Looking back, our mistake was to confuse Julie Andrews with Willard Scott. The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain. Yes, O.K., of course. Once we decided to photograph our annual swimsuit issue in Spain, we knew we would shoot no pictures on those soggy flatlands. And though we don't think you'll find a single plain picture in the 38 pages of photos that begin on page 82, we did learn a thing or two about trying to forecast the weather with Broadway show tunes. It rained for 32 of the 44 days that senior editor Jule Campbell, photographer Robert Huntzinger and our 11 models were shooting on some of Spain's most scenic beaches. On the last day of the trip, while working in front of the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, site of the upcoming '92 Summer Games, the models had to scamper for shelter in order to avoid serious bruising when hailstones the size of hailstones began pelting their location.
Campbell had scouted all the locations last year in late June, when the weather was perfect, but knew from 27 years of experience producing these swimsuit spectaculars that conditions can change drastically by the time she returns in the fall. She takes a compass with her on scouting trips to help make allowances for the angle of the sun in the sky three or four months later. "I've had more than one great beach selected for a sunset or sunrise shot only to find the sun's not there when I go back because there's suddenly a mountain in the way," she says. "I also have a year-round tidal chart I take with me on every shoot. There aren't many fashion editors who have to carry one of those."
Campbell scheduled the trip earlier than usual this year because many of the locations that she intended to use were on the same latitude as Philadelphia, where it is not commonplace to find any of the local citizenry wearing thong bathing suits a week before Halloween. Huntzinger, who lives outside Philadelphia, brought along special cold-weather survival blankets for the models, while the rest of the crew wore silk ski underwear, parkas and sweats. Says Campbell, "I used to take off my coat in cold weather to show my solidarity with the models. Fortunately, I was able to overcome my feelings of guilt on this trip."
Campbell never worried about model Vendela Kirsebom, a Swede making her first appearance in the swimsuit issue. "She would just plow straight into the icy blue water and didn't even complain," Campbell says. "She was a true Nordic." To keep morale up during the bad weather, Campbell and Huntzinger found ways to keep busy. "If the sky was dark gray, we would manufacture a picture," she says. "Sometimes we would just put in a bright background, strobe the shot and then hope the model's goosebumps don't show."
On the evidence it would appear that goosebumps in Spain stay mainly in the plain. We don't know that one, but if you hum a few isobars, we can fake it.