Chances are you have been someplace and seen an abandoned house off in the distance or right in the middle of town, our landscape is littered with them. Have you ever wondered how it became abandoned, who lived there or ever wondered what it looks like inside? If so, you may be an urban explorer.
Urban Exploring gained interest and popularity in the 1990’s which has increased attention to abandoned properties. Some of this attention isn’t with good intentions, vandals will destroy anything in their path, thieves will steal anything that isn’t nailed down and arsonists will start a fire for a thrill.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked “isn’t this dangerous” exploring comes with risks, properties have been left to the elements sometimes for many years, structures are unstable, weak floors, stairs, broken glass, unknown chemicals (asbestos) and sometimes hostile squatters and drug activity. I have called off explorations that I thought would compromise my personal safety. So, you're probably thinking with all the risks, why do it? I’ve asked myself that same question a few times.
Every abandoned house has a history, stories to tell and secrets it keeps. My goal is to preserve the history and memory of these homes through my photography and bring to light a part of the world that many may never see.
These homes struggle to fight the battle of the elements, but many lose the battle and collapse. The history is gone forever. The photos that I as a photographer capture are sometimes all that documents its existence.
When I step inside (if entering a property is possible) I begin photographing everything as I see it, as it is, as it looks at that moment and not how I want it to look, these are the clues of what was, among the dirt, cobwebs, broken glass and debris are hidden treasures, family photos, bibles, artwork, baby clothes and old letters. I’ve explored homes with cars still in the garage and clothes still hanging in the closet. I’m always curious what happened to cause the family to leave so quickly and leave these items behind.
The more ways we cut ties with the past, the more we diminish our futures!
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