Last to Leave Abandoned House

Mackenzie Moltov in abandoned house

If you’ve been following our work over the past five years, you already know how important our creative shoots are to our growth as artists. Our longest and most in depth project, titled “The Last to Leave“, is a series of abandoned shoots with Philadelphia clown babe and sideshow performer, Mackenzie Moltov. We have photographed her in abandoned amusement parks, crumbling mental institutions, and defunct swinger’s resorts. We have never been afraid of crossing over from wedding photography to our weird artistic shoots. Our ideal clients appreciate the fact that we’re always shooting and learning and stretching our creative muscles. Being creative under pressure is what makes our wedding photography so strong, and there is no greater pressure than creating beauty in dangerous, scary structures that you’re not allowed to be in, especially for those of us who are sensitive to the energies and sadness trapped in these locations.

We are always looking for different types of buildings to shoot in. I think our urbex shoots are different from most of what’s out there because of the stories we try to tell. We do our homework about the history of the building and try to come up with costuming and a theme to focus on. I feel like it makes them more complex, even if it’s not always clear to the viewer what they are. For this shoot, in an abandoned house, we explored Agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder which is often triggered by a traumatic event. It affects twice as many women as men and in severe cases can render people terrified to leave their homes at all.

We had never done a shoot in an abandoned house, and this was one of the more bizarre places we’ve photographed in this series. This one was striking in how full of everyday life it was. It was as if someone had just walked out of their lives and left behind every bit of it. There was still a car in the driveway, still a pair of reading glasses on the coffee table. Beautiful paintings still hung on the walls and the kitchen filled to the brim with every dish and cooking equipment you could possibly want. These were people who cared about this home, about renovating it while keeping it’s farmhouse charm. Parts of this home were more disturbing than others. There were areas that were still fairly clean and usable, and some so filthy and disgusting it was tough to breathe. We didn’t get many shots in the bedroom, simply because it was so awful and painful to be in. There seemed to have been a dog trapped in the home for some time, things were chewed from desperation. The walls felt soaked with such sadness it was unbearable.  I think this one got to all of us, just because of how deeply personal every item felt.  

Sparkly dress made by Lara Tayor 

Photos by Lori Foxworth and Paul Cofield

 
Aldie Mansion Wedding

Spring wedding at Aldie Mansion

Emily and Tj’s spring wedding at Aldie Mansion was truly inspiring in every way.  It was a wedding day filled with close family, good friends, amazing food, stunning details and just enough nerdy details to make my heart sing.
 
Scroll to see the highlights of the day, or click to jump to a specific part!
Ursinus College Engagement
Courtyard Marriott Springfield Prep
Saint Dorothy Parish Ceremony
Aldie Mansion Bride and Groom Portraits
Aldie Mansion Bridal Party
Aldie Mansion Cocktail Hour
Aldie Mansion Reception
Fabulous Vendors

Ursinus College Engagement

Emily and Tj met as freshman at Ursinus College. Emily was a dancer and Tj was a swimmer who found themselves living at opposite ends of freshman hall and quickly became friends. They bonded over their love of Pokemon, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, which would all play a part in their beautiful wedding.  After surviving two years of a long distance relationship, Tj took Emily back to Ursinus College to propose. He took her into the theater where she’d performed as a dance major, and began playing Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight”, a song they had danced together to in college. They danced alone on stage before he knelt and proposed to her. I was thrilled when they wanted to go back to Ursinus college for their engagement photos. Knowing how important dance was the couple’s story, it was a thrill to incorporate it into their engagement and wedding photos.

Courtyard By Merriott Springfield Prep

Emily and Tj were surrounded by friends and family as they got ready at the lovely hotel.  The bridal suites are elegant and filled with natural light. Her wedding dress from the Morilee collection by Madeline Gardner was absolute classic elegance perfect for dancing all night.

Saint Dorothy Parish Ceremony

Emily and Tj chose not to see each other prior to their ceremony at Saint Dorothy’s Parish in Drexel Hill.  Emily was so beautiful walking down the aisle and the church is a dream to photograph.

Aldie Mansion Bride and Groom Portraits

Aldie Mansion is absolutely one of our new favorite venues.  Emily scheduled lots of extra time for us to photograph bride and groom portraits around the venue.  With all the brick and dark wood of the venue, the photographic opportunities are endless. It’s a truly beautiful space.

Aldie Mansion Bride Bridal Party

I loved the color scheme for the bridal party. The deep wine of the bridesmaids dresses from Azazie were perfect with her maid of honor’s dress floral dress from Anthropology. The soft pops of pinks and white in the floral bouquets were the perfect combination for the venue and the season. 

Aldie Mansion Cocktail Hour

This was one of the most lovely cocktail hours I’ve seen. While visiting Aldie Mansion for the first time, Emily fell in love with a beautiful tree on the property and had a vision of her and Tj having their first dance under it.  After joining their guests for a short while, the two went up to the balcony of the bridal suite to toast their guests from above. They then went down to the tree where their guests surrounded them for a beautiful first dance.

Aldie Mansion Reception

I loved the way they incorporated their nerdy details into their elegant wedding. Seating assignments organized by “Fandom” which included Hogwarts and Tattooine. Emily made the candles for the fandom tables and each setting had a little chocolate frog from their favorite candy chop.  Tj used to bring to Emily the adorable little guys after his swim meets. Vince from Signature Djs was amazing to work with and kept everyone dancing all night long. We had to take the newlyweds out for some night portraits for one last dance under that tree, before their light saber send off. SO much fun!

 

Fabulous Vendors

Renaissance Bridal Salon (Dress Designer, Morilee by Madeline Gardner)
Chocolate Frog Favors: Jan’s Homemade Candies 
TJ’s Wooden Watch: CMT Impressions, Etsy
Pokemon Cake Topper: Rinyrinri, Etsy 
Bridal Party Hair and Makeup: Cuz n’ Company Salon and Spa
 
All photos by Lori Foxworth and Paul Cofield of Black, White and Raw Photography