Self preservation

I’m not a therapist or counselor, but as a creative artist, I know a lot about human emotions as my visual and emotional senses are very keen. It’s my job to notice things about people and their core that other don’t think of. That is both a gift and a curse, because I internalize a lot of what I know. Therefore, finding that healthy balance through reflection, self preservation, and inspiration, is of the utmost importance for good overall mental health.

myrtle beach

I’ve learned over the years that there are certain friendships and relationships to put stock in, and there are others that are superficial. It’s human nature for me to be a giver, and I don’t mean money or material goods. But more rather love and friendship as it’s meant to be. Not everyone treats it as well as you give it. In this situation, it’s ok and healthy to use different self preservation tactics to set boundaries and avoid staying in an unhealthy situation with someone else. This is true of both friendships and romantic relationships.

spiritual reflection

It’s healthy to allow yourself to feel. It’s healthy to allow yourself to love. It’s healthy to allow yourself to feel vulnerable. Nothing is guaranteed in life. Sadly, in certain relationships, the other person doesn’t always have your best interest in mind, even if unintentional. Hurt people hurt people, often inadvertently. When you want different things, or inconsistency, confliction, and contradiction cause you to feel anxiety, depression, and overall unrest, only you can put a stop to it. Hey, this isn’t good for me! It’s healthy to try to resolve things with the other person, if you see something rewarding about the relationship.

seashell

Those feelings are not ok, and if it’s love, you won’t have to feel that. When someone shows you or tells you who they are, believe them. Be true to yourself and don’t let them manipulate and take away joy from your life. Sometimes it’s healthy to create that separation and cut all ties if that’s what helps you move on. It’s not being petty. It’s ok to decide that a person no longer deserves to have you in their life. Or that they no longer deserve to know what is going on in your life. It’s self preservation. If you know you gave your love and they mistreated it, you have to put yourself first and either set boundaries or bail.

serenity

This has happened to me, and it never stops hurting when I think about it. But in the end, only I can set my own destiny. You’re not responsible for the actions of others, but you are responsible for letting the actions of others affect you. It’s not up to you to deal with karma when it comes to the actions of others or how they treated you. Peoples’ actions always eventually follow them, but it’s not for you to worry about. Losing you and the love you gave them is all you can dish out. It is often necessary to reshape those thoughts because when they invade your brain, it’s no laughing matter.

beach sunrise

Why the beach pictures? I recently returned from there. I went there for spiritual and personal reflection, and of course inspiration. I had some garbage to clear from my head. Nothing happens instantaneously but it’s an important step of the process. Always find inspiration and don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones who care about you. You’d be amazed how clearly people who know you see things.

Midwest abandoned tour

Immediately after photographing this abandoned Tennessee farm house, I left for my Labor Day weekend trip to Indiana. I visited an old friend and photography mentor who lived in the Tri-State area where Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio all come together. Not far from Cincinnati. It’s always inspiring to visit with him as we’re both artistic and spiritually minded. Chris is also inspired by abandoned buildings for similar reasons as I am. So, let’s call this the Midwest abandoned tour.

roadside motel

This roadside motel sign is symbolic of what Americana really is. Let’s just think of the charm of small independent business and forget about musty smell and bedbugs for a moment. The road offers a certain freedom, but it can also be a long and lonely experience, depending on your thought pattern at the moment. Speaking of Americana, it doesn’t get any more apple pie American than this abandoned gas station. Right across the Ohio line.

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I always love looking for clues and fixtures to see who worked there and what the place was about. Also to think of the stories those crumbling walls could tell. Chris and I both had a similar sense of when we exhausted the possibilities of each location and when to go on to the next one. For me, the key is studying and looking, and taking a few photos. But make them count. Why is it so many Satanists find their way to these places? Hmmm.

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These solid steel doors were no joke.

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Next stop was this charming farm house, it was actually for sale. I hope someone fixes it up, but they’d have their work cut out for them. Yup, we got in.

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Next stop on this Midwest abandoned tour, back in Indiana, this abandoned stone house. Brilliant architecture, but I bet it’s been 40-50 years since inhabited.

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Ironic. There was a landslide that took out the road to this house that Chris remembered was there. We drove all over to find the way in on the other side, and here it was. This was rather strange. Some beautiful older features in the house mixed with some 70’s and 80’sĀ  remodeling that went horribly wrong.

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Yes, gravel roads! Even a creek crossing but I thought this tunnel was a bit eerie. Chris said last time he traveled through, he saw hanging doll heads from the trees, but we didn’t see them this time. That would have required documentation. The Hills Have Eyes I suppose.

abandoned house

Last but not least, back in Ohio, this abandoned house on a hill. We were greeted by a concerned neighbor. The house was apparently for sale and her son was interested. She seemed a bit baffled that anyone would want to take photos of an abandoned house. She seemed sad about it’s current state because she lived in it before. I encouraged her to Google this site, but got what I needed quickly and bailed before she discovered the nude and boudoir work, lol. I guess this is a random heating gas or oil tank sitting in the woods, but still cool.

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Perhaps my favorite photo of the Midwest abandoned tour.

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Despite some concave flooring, I’d have no qualms walking the stairs. I remember my mom and grandmother telling me that the stair makers in these old houses were among the highest paid and most respected craftsmen. I have yet to find a weak staircase in an abandoned house from the old days, so it must be true.

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An out building covered in growth. I hope these photos inspire you as much as these and the experience did for me.

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Abandoned Tennessee farm house

A friend who lives about 45 minutes West of town told me about this abandoned Tennessee farm house a bit further out from where he is and offered to take me there. Well, life happened, we both got busy, but one day I had the urge to explore. He wasn’t available, but he directed me there. I was on my way out of town to visit an old friend and photography mentor up Cincinnati way and wanted to kick off my trip with some new inspiration.

Abandoned Tennessee farm house Abandoned house

I always check out buildings like garages or barns to see what goodies are strewn about the floor and for old chemicals on the shelves. It gives me an idea who lived there and a bit of a story on the place. I had actually gone a bit out of my way to get here, and was in the next county by the time I realized my navigational error. But this place was worth it. I just enjoyed a slice of Americana and kept my eyes peeled.

Abandoned house

Typically, I prefer Winter for photographing the outside of abandoned houses because of the overgrowth. But you can still get an idea what this abandoned Tennessee farm house looks like. The dead limbs and lack of vegetation only enhance the decay and distress of the structure. But I prefer the photos I get inside the house anyway.

Abandoned house Abandoned house

I prefer to have my friend Jerry with me when checking out a new abandoned building for the first time for obvious reasons. No matter how seasoned I am with photographing these forgotten gems, anything can catch me off guard. Like inhabitants or falling through the floor, thankfully which neither I had to deal with. This is why I don’t recommend photographing abandoned structures without knowing the ropes. And even then it can be a hazard. One I’m willing to face. This was one of those spontaneous things, and I was there, no turning back! Going all in!

Abandoned house

As usual with these old houses, the staircase was solid as a rock. The floor, not as much.

Abandoned house

Speaking of floor, the couch fell through it. I’m willing to bet no one was there, but it still made a sound. New York times newspaper from 1980 anyone? It wouldn’t surprise me if this house had been abandoned for nearly that long.

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Dinner is served in the kitchen…maybe 30-40 years ago, LOL!

Abandoned house Abandoned house

The shattered glass sliding door and back lighting provided an interesting contrast and texture.

Abandoned Tennessee farm house

The office manager preferred working outside I guess. I hope you’ve enjoyed photos from this amazing abandoned Tennessee farm house! I would normally arrange a subject but this place was just too unsafe. I risked it, but I can’t do that with someone else. It was eerie but so rewarding.

Abandoned Tennessee farm house Abandoned Tennessee farm house

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Antebellum mansion boudoir photos

As I promised, I went back to that awesome antebellum mansion with a model, Ali Katt was my first pick! I felt that her colorful and unique look would be perfect for this edgy location. I knew I had to be careful about bringing a private client here who isn’t used to the different elements of abandoned houses. The entryway isn’t all that safe or easy, so it was a group effort to safely get in and out. Well worth the effort in my opinion! Let’s get started by sharing these stunning antebellum mansion boudoir photos!

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So there was this huge console TV from I’d guess, the 1970’s? Yeah, that was a must! I know these aren’t traditional boudoir photos as most would know, but that would be far more vanilla than taking advantage of a location and look as we have. Nashville boudoir

Most of these antebellum mansion boudoir photos were all natural window light, but some of these had the assist of my Ice Light and barn doors, very simple and minimalist. When going in a location like this, you want to travel light. This is also my first official photoshoot with my new Fuji X100F! So, this is almost as primal as it gets! Loved the contrast, textures, and colors in this shoot.

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Loved the natural lens flare of the incoming sun!

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Strictly ambient window light from the setting sun, as we wrap it up. There was a board in the middle of the window that created an interesting but very challenging shadow. The trick was to challenge myself to work with it and do so without driving Ali nuts waiting for me to prefect the angle and composition. We moved into bodyscape and implied nude, quite lovely with the soft light beaming in, that would only be there for a few moments.

fine art nude fine art nude intimate nashville Nashville boudoir Nashville boudoir booty bodyscape Nude Nashville implied nude nashville

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, stay tuned!

Downtown Columbia TN.

So, after last article exploring the antebellum mansion, my friend Jerry and I decided to explore downtown Columbia, TN. to see if there were any abandoned buildings. He knew of a closed down church, but there was no way in, so we explored the downtown area of the small town with a quaint town square. It’s amazing what we’d find even going a few blocks away from the square.

downtown Columbia TN. downtown Columbia TN.

I couldn’t tell if this was vacant or not, or an active used tire shop…but it was cool!

We circled around the area and stopped at this very narrow alleyway right in the town square, would be an awesome place to chill, nice cross breeze and tables set up. I love using paths of light and shadows, part of my life! downtown Columbia TN.

So cool. I could live in that building, so much character. alleyway

Overhead central heat and air conditioning units, a little high contrast. alleyway alleyway Columbia TN

These storefronts were definitely vacant. So much character in the building. Downtown Columbia TN. definitely has some photogenic locations!! downtown Columbia TN.

I love the dimensional perspective of this roofing, and distress / texture. downtown Columbia TN.

There must have been umpteen bazillion barber shops around there. Hair must grow at a rapid pace in those parts. downtown Columbia TN.

Look close….see the peeling wallpaper in through the window, and the reflection of across the street. The trick is to angle it so you don’t get glare, or show up in the frame!! reflection

Some paint streaks for added texture and abstract feel. More reflection. window shot

Downtown Columbia TN. would be a cool place for a business with lower overhead than Nashville because of less urban sprawl and inflated real estate. Well, I suppose as long as you weren’t dependent on local customers, or else these businesses would still be here. Great buildings though! I hope you’ve enjoyed photos from our outing!

abandoned storefront

Abandoned antebellum mansion

I was out with my good friend Jerry Winnett who I sometimes photograph abandoned buildings with, and we did a field trip to this abandoned antebellum mansion. Maybe 30 minutes from Nashville. It’s good to hang out with him and have him there, since we are both experienced with shooting the abandoned spots. There are definitely hazards with abandoned buildings as I talk about frequently. Within 5 minutes of getting there, I had a tick on my leg and I busted my leg on a rotted step, but no biggie. The first thing that caught my attention was a small barn, just a matter of trudging through the overgrowth. But this is the house exterior.

Abandoned antebellum mansion

Now the barn!!

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Now we approach the house, before taking a bow on the front porch. lol.

Abandoned antebellum mansion

No door access….we crawled in through a window. But we stuck by the code. Don’t break anything, take anything, or move anything. I love the textures and distress.

Abandoned antebellum mansion

The house had like four fireplaces. Abandoned antebellum mansion

Interesting paths of light from adjacent windows, and the flip windows over the doors. The ceilings were 12 feet tall too! I think someone tried working on the house but likely ran out of resources. It’s easily been abandoned for 15 years or so. Abandoned antebellum mansion abandoned house abandoned house abandoned house abandoned house

Some creative artists inhabited this abandoned antebellum mansion. abandoned house abandoned house

It’s getting real…abandoned house abandoned house abandoned house abandoned house

No telling how old that wallpaper is!! abandoned house abandoned house

One thing we noticed on the other side of that back wall, was a dumbwaiter and service staircase for the “help” to bring food or other things to people without disturbing guests. That quickly told us the era of the home. abandoned house abandoned house

I loved the vines growing on the walls and ceilings, so cool! abandoned house abandoned house abandoned house

Creepy? šŸ™‚ abandoned house

Yup, we sometimes see dead wildlife in abandoned houses!! abandoned house abandoned house abandoned house abandoned house abandoned house abandoned house

I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos from this abandoned antebellum mansion, hoping for a human subject there soon for us to do a fine art nude photoshoot at this prime abandoned location. Stay tuned!

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Helping people move

I know it’s been a while! I’ve done some intimate photoshoots I am not at liberty to share publically, but have been busy with wedding season. Nothing like some deep and random discussion that my readers love. This one is about helping people move. I’ve moved twice since living in Nashville, and I can recall a few people who helped. But we had an established friendship and there was history there, of mutual friendship. Not always an easy find. I’ve helped quite a few people move over the years, and including some of the ones who have helped me. In recent years, I’ve begun to feel a little differently about it.

There are a very small handful of people I’d help move today. That may sound a bit cold, or selfish…but hear me out. In our 20’s, moving was more frequent and we had less shit. In my 40’s now, I’m conscious about how much stuff I keep, because I have moved. I hate clutter too. I can still physically do it, I have endurance and strength. But I run the risk of personal injury like back problems, or whatever. Why? Because they don’t want to hire cheap labor or professional movers? Nope.

Especially the moving party deals. You show up, and most of their shit isn’t even packed! Especially if it’s relatively short notice. If you’re going to ask me to help you do a painfully hideous task, like move your stuff….at least have the respect for my time to have things packed and ready! Entitled presumptuous crap. Helping people move, it’s either a noble deed, if you set a time and keep it productive. Or a total waste of time! The high risk of inefficiency or moderate risk of injury are enough for me to say nope. It would be a rarity nowadays to say yes.

Fuji XT-2 long exposure photography

After going back to the same abandoned house as the previous article with fine art nudes with my muse, Shelby, it was only fitting to take advantage of the creepy location. My first thought was long exposure work. I had recently upgraded to a Fujifilm XT-2 .I had done several shoots with this new body already, and some street photography, but never long exposure work with this body before. Fuji XT-2 long exposure photography was in order. We’ll start with this one, 1/4 second exposure. I used the handrail for the steps as a makeshift tripod.

Fuji XT-2 Long exposure photography

Then we started with the much longer exposures. Both of these are 20 second exposure. My tripod head is ok but it’s not the greatest, so I really appreciated the threaded shutter button so I could use my shutter release cable again!!

Fuji XT-2 Long exposure photography

Fuji XT-2 Long exposure photography

The only real change I noticed from the XT-1 was the bloody long wait for processing after taking the frame. LONG. Like equally long as the exposure. That got old. But that is one thing that helped me take even less. Later I found out about going into menu and selecting long exposure noise reduction to off. That did help shorten processing time a bit. This last one, I went with a 30 second exposure. There were pockets of sun and shade alike, so I used my variable neutral density filter so I could properly expose the image with such a long shutter speed. Even dandelions floating through the air and wind through the trees blurred. F22, 30 second exposure. 200 ISO. Zeiss 12mm 2.8.

Fuji XT-2 Long exposure photography

Creepy enough for you? I hope you enjoyed this Fuji XT-2 Long exposure photography as much as I enjoyed the challenge, as well as breaking it in for shutter drag work. Definitely expect more in the future.

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Nude and the abandoned

As promised, I am back with some fine art nudes with a new muse, Shelby. In the same abandoned house from previous article where my friend and I went hunting around for. Nude and the abandoned is the perfect marriage of soft elegant beauty, and disheveled distress.

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I love the textures of the room and the sun peaking through the windows and doors, gently kissing the curves of her body. The mystique and shadow play, soft skin, and destruction around her is the perfect contrast that makes my favorite art form. The combination of nude and the abandoned is truly magical. I was glad to be able to bring Shelby to this house to see how it translates to a human subject / muse. When you find these houses, you sometimes have to act fast.

bodyscape

nude silhouette

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It’s hard to pick a favorite from this series, but it was a fun time, and it didn’t take super long. Two hours tops are how long I spend on intimate photoshoots, no reason to drag it out, it’s exhausting for the subject. Plus it would get redundant. I’d rather think out the best ones and budget time wisely than shoot all day and get lost in it. Kindof like thinking more when you stand to waste film. Work smart, not hard I suppose is the end theory?

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artistic nude Nashville

artistic nude

I hope you’ve enjoyed this nude and the abandoned series. Certain rooms, the floors and doorways were treacherous, but that’s part of the game. One reason why abandoned work is safer viewed than attempted by those not used to them. I think Shelby rocked it, who wants to see another shoot with her? Private clients are scheduled in near future, but will do more muse series photoshoots like this, as time allows. Thanks for viewing, stay tuned!

Abandoned house hunting

I drove up to Bowling Green, KY. on a Sunday afternoon to meet up with a good longtime friend for lunch and to hang out. It’s a one hour drive, but a very different place from Nashville. It was fun to discuss current events in our lives and what was happening, where we were at. He lives on this backroad that no sane person would attempt in snow or ice. So we decided to go on a leisurely Sunday drive. Oh, but not to sight see or pick wildflowers. But to go abandoned house hunting! This is something most normal families do, right? Or not. But that’s what I do. The destruction, filth, bugs, overgrowth, broken glass, rotting floors, all part of a nice day!

abandoned house hunting

abandoned house

Now THIS just might be the creepiest wallpaper I’ve witnessed. Anywhere.

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And another place. This was it’s best view.

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We had to wander about for what seemed like an age to find these. Which I was happy we did. But still, we hadn’t struck gold yet. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t, at least when you hope it does. I must say that I wouldn’t recommend wandering around rural areas of Kentucky or rural anywhere without people knowing you or having someone with you who locals know. Really for that matter, I don’t advise people photographing the abandoned especially if they don’t know the ropes. We went a little further and saw potential abandoned mecca. And she’s buying the stairway to heaven.

stairway to heaven

Abandoned house hunting may have paid off, and ever so richly!

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abandoned house

Now looking into getting inside it, and access is granted! I love the outside photos, but the inside is where the best part of the story is told. Also it’s the most risky and dangerous part of abandoned house hunting. Also the most fun, so that’s a fair trade for a not so normal person. When I first entered, I thought I heard someone in there, it turned out to be a buzzard and he flew out of one of the windows. Which in itself should freak most people out. I knew then, this was the place. Pay dirt.

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Now if this doesn’t make at least one hair on the back of your neck stand up, you’re sick. LOL.

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abandoned house

abandoned house

abandoned house

Model coming soon, at this house. You’re welcome. šŸ™‚