Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kicking the Habit

All righty promised - this will be the last "abandoned house" entry (for a little while, at least). However, I need to come clean about something really quickly...After quitting old house shoots cold turkey, and staying on the wagon for several weeks - I fell off a coupla days ago...and my debaucherous abandoned house bender did not subside - until late yesterday afternoon. I'm an addict, what else can I say...

(Snapped on 3/21/11)

Ok so, remember the critically compromised house from the last post? Well Honey, lemme tell ya' somethin' - that house ain't got nothin' on this one...woooooo doggies!

The two houses are only about a five minute walk apart from each other, and one day last month - after taking snaps with my phone at the other one - I strolled up the road to find out what the deal was with this one. Upon entering the front room (seen above), I was instantly taken with the aesthetic of the place, but at the same time - cautious and leery of it's condition. Vandals (I'm guessing) had somehow managed to send two enormous couches crashing partway through an exterior wall, causing that side of the two-story house - to drastically droop...not good. (Little did I know, I hadn't seen anything yet)

Next, I opened the door (in the photos above), exited the front room on my way to explore the rest of the house, and just beyond a really weird, totally out-of-place, 1970's era, den-ish kinda room (see sixth pic.) I was astonished to look up and see...

Holy CRAP! It was SO not what I'd expected. I gasped...audibly! And let out an, "Oh......My......God
This was the mother of all my abandoned houses...and I was in absolute heaven...(cue harps and lyres and lutes)

(Snapped on 3/21/11)

The house sits super close to the street, and it's quite narrow along its front side - so I've always assumed that it's much smaller than it actually is. Turns out - it's deceivingly spacious! Or should I was...before the roof above a major portion of the back end collapsed, demolishing the first and second floors, and subsequently - filled the basement with a mountain of rubble...

It just blows my mind that I'd never noticed such remarkable devastation, any of the many times that I've driven or walked past this place. One thing's for sure, I notice it every time, now.

Needless to say, this last-minute outing wound up to be a fabulously prosperous scouting effort, providing two scrummy backdrops to inspire a slew of ideas for self-portraits. I shared the spoils from the other house in last week's post, and the top two self-pics. in this entry - are from the first set that I took inside of this incredible find.

(Snapped on 4/13/11)

The trouble was, when I sat down at my computer early yesterday morning, all set to spend however long it might take - hammering out the entry that would accompany the photos from this shoot - I realized that I only had two. Two measly photos to talk about, that's it...and neither one was all that fantastic. Well, maybe three at the very most, but even that was a stretch. It just seemed like such an anticlimactic way to close the this abandoned house chapter. So what did I do? I scrambled around my studio and house, gathering everything I thought I might need - and went back to the sad, old house - hellbent on plumping this entry...

In retrospect, I think that the first time I went there - I was too intimidated by the house to let myself take (m)any risks. But yesterday (although admittedly still nervous) I was far more willing to put my trust in that glorious disaster... 

Each time that I crawled out to the edge of the mangled second floor, while shooting the series from which I chose the image seen above - I heard chunks of the ceiling underneath, fall to the floor below. And each time that I made it back to my camera in one piece, I felt the most insane'll never know.  

(Snapped on 4/13/11)

The teacup and saucer pics. were easy though, and gave me a chance to chill and regroup - before heading back upstairs to find out if the floor in the bedroom would in fact support me...or not...

(Snapped on 4/13/11)

I left this house for the third time - physically unharmed (phew) which was great, but it did make me wonder about certain things like...maybe all these ramshackle houses that look so dangerous - are not nearly as delicate as they seem. Maybe I've made a much bigger deal out of the potential to get seriously hurt. And what worries me about that - is if I start to believe it, then I might end up doing things that are truly uber-stupid.

But I'm not gonna think about any of that right now, cuz at the moment I'm more concerned with kicking this abandoned house habit…for the meantime at least.


  1. Wow, wow and more wow. I love taking my self portrait shots but you have inspired me to try much harder to push the bounrdies with what I do. Your pictures are truly amazing and inspirational. I found your blog from a link on Curvaceous Dee's blog and I am so glad I did. I shall be a regular visitor from now on.
    I don't know if you might be interested but I am starting a new feature on my blog called Sinful Sunday for erotic themed photography, if you felt like joining in then YAY, and if not cool to that too.


    ps.... I use a pissy little camera too with a 10second timer, you have shown me that I can do great things with it if I try so thanks for that

  2. Oh...that's WONderful, Molly! I'm so happy that you found something in my pics. to inspire your OWN work! Speaking of which - I saw YOUR photo on Dee's blog, as well (isn't she just the BEST?!) - and I loved how our pictures complemented each other...

    Thank you for inviting me to contribute to the new Sunday feature on your blog...I might just have to take you UP on that :)

    Anyway, thanks so much for checkin' out my stuff! And keep up the good work with your self-pics.!

  3. That is one seriously scary looking house. I'm really glad you can't kick the habit though because the results really are very, very good.

    I really like the juxtaposition of your long dress against the backdrop of the disrepair of the room. A wonderful expression too, you look like you are remembering the things that went on in the room long ago.

    I am LOVING your outfit in the second self-portrait. Soo dystopian. Wonderful! Really is. In this case your clotes, rather than being in juxtaposition is perfectly in keeping with the surroundings. I can almost hear the footfalls of the Dystopia Police Department behind you!

    The image in the den(?) of you drinking tea against the light is one of those whaaa?? images. I have no idea what is going on but it sure makes me smile. how DO you stand on tiptoes like that?!?! You will be en pointe next!

    I'm not sure quite what you were trying to convey in the last image but I know I like it too. Were all those old clothes reeally just lying there? Eeew. For a moment I thought Did she find that gown there and put it on EEEEeewww?! But of course I knew it was from your dress-up box. Maybe that is the thought behind the image. "Found old clothes and put them on".

    Fantastic set of images, once again. I sooo hope you really can't quit the habit but DO be careful! If it isn't safe then it is not worth hurting yourself for an image, no matter how good it is.

  4. @Adrian - Nah...I'll never be able to quit old houses completely...but it probably would be a good idea to change it up for a FEW entries at least...I don't want to bore you guys.

    I'm glad that you enjoyed the pictures in this entry! I thoroughly enjoyed taking them, that's for sure! I'd love to go back, and figure out a way to get up on the 2nd floor of the far side of the house. Maybe when the leaves are out on the trees and vines...would give it a totally different feel...

    Thanks again, for the kind words of encouragement, Adrian!

  5. Wow!!! You are a ghostly house junkie that needs her fix... I like it! BTW the picture of you sipping tea in fron of the window is awesome, as the light comes thru it envelopes your figure into a surreal vision (kind of scary). I would have wrecked my car if I drove by that house at that moment and saw the image of a partially nude woman sipping tea and staring out the window, not to mention the trip to the psych ward after I told my You are a true visual story teller, keep it coming.

  6. @AMC - I do loves me some pretty messed-up, old houses...THAT'S for sure! Incredible settings like this one, do most of the storytelling themSELVES :)