Asbury Park’s Zombie Walk

Each week, usually by Wednesday, my wife’s line of questioning goes from “What do you want for dinner?” to “What do you want to do this weekend?” Inquiries that keep me on my toes while keeping my mind in a continuous creative mode. Over the years I’ve come to learn that this particular line of interrogation has a readymade answer most likely calculated long before the question was ever served to me. The key to my success has always been about taking the time to research and come up with the proper  match to said answer.

This week she emailed me three compelling options for the coming weekend. A list which included a trip to Philly for a festival. One to Connecticut for some tasty food and a zombie walk in Asbury Park. Knowing my wife pretty well, you can imagine my surprise when my answer “Zombie Walk” matched hers perfectly.

Zombie-8211As we came upon Asbury Ave. the traffic hit a stand still. One that brought to mind the first episode of “Walking Dead” where all the cars are left abandoned along a silent highway. I began to look at the clock and think “We’re never going to make it on time.” “And if we do, we’ll never find parking anywhere near the event.” I thought for a second about jumping from the vehicle and walking the rest of the way. But somehow the thought of leaving the security of our vehicle, being eaten or leaving my wife to be devoured by the zombie apocalypse kept my seatbelt firmly in place. Within a matter of minutes  the wheels of the cars in front of us began to move and the end of the world was upon us.

As we hit the boardwalk I quickly realized two things. 1. I’d probably have to wait a few hours before the sun began Zombie-8246to set and diffuse some of the harsh light that was shining down on the boardwalk. 2. I wasn’t going to get many worthwhile shots if I wasn’t willing to personally connect with the undead I wanted images of. Luckily I was able to slip through the growing crowd rather seamlessly while stopping to interact with the ones who really caught my eye. During the day we came across some amazingly imaginative takes on zombie culture. I managed to stop a wide variety of individuals, groups and families to get lively images. While most were very cooperative and friendly, I often had to remind them that “This ain’t Disney Land.” “It’s the god damned Zombie Apocalypse.”  In all 9,592 Zombies walked Asbury parks boardwalk and beach. Enough to set the Guinness Book of World Records previously held by Minneapolis. We had a really fun day that completely took us out of out element. We promised that if Zombie Walk comes back to our area in 2014, We will be in full blown character for the event. I’m looking forward to the experience.


Things Go Wrong

DM-3804The night had all the markings of a great shoot. A beautiful model, a talented make up artist and good lighting. Erica and Denise got to the studio on time and got right to work on the hair and make up. When Denise first brought up the idea of body painting we had very different ideas of both the approach and overall look. A couple of years back I photographed a fully body paint job from start to finish. It was quite and eye opener to say the very least. Denise’s idea seemed a little less larger in scope. Maybe some basic face paint, not much else. However, as the days past and the date was set, we came closer to a middle ground and came up with a great concept.

DMII-3852About two hours into the make up job I began taking shots and only minutes after the job was complete, so was the photo shoot. Not that it was rushed or anything of that nature, no, not in the least. We got some great shots in a sort amount of shooting time. We all parted on friendly terms with some new experiences under our collective belts.

A few days later after sending the images out to both Denise and Erica I began to see pictures find their way onto Facebook. Normally I would have no issue with it whatsoever. However, the images she loaded looked washed out  and less than flattering. DMI-3829    I commented on one of the images how they looked as if they were taken with a cel phone. That is when the fit hit the shan. Denise blew up on me on both Facebook and in a text. “How dare you criticize MY picture?”        “You are a rude fucking so and so.” The tirade continued and grew in anger and threats of retribution. It seemed uncalled for and quickly took on a comedic level of neurosis. It left me wondering, “Did I really say anything that could be construed as demeaning or cruel.” In going back to the picture and my comment I could honestly cut myself a break and chalk it up to somebody just completely blowing something way, way out of proportion. Though there are always three sides to every story, I really have a hard time seeing myself as the bad guy here. Needless to say, it was an important lesson in being very selective in who you spend your time with. Do what you must to control the crazy that sneaks it way into your everyday.

Maria Edible – A Beautiful Woman, Tattoos and Hot Dogs.

Here’s a clip from a recent episode of  N.Y. Ink which features the beautiful Maria Edible. Maria and I have worked together in the past and I give her total credit for helping take my work to the next level. When I originally worked with her I was still doing straight up portraits. She gave me the kick in the pants I needed to take my work out of the comfort zone I had kept my work in. Her beauty and personalty speak for themselves in this video and our work together. A model, competitive eater and all around bad ass. Check it out.