Return to Billville

Somewhere late in 2014 I was visiting an antique shop in nearby Shamokin PA. I had been chatting with the owner about shooting at her place as her apartment above her shop was fabulously decorated and she up and says “have you ver been to Bill’s Old Bike Barn?”. To which I asked “Where’s that?”. She rummages a bit and produces this brochure that had me rubbing my eyes. It looked amazing and was located in Bloomsburg not far from me. It was confusing a bit as I know the area and thought I would have known about this place already. Looking at the map I noticed it was between Bloomsburg and Berwick. A stretch of road less traveled by me compared to the other end of Bloomsburg. So one day not too long afterwards I ventured over.

And my mind was blown.

This was a full on miniature town inside this rather plain looking, windowless building tucked on a hill just off the highway. You’d never see it if you weren’t looking for it. Even the minimal sign on the road was nearly camouflaged.

I was able to meet and chat with the owner and namesake Bill (one of the nicest guys on planet earth). We discussed the possibility of my shooting there and the rest is history.  For more on the museum visit Bill’s Old Bike Barn website here.

This Rolls Royce pickup is one of only 7 in existence

I visited today and noted several new additions to Billville and chatted with Judy, Bill’s partner and we are working towards returning for some sessions in May. We are announcing this to our regular clients first to see who wants to be on the list for the date on this one.  A few points must be made on this session. First it is a working museum, it will not be closed for us. Some visitors may be present during the shoots. Last time it was not remotely an issue. This does mean that wardrobe must be kept conservative-ish. Plenty of the first sessions had some “sassy” attire but there was no lingerie etc. Basically nothing more revealing than the examples shown here. Second, this is a FANTASTIC session for people to bring their significant others’ to, it’s an amazing museum that anyone could wander and explore and not get bored with. Last time several clients did just that. However while those who book their session have their admission included, any additional parties would be subject to the $5 admission fee (it’s well worth it). Third, given that there are some insanely valuable pieces in the museum NO ONE has liberty to sit on, pick up, step on, step over ANYTHING without my say so. Use of this place does cost me money but it’s also reasonable enough that we can do this and reasonable because I take responsibility. That doesn’t give anyone license to do anything without discussing it with me. Fourth, this location has a cost associated with it. Deposits on this session will be half the total fee and are non-refundable or transferable as a result. Cancellations near a shoot date are nearly impossible to fill and dramatically affect the per shoot cost. Our options are to have higher and higher shoot prices to absorb this or maintain very strict cancellation policies.

So now for some photos. You can, and SHOULD click on these for larger versions.

Bill’s has just about everything a town would have. Like a soda shop.

You can get your saws sharpened and your small engines worked on too!

There’s a beauty parlor to get your hair-did as well…

Motorcycles are fuel efficient but they too need gas from time to time.

You can also pretend you’re a Bürgermeister in a German hamlet.

or head over to the turn of the century general store

You might want to make a grand entrance on the wonderful staircase that was a centerpiece of the Magee family mansion saved from their nearby home. They once produced carpets that were renown during the mid-century age in America

Maybe you’re a pinball wizard

Or need to get the mail….

You also have your choice of phone booths, American or British… Thirsty? Cool off with a mighty PBR out of the re-purposed WWII medical plasma refrigerator

Why not dine at a lovely bistro decorated with 2 cargo containers  worth of wrought iron brought over by Bill from a Belgian castle?

Need some Avon? Billville’s got it too!

Careful, just because the window of the Citroen may be open with keys in the ignition doesn’t mean it’s an invitation for grand theft auto…

If you get caught you’ll end up in the jail….

TV & Radio repair? this shop will get you dialed in

Need a tune-up on your car? The Billville service station has the loveliest attendants…

Most citizens cycle though….

In case you get a toof-ache, there is a dentist office. It is however self-service, which isn’t all too fun

SO, as you can see. This location is unlike any other we have worked at. For fans of nostalgia this is a wonderland. I liken it to being in a life sized miniature village or doll house.

A genuine “problem” is that there is so much you’ll love, it’s quite a problem to decide what to do while you’re there. With that said another aspect of these sessions cost is that we will likely employ an assistant to help permit participants to get in as much as possible during their time there.

We will be looking at a Friday session and try to arrange a Saturday as well. The hours on Saturday permit fewer sessions and we may have 2 different prices for each day as a result.

Want to be sure you don’t miss out? Message us to get on the list for this session. An early pricing estimate will be $275-$300 for style and shoot sessions. This is dependent on what usage fees we are subject to.