Thursday, May 6, 2010

spoiler alert

Hey guys! missed you last week.
 I am only putting up three images I made in the last two weeks although I have plenty to share. I want you guys to have some new work to see at the actual final, though, so I think it is best to keep them a surprise. Enjoy!

This is off of Highway 183 in Irving. It is an old car dealership. You know what is creepy? I put my face against the glass of the building and there was a guy walking around. He then rode his bike over to where we were parked and wrote down our license plate number- but did not otherwise acknowledge us. Weird. There is another view from this building that I am also using for my final, but... you will have to wait until next week to see it!

If you have ever been through Bedford/Euless on HWY 121 or 183 you will have seen this notorious abandoned Holiday Inn. I remember when my grandparents stayed there only a few years ago. There is a note taped to the inside of the front doors that says "sorry about the inconvenience, we are remodeling and should be open again soon." Yeah, not likely. 

Oh nostalgia. This is the old 'Bedford 10' movie theater. I remember seeing 'Shrek' and 'Tomb Raider II' here among other things. It's been closed a few years as well. It's probably a good thing, though, because it was pretty shady.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hello again! I thought Mark's post was relevant- going back to Peter's suggestion that I photograph buildings from indoors. Although I am not taking this approach for my current project, this is a nice example of what some of the imagery might look like. My project is more of an exploration of why the properties have closed and why they have not been bought again and repurposed. In order to best answer those questions it helps both photographer and viewer to see the exteriors just as potential buyers would first see the properties. 

Mark Tucker has a very insightful blog- check it out!


Posted in PersonalThe South by marktucker on February 7, 2010
Another one bites the dust. I shot this one early this morning. The Lincoln-Mercury dealership on 8th Avenue South, in my old neighborhood. I go way back with this one — i used to come here with my father, when I was a little kid. The signs on the doors of these places are always upbeat — they always say “we’ve moved!”, or consolidated with another location, but we all know the real truth.
I actually tried to buy a car at this place about two years ago. This dealership was one of the real old-timer mentalities; I was greeted by this awesome salesman, dressed in an orange three-piece suit, with matching tie, and a fedora atop his head, complete with feather.
I’m not sure why I keep shooting these pictures; they’re all starting to look alike. But my father used to trade cars all the time, when I was little, so he’d drag me around to these dealerships. I don’t even care about these pictures, as pictures; they’re just empty rooms with bad drop-ceilings. I think I just go there to pay my respects, like you go to Funeral Homes, when someone dies.


There were several valid comments and suggestions people brought up in class last week. Philip had a great comment about the importance of the condition the closed property is in. One reason businesses might be hesitant to purchase property would be the cost it would take to restore the buildings and/or land. The conditions of the property in my imagery aid to the understanding of the project as a whole. It is definitely something I will write about in my artist statement. 

Do you guys have any other questions or comments about the project? 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

i love rainy days

Here are some of my favorite photographs from this week. 

The weekend was awesome- it rained entirely all day on Saturday and Sunday. No bringing out the Mark II for me! It is okay though- I shot a lot this week and this weekend will hopefully be sunny. 

I am noticing a trend of car dealerships and asian restaurants that are closed down...

Also, to clarify a change- I have expanded the project to so many areas that I am postponing the idea of creating the Google map website to a later time. The actual photographs are more important to me right now. 




I feel the need to clear up some issues that have been brought up regarding my project.
Peter suggested that I call the owners/real-estate agents of the buildings I am photographing so I can photograph from the inside-out. This would make a very valid, interesting project- and is something I may consider for the future. That being said, I have solid reasoning behind how I am photographing the project currently. If you are curious as to what those reasons are please refer to my proposal which is posted on this blog. The point of my project is awareness- and it is easy to be aware of buildings when you can identify them both within the photographs and in real life. If I photographed buildings from the inside it would not follow my ideas and my proposal...

Another comment on the project was how my imagery is similar to other photographer's work and doesn't feel original or 'my own.' I am an avid believer that to make great work, photographically or other, you must not only practice the art but be immersed in it: looking at photographer's work, reading books, studying history, etc. When a person practices these techniques their work quite possibly becomes a combination of many other artists they admire and study- but it also becomes their own. Using other photographer's ideas as a guideline for your work pushes you to make better imagery, as opposed to never looking at other work and being clueless and ignorant in the subject. So, I would say that the style of this project and others I am working on is unquestionably my own style- and has been for many years. I am sure my classmates and other professors will attest to that. 

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

thoughts so far

The project is going well. I have been expanding the areas I'm photographing because I limited myself too much in the proposal. Guidelines are a good starting point but since this is a project I plan on continuing long term I am beginning to photograph in other areas including Greenville, McKinney and Allen. I haven't talked to anyone to confirm if the commercial properties I'm photographing are closed for economic reasons, but my bet is yes, they are. So far I haven't felt the buildings need to be composed exactly the same in each photograph, because in some cases the distance and angle of the buildings tell more about the place. I have been looking to Kirk Crippens for inspiration for a lot of my work- especially for the neighborhood project I am continuing. I am putting up photos of the buildings and some new neighborhood photographs, too. 

kirk crippens

Photographer Kirk Crippens project - Foreclosure, USA

Thursday, March 11, 2010



In recent years I have gained more interest in the effects of the economic recession in the US on different facets of American life- in the workplace, in funding for Commercial businesses, in the home, and on people. I have begun several photographic projects exploring and documenting several of these issues, and for my final project in Documentary Photography I plan on documenting commercial buildings that have ‘gone under’ in recent years. To better understand the economic effects on commercial buildings I will photograph buildings within a selected 2-3 square mile radius, in three different Northeast Texas cities. Photographing this architectural transect is a way for me to observe and document the commercial changes within specific areas of Texas where I currently reside. The project also aims to expand awareness of the afore-mentioned economic effects.
There have been many photographers producing similar work on topics related to my project. One example is contemporary photographer Kirk Crippens, who has been photographing foreclosed neighborhoods in Stockton, California. Crippens’ photographs document “one of the foreclosure capitals of the country. In the first quarter of 2009, one in every twenty-seven housing units in [Stockton] received a foreclosure notice against a national rate of about one in one hundred and fifty-nine.” These photographs depict the “after-homes”- houses in transition- waiting to become homes once again to different people. The photographs show a haunting contrast between the ideal and the abandoned. “[The] collection is not a social commentary on Stockton, but the scale of its foreclosure problem affords a rich diversity of pictures of the after-home and of the adjoining farm landscape that had to make way to make possible the manufactured landscape” ( I also plan on researching work from Jeff Brouws, The Phoenix Transect project, and The Necessity for Ruins, and Other Topics by J. B. Jackson, to further investigate themes for the project.
I have decided to divide my project between three cities- Commerce, Euless and Dallas, Texas. This documentation will be photographed in various locations to better understand the overall change and status of commercial buildings. I will photograph select areas within each city that have a high density of closed commercial property. I plan on composing each photograph so that the body of work is cohesive as a whole. I will photograph the fronts of selected commercial properties, in a style similar to Paho Mann’s Re-Inhabited Circle Ks project ( As the project expands I may photograph other aspects of the buildings. The photographs will be made using a 35mm digital camera and I will be producing color inkjet prints of the photographs.  In addition to the final prints I will be linking the photographs to their location on Google Maps through use of an iWeb website.