Since I've been taking photographs I have always wanted to do a shoot in an abandoned or derelict building. Yesterday I got to tick that right off my "Photography Bucket List" so to speak and it was every bit as incredible as I had always expected it to be.
The setting was an old house amidst an existing industrial estate. It is probably no more than ten minutes from where I live and yet I had no idea it was there. It was perfect - both rooms bathed in a gorgeous abundance of natural light, crumbling walls, old red brick fireplaces. As soon as I stepped inside I was excited and my head awash with ideas.
I actually had a dream just a few nights ago about doing this particular shoot with a dancer. I felt that the contrast between the elegance and prettiness of a ballerina in amidst the decaying and destruction would not only be beautiful but also interesting. I wanted to play around with the idea that whilst people can look "all put together" on the outside, their world can in fact be falling apart. How we see ourselves and who we portray ourselves to be can actually be two very different things and for me that is what this shoot is exploring.
I gave my model Natasha a brief story to work with to help draw out her emotion and I was very impressed with her interpretation of that scenario and her ability to take direction. Not all dancers are comfortable with being put in "un-dancey" poses, but as I previously mentioned, perfection was not our goal here and Tasha worked with that concept brilliantly.
These images are in fact some of my all time favourites that I have ever taken. I love the darkness in the natural light and the softness in the ruin. I fear this experience may just turn me in to an "Abandoned Building" junkie, I know I am definitely not done with this type of shoot - watch this space.
Model: Natasha Powell
Second Shooter/Lighting: Justin Wright