It’s been so long since I last went on an exploration! This mill proved to be an excellent and extensive property to explore, barely scratching the surface the first few hours of shooting.
I had tried to visit months ago with a friend only to find the site oddly crawling with people, so we backed out. Some weeks later I heard rumors that the mill had burnt, and was saddened. But when I returned with friends Aaron and Dan, we found the buildings to be even more exciting. In the ruins of charred wood and warped metal, it truly felt like a post apocalyptic afternoon.
Not only that, but I got to pose with Dan’s bike and feel like a badass! (So thanks for letting me and snapping this pic.)
The afternoon was waning as we explored inside the shell of a building, pieces of charred wood coating the entire floor. The sun streamed through one side of the building while the moon rose on the opposing side, creating a perfectly lit scape for a shoot.
As tradition calls, I decked out in my latest post-apocalyptic put together. Starting out with my recently-acquired chain mail crop, I slipped on a slim and distressed shirt over it for a layered but still summer look. Something was still missing though, and I dusted off my harness for another shoot as it’d been a while. The combination of the dress’s back cutout and the shape of the harness working together ended up working to my advantage. Of course, it added something to the front of the ensemble too.
(Here’s a thanks in advance to Aaron, who took all of the following photos for me!)
Since I usually like to keep my legs covered on these kinds of explorations (for several reasons) I took out my teardrop leggings from Black Milk. It was a pretty warm evening, and I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t sweat too much, while keeping covered, and completing the outfit. Of course, my must-have boots were the final touch.
For one of my final shots, I had an idea. Aaron and I scoured the floor for a relatively clear area, and when I found one, slowly laid down amongst the ash. It ended up being the best idea of the night.
As dust turned to dark, we headed back out to the open area full of bent metal, and took turns painting light into the night sky with flares. Though I don’t have too many shots to share from that experience, it was quite the night!
Aaron and I returned but a week later only to discover we hadn’t even scratched the surface of the property…..
More to come!
Harness: Kill City via Black Salt
Crop Top& Leggings: Black Milk Clothing
Dress: Urban Outfitters
Boots: Steve Madden
Continuing on the hot weather trend, I went to Saratoga Spa State Park to prance around in the river and springs. I’ve been here many times, and yet have no shot here before! How could I miss out on photographing in this gorgeous place.
Last weekend, I think I wore this dress three days in the row. Basically. I put it on the day I got it and wore it then, wore it the next day to lunch, and then wore it the following day to shoot. It’s super comfortable in the warm weather, and keeps me as cool as I can possibly get.
Not only that, but the print is ultra-cute. I have had fish skeleton earrings forever, and thought the two would go great together.
I have been busy agreeing to take on many more hours of work these past few weeks at the museum, while still trying to get out and enjoy summer while I can. We have been getting so much rain, so I try to soak up the sun when it isn’t storming, and when I’m not inside at the museum working away. My job has been so positive energy-draining it’s taken me this long to get out shooting consistently, but I miss doing something I actually enjoy with results I care about!
Dress: Gold Stitches
It’s been a while since I’ve written!
Summer has finally begun, it’s grown hot here in Saratoga. While we’ve been sweating it out in our un-airconditioned house (yes the 80’s are hot to us), I grabbed a few new crops from Gold Stitches to help me stay cool.
I’ve always been a fan of western styles. Every summer I break out the western shirts and a few bolo ties with a gold ol’ pair of denim shorts. However, this new print is somewhat amazing - it looks like real cowhide! (Positive points for being even cooler than a button-down with rilled up sleeves). I took out my new crop for a sun-filled shoot in a filed near Schuylerville in attempt to look like I was out west. I think it ended up working pretty well.
These shorts have become a staple of mine. They go with everything! And to really tip the outfit into the western side, I added my favorite skull bolo and a new concho hat. I am hoping someday I can afford a real Navajo silver and turquoise concho band, but for now I make do with this silver belt-like one from eBay.
Instead of boots, I opted for bare legs and these cowboy-esque loafers, which I’ve had for years. They have the most satisfying heel-click sound when I walk. If only I had a pair of spurs to add some jingle!
Hat: I can’t even remember. Hah!
Earrings: Turkish Bazaar in Saratoga Springs
Bolo Tie: Gift from a friend
Crop: Gold Stitches
Shoes: Top Shop
It’s been a few weekends since I’ve blogged - though I haven’t been exploring lately, I have been doing lots of other things. My birthday passed at the first of this month, and I got some excellent shoes (which you will see below).
Though I expected the latter part of this month to be quiet at work, it’s actually gotten busier. Regardless, I couldn’t resist shooting this outfit the other night, which is what I wore to dinner last weekend with my parents and Max.
This jacket is a lesser worn but very loved piece I found in a local vintage shop. As a lover of black and gold, the lovely embroidery and the rich black velvet make an article out of a dreamy combo I wouldn’t want out-wear - it’s special not a staple, but it’s something. My favorite thing to wear it with is this silk camisole, a hand me down from my aunt (who has fantastic taste, I love it when she is cleaning her closet!).
The boots you see above are my birthday boots! They’re a wild twist on your average western boot, and it’s a bonus that they make me very tall. After a night of dinner and wine, I can successfully say they are not hard to walk in at all! Mum did not believe me.
I dressed down the whole look with a simple pair of jeans, and a western belt to pull in the boots. Believe it or not, these jeans are simply from Forever 21. And they’ve lasted me years!
From top to bottom it might look a little disjointed, but I love black and brown together, as well as the touches of gold in both the jacket’s embroidery and the boots’ studs. It may be weird, but I think the combination works well.
Jacket - Vintage (no tag?)
Top - Hand-me-down, “Walter”
Belt - Second hand (?)
Jeans - Forever 21
Boots - Jeffrey Campbell
On a rare sunny day this spring, I visited an old site nearby that had once been a Tannery in the 1800’s.
The site is huge, and the farther back you go, the older the buildings get. I’d previously explored here last fall, but my purpose this day was to photograph a small dress collection for a friend of mine.
My good friend Maddi Walker graduates from Pratt Institute very soon, and created these dresses for her final project. Back in March, I took Maddi down to Troy to photograph some industrial textures to use as prints for her dresses - the very places I blogged about about not too long ago. Of course, that day it was much colder.
After a few more weeks, the dresses were designed, printed, sewn up, and sent to me upstate. After a night on the seamless photographing flat lays and basic styling, I was off to the Tannery just days later.
I may of course be biased - but I think they’re great dresses and had a blast shooting them. I didn’t want to send them all back! Of course I did, as they are going to be displayed and judged along with many other senior projects next week, but I can’t wait to have them back again to wear out and about. Oh yeah, did I mention these babies were made to fit me? Hell yeah!
Sorry, just a little bit excited.
When I am exploring old abandoned locations as well as shooting in them, I tend to prefer overcast days. That dark lighting puts me in the right almost post-apocalyptic mood. That being said, I knew very well that Monday was going to be sunny, and when there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, I was worried the sun might “ruin” the mood of the photos. I was glad for the warmth, but I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about shooting old, grungy textures in such bright light.
However, I ended up being really glad for the sun. The touch of light in some of these shots really does wonders for the composition, making it less boring than my usually preferred diffuse light. The angles, most notably two shots above and in the one directly below, are my favorite sun-inspired shots.
On an amusing note, my shoot was coming to an end when I remembered the old, wrapped-up industrial washer. Or well, what I assume is an industrial washer - this site was some sort of laundry business in the eighties and nineties before closing permanently. Looming in the middle of the parking lot tightly covered up in thick, white plastic is a great big metal…. thing. Before leaving, I crawled inside in attempt to shoot this metallic rust dress, thinking it would bring out the silver texture in the print.
I am looking forward to the summer weather, mostly so I can go back to these abandoned spots and shoot comfortably as I did on Monday. It’d be nice to not freeze, as I felt while visiting Saratoga County Homestead some weekends ago.
Dresses: Maddi Walker’s creations
Fringe Shawl: Tobi
Denim Shirt: Thrifted Ralph Lauren
Green Jacket: Gift (?)
Boots: Steve Madden
Now two weekends ago, I hopped in the car on another sunday afternoon and drove Dan, Wyatt, and Siwei down to what will likely become a new favorite spot.
River Street in Troy is known for it’s cute boutiques, the excellent Brown’s Brewery, as well as outdoor markets in the summer. But head north, and you will find the industrial sector, long abandoned. These buildings seemed to have been full of clothing, rugs, and furniture at one point, and are now very empty.
This trip, I put some sparkle to my usual apocalyptic outfit, putting Gold Stitches leggings beneath my shorts. It was a warm enough day that I didn’t need five layers like the last time I was exploring, making the basement (where we entered) pretty bearable, and the upper floors actually comfortable.
Other than the boots, my usual buddies on exploration days, I wore this chain mail necklace I’ve had a long time. I find it goes with a lot of what I style these days, and is one of my larger necklaces. Against a plain shirt such as this, it makes a great statement!
The great thing about these leggings is that they are subtle in some lights, and really sparkle in others. Even in the depths of the basement, a little light makes the rainbow come out, but bathed in even diffuse light, or in the dark, they look like a stealthy blue.
The factory this trip was full of goodies. Last time I had been with my friend Maddi, it was simply frigid, and the entire basement floor was coated in ice. It was dark that day, and the only staircase we could reach looked daunting past the second floor. But on this second trip with everyone else, we were able to reach another safer staircase, one we could take to every floor. Each place provided something new I had not yet seen. One of the most astoundingly colorful places appeared on the 4th floor, or the “textiles department.” Rooms were vibrant shades of blue and green, and the bathrooms a bizarre teal.
These wall colors were amongst the brightest I’d ever seen, and I wish I could have witnessed them in their prime!
The top floor offered an unobstructed view over the river, and the area of the basement we had gotten in through. The warm breeze made it feel like it was finally spring.
After we hit up the clothing factory, we headed down River Street to another location, a factory of which I cannot tell. It appears to have been part office at one point, too. I didn’t take any fashion shots there, but it was a much warmer but emptier place.
I’d love to take more shots in both these places, but the temperatures have dipped down low enough that indoors it might be cold, even if it was bearable outside.
Soon to come, I am shooting a small collection of dresses made by Maddi inspired by our first journey to River Street. I have yet to decide where to shoot, but I’m super excited to debut these dresses for her project, they are REALLY cool!
More to come, as always!
Leggings: Gold Stitches
Boots: Steve Madden
On a snow-melting kind of spring day, my friend Dan and I drove out into the country to visit the site colloquially known as “the insane asylum.”
Urban myths speak of ghosts, leftover possessions, and more. But it isn’t actually an insane asylum, and there’s barely anything left inside (whether you believe in ghosts, I’ll leave that to you). It was a location for local Saratoga County residents with TB to come heal, named the Saratoga County Homestead. Later, before it was abandoned in the sixties, it became an infirmary.
Once inside, it was clear that in the warmer weather, this kind of place is a popular hideout and hangout for local teens and twenty-somethings like ourselves. Beer cans and graffiti line the walls, but on this day in the shade, the interior of this great building chilled my fingers nearly numb by the end.
What’s visiting a place like this without looking at least slightly post-apocalyptic? I dressed in layers to warm myself from the ice-covered halls, complete with leggings, shorts, multiple shirts, and a jacket I stripped for these photos. In shades of grey and black, I thought it completed the look of a wanderer in a decrepit building.
These boots have become my favorite exploring boots. They may look a little worse for the wear, and I’ve only been urban exploring about three times this spring, but I think they almost look better this way. This new shirt, the top most layer, is from Brandy Melville. I spotted their store in New York City earlier in the winter, and fell in love with everything. They have all the tones, colors, and simple graphics I like, and fit great. This tank is a newer online addition to my collection.
By far the most picturesque location in the Saratoga County Homestead is the amphitheater. Used to entertain the patients as well as often give lectures, this old hall is now covered in newer memories that other visitors like myself have left behind.
Dan and I spent most of our time in here, a room lit by enormous windows that span from the ceiling to nearly the floor. Pigeons coo from the roof above, and the empty room is a quiet chorus of leftover graffiti and bird calls.
I’ve been enjoying my time exploring. I was never exposed to buildings of this wonder until I came here to upstate New York. Where I grew up was far more manicured than the properties up here, where neighbors live with abandoned barns in their back yards, and down the street from long abandoned historic sites.
More to come, for this was last weekend’s journey, and I have only just begun editing yesterday’s exploring!
While I took all the location shots (and the one above), I’d like to thank Dan for photographing me on the old stage! He’s got a great new blog (with pictures up from yesterday’s adventure already!) here.
Tank: Brandy Melville
Shorts: Hot Topic
Leggings: Black Milk Clothing
Boots: Steve Madden
Things have been crazy since vacation ended, but I wanted to drop by for a quick blog.
After going back to work, Max and I moved into a house (just last weekend)! So yeah, surprise, we’re homeowners! As a result, I haven’t found most of my clothing until a few days ago. I have put together my hope of spring in this outfit, a 50’s circle skirt fitted for the 50’s styled kitchen in our new house. It’s not actually warm enough to wear this out (and still wet, as April will be), but I’m hoping my spirit might raise the temperatures a little. Not only has it been chilly outside, but inside as well - the furnace at work gave way after a sudden basement flood, so I’ve been dressing like it’s January again.
Max’s grandparents sent us these lovely flowers next to me, which coincidentally go great with the skirt! I have styled it with a vintage crinoline bought thrifting, and a red dress worn under the skirt as a top. I can’t wait until it is warm enough here for bare legs!
I don’t wear color like this nearly often enough, so I am hoping once the sun decides to shine up here, it will inspire me! I also miss my summer nautical clothing, so it will be great to go back to all my striped shirts and sailor collared dresses.
Skirt: Gold Stitches
Despite my phone’s gloomy predictions, we’ve had fantastic weather this trip. On this hazy day, I headed down for a stroll on the beach to soak in the warmth of our last few days here in South Carolina.
I bought this floral vest-like article at a thrift shop not far from me in upstate NY in the dead of winter, so it hasn’t seen the light of day until now. I feel very beachy and relaxed wearing it, and love just how well it went with this woodgrain. My top is actually a dress folded up to be a shirt, and was custom made for me by the lovely Kaitlin who owns Gold Stitches.
These pants are new as well, recently purchased while I was in Charleston before we ventured out to the beachy islands. Unlike my usual skinny cut, I am enjoying the comfort of these cuff-rolled straight jeans.
To top it all off, I am in more crystals again! My shorter necklace is one of those $5 ones similar to the piece in my last post, while the longer crystal is raw quartz from the Brooklyn Flea, mined in-state.
Though I will soon be going home to the cold, this vacation’s fashions have set the tone for my spring and summer to come.
Crystal Necklace 1: Black Market Minerals
Crystal Necklace 2: Brooklyn Flea
Floral Vest: Thrifted
Woodgrain Top: Gold Stitches
Pants: Urban Outfitters