Doctor Who

Doctor Who Engagement Shoot in Asbury Park

I’m not sure how we do it, but we seem to attract the best couples ever.  I love when a future bride reaches out to us and has a really exciting idea for photography.  Science fiction buffs and Doctor Who super fans, Stefanie and Adam are planning a science fiction themed wedding for 2015, and wanted a Doctor Who engagement shoot, with photos inspired by specific episodes to use for their wedding tables.  And if this wasn’t amazing enough on it’s own, the location they wanted was famed Asbury Park.  It was a Black, White and Raw dream shoot. Admittedly, I’m no Whovian, and it was more than a little intimidating, but Paul has been a fan for years and shooting in Asbury Park is always a joy.

Paul and I love shoots most when they are true collaborations, no matter what the project.  So when Stefanie sent me an extensive list of inspirations from scenes that she wanted to re-create, I couldn’t have been any more thrilled.  Her goal was to shoot several different doctors and Who babes from some of their favorite episodes.  The list was amazing.  14 different scenes with a photo, characters, wardrobe, props needed and location ideas.  I was somewhat terrified I’d screw it up.  I had no idea what a sonic screwdriver was, or why there was a big blue phone booth everywhere.  There were robot thingies, and different lead characters, and I had no idea what any of it was. But Paul seemed to speak this bizarre language, and we decided to surprise them by having him photoshop a few, just for fun.

After several weeks of Netflicking Doctor Who for weekend marathons, and creating a cheap DIY ice light to play with, we met our couple on a windy and frigidly cold day on the beach in Asbury Park.  Stephanie and Adam were armed with a car full of looks, and we worked our way from the abandoned carousel, to the old casino, the boardwalk, the beach and the convention center, and attempted what felt like every combo from the first episode to the tenth doctor and Amy.  Our couple braving the cold to run, climb and dodge imaginary Daleks and weeping angels, and helplessly watching our props get blown down the beach.  We had a great time, and found a great use for Paul’s cool photoshop stuff.  This is one wedding, I cannot wait for!

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The wonderful thing about being a photographer, is when an idea takes you down a road you hadn’t imagined possible.   It may start with a group of like minded artists or an idea, or a location or just one shoot.  A theme that make you want to explore more.  A shoot that becomes a series.  The series morphs and changes and becomes a different idea entirely.  And so begin our roadtrip adventures with Rev MacKenzie Moltov. It started with a road trip with a just barely pregnant MacKenzie to an abandoned amusement park in Pennsylvania.  It was a thrill.  I know that people have gotten into these delapidated, decaying  old parks before.  It is a little different when you’re sneaking in with a load of camera equipment and a half dressed statuesque beauty in full clown makeup lugging a bag full of sequined gowns and a lyra.  It was everything we love about location shoots.  A little danger, a little excitement and urban exploration with an unparalleled sideshow performer.  One Sword Swallowing Maternity and a Naked Philly Clown Mom shoot later, and it was time to get back on the road for another adventure.

For our second roadtrip with MacKenzie, we found a quirky little park a few hours outside of Philly.  We packed up our clown, who’s a delightful backseat companion. (Really, if you want an entertaining drive filled with stories and jokes and songs, bring your own clown. They’re perfect!) This park was a lot more open than our last. Surrounded by fences and no trespassing signs, high visibility from all angles. This was the type of little town that watches out for each other, and for the park who’s owners still hope to re-open despite it’s current state of total disrepair.

We parked a bit away, and found a way in.  Quickly dashing from building to building we were able to shoot against various walls and creaky old buildings.  There was even a collapsed carousel from a brutal winter from which it didn’t survive.  MacKenzie is a dream to shoot.  Fearless and whimsical and sexy and dirty and awkward and funny and beautiful.  Between the three of us, we have an ideal urban exploration team. We are totally respectful of the places we find.  We don’t vandalize, remove, harm or in any way alter the objects or areas left behind.  We don’t advertise where we’ve been in hopes of keeping them as they are.   We breathe new life into them.  We create art in what others consider garbage.  We honor the spirit of love and fun and happiness that still exists in what remains.  And we brought some old peeling walls a clown to show her love.  We have another road trip planned.  But this time we may be bringing a friend.