There's a ghost town in New Jersey, something that surprises almost everyone that I tell, and me too when I first discovered it. When I have thought of a ghost town for the past twenty years of my life my thoughts were immediately drawn to the west, probably somewhere near Death Valley in California where the town's inhabitance have been replaced with feet of sand. The structures there are probably three-quarters visible with the occasional tumbleweed running down the barely recognizable street.
It turns out that instead I have been driving past one for almost my whole life. At a four-way-stop my family had always taken the right turn to go visit my aunt and uncles house for the holidays, it turns out if I would have kept going straight on that road I would have run into New Jersey's own ghost town much sooner.
While much of the town is pretty beat up and well traveled through after close to half a century of being left to rot, but if you venture a little deeper into the woods there are some incredible spaces that look like the owners had just moved out of yesterday. That was the set for this shoot with Isabel. I had met Isabel for the first time just a week earlier when I heard my friend Steve was in town and I met up with him at a local restaurant. Steve and his friend Jesse were in town photographing Isabel who turns out to only lives five minutes from my house.
On a Friday after school Isabel, Steve, Jesse, and I got together and headed to a house on the outskirts of the ghost town that was covered in beautiful wallpaper. Each room was unique, making for endless possibilities. This was my first time to this house, I quickly wondered around from room to room to see what the house had in store while my mind raced with possibilities.
Isabel had to be home by 7 since she was going on vacation for the weekend so we had to cut our shoot short and head home. On the way back to Steve's house where I left my car I told him that I knew of an abandoned house that had two pianos inside that I hadn't been to in a few years only a few minutes out of the way. While the house was on a fairly busy road, I knew of this dirt road that brings you around back of the house. As we turned the corner we were greeted by two pickup trucks blocking the road with a paper target placed up against a wall of sand. A moment later a man walked out from in front of one of the pickups with an assault rifle strapped around his chest. He politely told us we were on private property and Steve turned the car around. While stopped at the end of the road waiting to make a right turn we heard a hail of gunfire coming from down the road. Needless to say we didn't get to explore the house that day.
Here are some of my favorite images from the day, enjoy!