if you’re like me, you love history. every since i was a little, i was fascinated by old structures—weathered houses, barns, various outbuildings. peeling paint and caved-in roofs. especially trips to my grandma’s farm. there are so many farms with buildings like this along the country roads—i can’t help but wonder why they were left to rot. was farming not for them? did they win the lottery and move to the big city? or did they pass away with no offspring interested in taking over the family business. most of the time i’ll never know. so we’re left with a mystery and the fun of exploring and digging through what’s left.
i love photographing in such places. the light is generally very pretty, while challenging at the same time, and i love being inspired by such storytelling venues. everything in these buildings was put there by somebody… this house featured in the images below, for example, i imagine newlyweds moving into it long ago. the Mrs. choosing the wallpaper pattern for the parlor while the Mr. of the house sits in the rocking chair smoking a pipe and reading the paper. but the reality: the wallpaper is so damaged and peeling from years of moisture damage; the floor is pretty much nonexistent, and broken glass is scattered on every surface.
as neat as places like these are to walk through, it’s risky if you’re not prepared. here are my tips to make sure you stay safe while exploring old buildings:
tip No. 1
always ask permission first. trespassing isn’t cool.
tip No. 2
wear close-toed shoes, gloves, and jeans. making sure your tetanus is current is also a plus.
tip No. 3
never go alone. if you were to fall through, say, the FLOOR and no one was around…well….that’d be bad.
first and foremost, safety is important. when in doubt, assume the worst termite damage imaginable and be satisfied just to peek into the windows.
now here are some outtakes and fun shots exploring this old house in western iowa. (and for the record, we did have permission to be here and both of us fell through this floor at some point—luckily to a dirt floor 1 foot down)
subject: my beautiful friend, Sophia
assistant: her little girl, Brooke (she had strict instructions to not enter the house)
after we had explored the house, sophia donned a special dress for some whimsical shots. more images from Part 2 coming soon!