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How To Photograph Models in Abandoned Buildings

Luuk Lijten

One of the many things that make photography interesting is the fact that it does not stop evolving. As the years go by, it becomes more exciting, especially when new technologies, techniques and tricks are presented. New platforms for expressing artistry are introduced time and again.

Photographing an abandoned building is not easy. First off, you have to think about security – yours and that of your crew (if you have one). Most abandoned buildings are either condemned or deemed dangerous by authorities. As such, entering one is strictly prohibited and against the law in many countries. So, when photographers bring in a model, which happens quite a lot nowadays, it becomes doubly dangerous. Therefore, it is important to know what to do before you decide to go and .

What to Remember When Taking Photos in an Abandoned Building

One of the reasons why a photographer would want to an, or in an, abandoned building is the sense of adventure and mystery that the place creates. Whether you include a person in the image or not, your photograph will still create a riveting effect. Viewers and audiences will still find different stories in your photo.

The first step, of course, is to try not to break the law; which means you should ask for permission to in the building and in its premises. In most cases, this can be difficult to achieve, but there are places that really allow photographers to in abandoned buildings, although it may involve a particular fee for some.

Other photographers love the sense of danger, so they prefer to go into the building on their own, without really seeking for approval or anything. We strongly advise against that, for obvious reasons. Before proceeding with the , make sure that you are already familiar with the place. Find the time to visit the building days before the . Don’t go alone, if possible. Bring someone with you. It can be your second photographer or perhaps your stylist/wardrobe or makeup artist. If you familiarize the place before the , you won’t have to waste time (and energy) trying to look for areas where you can do the scenes you want.

Be sure that you are dressed appropriately. Don’t dress up in shorts or sleeveless shirts. You need to protect your body from possible cuts and scratches, so long sleeves and your favorite old pair of pants will do. Of course, if you’re with a model, he or she has to be dressed according to the theme of your . Just make sure, though, that the outfit won’t be too difficult to put on or get out of. Also, make sure your model/models get enough protection from harmful elements common inside abandoned buildings.

Photo with a Model Inside an Abandoned Building

The first few tips you need to consider when you in abandoned building with a model are quite common; general tips that will help you come up with images that will attract the attention of everyone.

Number one, as always; you need to have the right camera and equipment. You can’t rely on a simple point-and-when you in abandoned buildings. So, of course, you have to use a good DSLR. For starters, use one that you are already comfortable with. You can go a level higher once you’ve adjusted to photographing inside buildings that have unpredictable interiors and lighting.

Finally, since you want to capture both your models and the mysterious element of the abandoned building where you are , use a wide-angle lens. Wide-angle lenses are excellent for environmental portraiture. Think of poetic images like a young lady and a gentleman in the middle of a decaying, almost dilapidated room. Put them in the middle of the room and in wide angle. This will give you an image where the room is dominant, but you’ll see your models also grabbing the attention of the viewers. Play with your imagination.

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