a thing on a guy made of garbage,” he says. ”It’s basically a suit made of garbage, put on a manikin. I took him to Japan with me just recently.”

To Probe Further

For more articles and special features, go to Dream Jobs 2010.

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