Quite the adventure yesterday (for which I am likely now paying the price – my head is killing me). My photographer friend, K, took us out to what was once a bustling military school just outside of downtown. The campus is still used in part as a vocational school, but the rest is made up of numerous hulking shells of withered elegance.
The temperatures were just reaching into the twenties, and although the sun provided some added warmth, the minute we set foot on the creaking floor boards of one of the houses, the chill really set in. The downstairs rooms were largely whole, but the paint on the walls was badly chipped, creating a crackled finish throughout the home. Evidence of the rich colors once splashed on the walls indicated this place was once lively and bright.
Climbing up the narrow, rickety staircase (in four-inch heals, no less), a draft followed us onto the second floor. Here the rooms were in even worse shape. What had once been a feminine, pink bathroom was now strewn with shattered mirror shards and caked in a layer of dirt. The kitchen cupboards were all flung open as if someone had recently searched (fruitlessly) for a midnight snack. On the other side of the house, windows had been blown out completely, and the wind gusted about freely here. The whole shoot felt a little post-war, come to think of it.
When our numb fingers and red noses could take no more, we fled to Franklin Park Conservatory to shoot a completely different type of portrait. But the Fort Hayes images are my favorites – dark and borderline surreal, mysterious and lovely. They capture exquisitly the way that house felt. Looking forward to shooting here with Kevin again in March, when he’ll be bringing in a couple other photographers and models for an afternoon of photospelunking.
(To see more of K’s work, visit http://www.myspace.com/pasquale_photo )