I’m in mourning over the end of summer. It’s been an insane season as our wedding photography business grows at a furious pace, and increasingly difficult to keep up with our creative, artistic shoots. One of our primary goals is to constantly be creating art, no matter how busy we are. So it’s only now that we’ve been able to finish the latest shoot in our ongoing series of decaying amusement parks and abandonment in “The Last One to Leave” with model and clown babe Rev. Mackenzie Moltov.
There is a sweet spot when shooting the remnants of a word gone by. A moment in time when there is a still an abundance of light, and when the days are still warm enough that you’re not risking pneumonia to shoot. The best spots may boast stunning graffiti, but before people who have no respect for the space destroy and loot it into complete destruction. We are always careful not to damage or take from the areas we explore, but rather our goal is to breathe life and create something new and stunningly beautiful amongst the ruins of locations once filled with love and laughter.
In our last road trip of the summer with Mackenzie we set our sights on Penn Hills Resort. Founded as a tavern in 1944, the resort grew in popularity in the 1960’s, as a honeymoon resort which catered to swingers. With over 100 guest cabins, complete with heart shaped tubs, beds with mirrored ceilings, floor to ceiling carpeting, a wedding bell shaped swimming pool, and famous New Year’s Eve parties with the motto “No Balloon Left Unpopped”, the Poconos resort was completely abandoned in 2009 when it’s owner died. It would have been an incredible time capsule had it not been so completely destroyed by idiots with no respect for the past.
We once again called upon stylist Joey Mason and with an armload of looks from Philly Aids Thrift, we worked quickly and silently, as Mackenzie embodied a lost and lonely soul in sad old rooms once dedicated to love and passion and happy couples. As we worked our way through the old moldy, garbage filled pools, an office with boxes of paperwork, carefully climbed rotting wood stairways to abandoned cabins and picked our way through a tikki bar littered with shattered glass, we all felt an unease, as if we weren’t alone and dangerously vulnerable. Since then, the old resort has been boarded up, and remains under intense scrutiny and patrol, as possibly having been a hiding place for fugitive and suspected cop killer Eric Frein. We may be last to have gotten in, and to have created something incredibly beautiful in those ruins.
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