Eastern State Penitentiary

   Happy Mother's Day!! LOL When I planned this Philadelphia series out, I specifically wanted to end on this photo because I thought it would be a good segue into the Picture Me, Loving You series that starts later this week (YAY!!)… however what I didn't consider was that today was Mother's Day!  Nothing says "Happy Mother's Day" like the above picture, am I right? Ha!  Oh well… the show must go on.

   Anyway… the picture.  If you've been following along with the Picture Me, Loving You behind the scenes blog, you've seen me reference Eastern State Penitentiary a few times now (My Affinity for Urban Decay and That time we drove 9.5 hours for one photo).  That place is awesome.  If you're going to Philadelphia, I'd highly recommend stopping by and taking the tour.  If you're in to dilapidated buildings, take your camera… you won't be sorry (more in the links above).  Well, I actually found out about Eastern State Penitentiary through a friend of mine, Tom Vadnais.  He has some absolutely amazing images (some of which can be seen here), which inspired my trip to the prison.  After seeing his pictures, I really had to go see it and photograph it myself.

   Now, before you get too freaked out… this chair is nicknamed the "killing chair", but was actually just a barber's chair (I know, not nearly as interesting).  The story goes, there was a TV show recording an episode in the prison, and someone looked in this room… and to be fair, it is quite creepy… and made the remark that the chair looked like a chair of death, and it stuck.  To anyone's knowledge though, no one was actually executed in that cell.  Fun story though!  This particular cell had a window in the ceiling, while most in this block simply had what can only be described as a port hole.  The inmates refered to them as the "eye of God", and was the only source of light in the cells for many years.  The inmates would be locked in these cells for 23 hours a day by themselves, and that was their only view to the outside world.  Not a place I'd want to spend any time in!  Crazy huh?

Picture of the Week going on hold

And with that… it's almost time for Picture Me, Loving You!  As I mentioned in the Introducing Picture Me, Loving You post, I'm going to be haulting Picture of the Week until we're done with that project.  Picture of the Week will return on June 21st, and I PROMISE, we'll get back to nature photography then.  I've got some images from Cades Cove that I'm excited to share, as well as some macro photography flower images that I hope you'll enjoy.  Additionally, I've also been to Boston, and I've got some images to share from that city, AND, by that time I'll have been to California as well as Fripp Island in South Carolina, so I should have plenty of new images!  Until then though, I really hope you enjoy the Picture Me, Loving You project.  It's going to be different – for sure – but I hope you like it, just the same.

See you then!

–Dan Thompson

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