Just outside of Portland, in the west hills, down along Balch gulch in Macleay Park is a ruins we call Stone House. It was destroyed in a storm on Columbus Day in 1962 and the mossy, partial remains make a spooky backdrop for any shoot. I recently did a witch-chic fashion photo-shoot with a friend of mine at Stone House. The back story of Macleay park makes it even creeper. Danford Balch, the original owner of the land in the Lower Macleay Park area, was the first man legally hanged in Oregon. On October 17, 1859, Danford Balch was hung for the murder of Mortimer Stump. Stump had eloped with Balch’s daughter and Balch shoot him to death with a shotgun. (Danford claimed it was an accident.)
For this shoot i had a couple of issues to deal with, lighting and co-ordination. Stone house is a couple of miles from the nearest trail-head and 5 miles out of town. There is no electricity and so bringing a couple of lights was not an option. I needed to bring a reflector or two and for that I would need an assistant. I usually work alone and all my friends are typically too busy to help. I asked everyone I knew, and at the last minute ended up enlisting the help of my ever-reliable helper Oscar. The Trail-head doesn’t have an address so simply directing someone through google maps proved to be a challenge. We worked it out and he showed up a few minutes after my model Sabrina and I made it to the site. His help proved to be greatly valuable due to the heavy shade of the canopy of evergreens.
All in all, it was a successful shoot and we all had a good time while discovering someplace new. I will definitely return to Stone House for more shoots and for a respite along the Forest Trail, and you should too.