Category Archives: Abandoned

{the way I see…}

I’ve driven along this long country highway dozens of times.  Each time I see more and more that I ache to photograph.  Photograph it the way I see it (or want to see it).  This is my interpretation – very ordinary but also aged with decaying beauty.   Most would pass these on the road and think they were just an eye sore and I admit, billboards are such an annoyance to me but sometimes one or two will stick out and beg to be photographed.  And I love old metal signs – I can’t pass one without  wishing I had my camera with me.  Anyway sorry this post is so short – I have a busy week ahead of me and wanted to make sure I posted before things got too crazy.  Thanks for taking a peek :)

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northierthanthouMay 23, 2013 - 6:52 am

I love the small trace of color in the diner photo.

Misty BrogdonMarch 31, 2011 - 10:36 am

I love what you did to these signs..
I pass them everyday on my way to work..=)

Jayme TigheFebruary 9, 2009 - 12:17 pm

Stunning work Kara! Amazing… truly!!

Angela PursellFebruary 4, 2009 - 5:14 pm

These are wonderful! Love love love them!

Vanessa de VilliersFebruary 4, 2009 - 4:40 am

They rock!!!! Kara you have a kind of magic you spread upon your photographs! :) :)

Cheryl JohnsonFebruary 2, 2009 - 6:50 pm

love your processing

Denise SnyderFebruary 1, 2009 - 7:43 pm

I love these Kara!!!

ohana photographers - david & kimiJanuary 31, 2009 - 1:29 pm

oh how i love old signs like that and old drive-ins. love these kara may!

StephanieJanuary 30, 2009 - 2:52 am

Ohhh, I like! :D I have a little diner that I pass on the way out of town, too. It looks nothing like this, but boy if it did, I’d be all over it! :D Wonderful job on these. :D

ChelseyJanuary 29, 2009 - 11:57 pm

You are so right – begging to be photographed! Lovely pp – perfect framing too! And seeing the spots below… I SO wanna come out location hunting with you!!!

AmyJanuary 29, 2009 - 7:49 pm

Wow love the funky fun pics!! I heart everything old and rusty, so much character!! you really have a great eye for these things and i love your processing!! you rock

MandyJanuary 29, 2009 - 9:27 am

Coming to your blog is like visiting a place in my dreams Kara. You are amazing. Your talent is out of this world. Beautiful photos and processing.

Sylvia BorgoJanuary 28, 2009 - 12:13 am

Kara! You must promise me that you will one day consider packaging your post processing techniques and sell them as actions. I’m addicted to them!

elizabethJanuary 27, 2009 - 2:37 pm

wish we didnt live so far apart.. I would love to hang out and go shooting with you .. these are awesome

Crystal DelaHozJanuary 27, 2009 - 11:16 am

ooo, i love these! you are such a rockstar ;)

Kara MayJanuary 26, 2009 - 5:16 pm

Thanks ladies! I thought these were fun. I may start selling fine art pieces soon since there’s been a pretty big demand ;)

MarcyJanuary 26, 2009 - 5:14 pm

Not only are you amazing when it comes to children, but your landscapes and fine art are STUNNING! I want these!!

TrishaJanuary 26, 2009 - 5:11 pm

*Drool* the would look amazing printed on canvas! Love your eye!

VanessaJanuary 26, 2009 - 9:20 am

These are totally awesome. My husband and I really want pictures taken at a place like this. We found a small country gas station off the highway that we love. Now just need to set up a time and place and photog :)

Natasha WhiteleyJanuary 26, 2009 - 3:59 am

absolutely stunning!
you have such a creative eye! I’m in awe!

KateJanuary 26, 2009 - 12:49 am

The most ghetto things are always the most fun to photograph :] love these!

amanda andrewsJanuary 26, 2009 - 12:20 am

Love these through your eyes! Ofcourse i’m pretty sure nothing could be an eyesore from your view :)

tamiJanuary 26, 2009 - 12:14 am

LOVE that “hot spot” sign! AND your processing!

rachel brookeJanuary 25, 2009 - 11:45 pm

It’s all how you choose to look at it, right? These are very cool and grungy (in a good way!)

{already missing the fluffy, white snow…}

Yesterday a wish of my kiddos came to fruition… it snowed here in South Carolina!  They’ve been wishing for snow since we moved here 2 years ago.  We got snow each year in Snoqualmie so it was strange for them not to get a taste of it each year.  Tyler was so excited at the thought that we might get snow that he woke up at 3am (that’s not a typo) to look outside only to be let down that there wasn’t any.  He was up on and off all morning and both kids squealed with anticipation when big white flakes finally began to fall from the sky.  Of course we spent most of the day outside playing in it, eating it, riding bikes in it, throwing it, etc.  They both made a ‘snow pie’ – you know, a bowl full of snow and I chopped up bits for fruit and put it in the bowl (as they stirred it) and then they ate it.  So fun!  We also made real snow cones! That was such a treat – I poured FUZE juice in it and they were giggling with excitement.  Then we took breaks , came in and had hot cocoa topped with mini marsh mellows.  This was the best winter day yet!    Now it’s melting and Tyler and Brielle keep asking when we’ll get more.  I’m afraid this was the last of it, but we enjoyed it while it was here.    Below are a few pictures of the snow! 

The first thing both kids did…. let the snow drop onto their tongue ;-)

Tyler running to throw a snowball at daddy’s truck!  I’ve never seen someone love the snow as much as Tyler, he couldn’t get enough of it.

Brielle the problem solver:  She insisted on wearing her sunglasses so the snow wouldn’t get in her eyes.  She didn’t take them off until the snow stopped blowing so hard.  I couldn’t resist running in to get my camera to remember this moment.   Oh and she has a spoon and an apple slice in her hand making her tasty snow pie. 

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Michelle CalhounFebruary 13, 2009 - 10:50 am

Kara, your work is some of the most gorgeous that I have seen so far!!!!
WOW!! You are so creative, and the works of ART are just stunning!

Ali GreenwoodFebruary 8, 2009 - 10:04 am

Ooh you got some great shots Kara. Love the shots of Tyler and Brielle. The sunglasses made me smile :o )

TheresaFebruary 6, 2009 - 7:55 pm

I am so jealous!! I use to live in Sumter and we got snow a few times, I miss it. Now I am in So. Cal., love it here too but, again miss the snow and that wonderful landscape down south.. Your photography is amazing!!! I just love your site BTW. Found you through my friend Feanna – Kait Emerson Designs.

Cheryl JohnsonFebruary 2, 2009 - 6:50 pm

the girl has style LOL

we just had the heaviest snowfall in 20 years, the kids were over the moon until they realised school was still open !!

Emily SmithJanuary 31, 2009 - 6:43 pm

I LOVE the tree and road picture! Gorgeous!

shannon lottJanuary 30, 2009 - 2:21 pm

Love the snow pics and am jealous a little bit. Snow photos are my favorite. And my daughter has that same princes bike! Such great memories here!

Melanie WatsonJanuary 28, 2009 - 1:01 pm

Oh my goodness… what beautiful images of the snowfall. I so miss the snow. Granted Nashville didn’t get much of it when we lived there but considering Florida doesn’t get any… I do miss the little we did get. :) Beautiful work as always! :)

KateJanuary 25, 2009 - 10:09 pm

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I love your work and can’t wait to see more–I’ve added you to my Google Reader so I’ll definitely be back.

These pictures of the snow are gorgeous…I feel just like your kids. I’ve lived in Texas my whole life and just started school in upstate New York this year. Snow is definitely amazing :]

StephanieJanuary 25, 2009 - 2:33 am

These are some FUN photos!!! Sometimes, snow is a good thing. :D Also..LOVE the new look. :D Very awesome. :D

ohana photographers - david and kimiJanuary 24, 2009 - 11:38 pm

i loooove the catching snowflakes with the tongue image!! so innocent and carefree!

michelle nicoloffJanuary 23, 2009 - 6:04 pm

Kara…these are gorgeous!!! What a nice treat to have snow…my kids would have been thrilled!

Julie RaneeJanuary 23, 2009 - 1:05 pm

Such wonderful memories you have captured! Love the scenic shots too!

elizabethJanuary 22, 2009 - 7:48 pm

Ohhhhh Kara.. these are amazing.. just amazing.

JessJanuary 22, 2009 - 7:45 pm

I’m so happy you got to enjoy the snow. I was just wishing yesterday it was gone…here in Utah. BTW love the shot scenic shots.

Natasha WhiteleyJanuary 22, 2009 - 4:20 pm

as always, these are fantastic!
I love no 3! and no 1.. and no 2 :D

Tami :)January 22, 2009 - 3:32 pm

Sigh…I get lost in all of your images. Stunning – I want to buy it. Are you selling any of your fine art?

Jessica TyndallJanuary 22, 2009 - 11:27 am

Hey hey hey….we didn’t get any snow!! Boooo! ;) Looks like you guys had a lot of fun and it also looks like you live in a magical fairy land! Beautiful photos Kara!

Kara MayJanuary 22, 2009 - 10:29 am

lol – If only snow can be sent. We would take truck loads ;) There’s still a little bit of snow on the ground since it’s so cold but tomorrow should be 60+ degrees so it will be gone soon :(
Thanks for the comments :)

HayleyJanuary 22, 2009 - 10:26 am

I will gladly send you some of our snow…LOL. What beautiful memories you’ve captured here!!

rachel brookeJanuary 22, 2009 - 1:30 am

My heart is aching a looking at these photos. You are so lucky to get to see snow!! Oh what I would give to have some….I’m glad you posted these though, they make me happy and feel like I got to “experience” it a little.

MeganJanuary 22, 2009 - 1:24 am

Those first few shots are just them..and of course the ones of oyor kiddos so fun..I can’t say that I would want to deal w/ snow on a regular basis..I’m such a baby..BUT..I know my kids would love it..just for a day…bet it’s so much fun!

Lisa LenderinkJanuary 22, 2009 - 12:36 am

Great memories you captured! I will gladly send Tyler some
of our snow. I can’t remember when we’ve had as much snow
as we do this year. We got over 40″ just in December!

Since we are so used to snow, I guess I forget about some of the
fun things you can do….great idea about the snow cones.

My kids would love that! :)

The sunglasses crack me up!

amanda andrewsJanuary 21, 2009 - 10:28 pm

They can have our snow :)
but really these are such fun fabulous shots!

PennyJanuary 21, 2009 - 9:26 pm

Tyler LOVED the snow from his first year on and Brielle hated the snow from the first. Glad to see how much fun they BOTH are having. Wish we could be there with them.

Jamie KutterJanuary 21, 2009 - 8:41 pm

Hi Kara! Your work is so beautiful. I love looking at your blog. I am SO jealous of the snowy road….that is to die for!

SelenaJanuary 21, 2009 - 7:03 pm

Oh how fun!! So many times we, in Michigan, think about how big of a pain the snow is to us. But looking at these photos have really inspired me to ENJOY all 5+ inches that we do have. :) So happy you and your kiddos could enjoy the fluffy white stuff. :)

Jessica FeelyJanuary 21, 2009 - 6:08 pm

Hey! Thanks for visiting my site/blog..:) Your pictures are amazing and I love them! I cannot believe how gorgeous it is where you are. You are not missing much in Seattle…just a bunch of fog and rain. I love your site too, I hopefully will get one in the next couple of months:) I’m sure I will be a regular on here now!

{Lonely & Abandoned}

A couple of weeks ago when I was driving home from a session that was out of town I found something.  Something that compelled me to put my foot on the break  and make a U-Turn in the middle of the road to curiously go back.  I was on the phone with my mom (I know, bad to talk on the cell and drive – horrible habit)  and I quickly hung up as I pulled into the long dirt driveway.  My heart was beating in my throat as I got closer.  I don’t know what it is about an abandoned house that gets me so emotional.  I feel so many things some I can’t even describe – a bit of sadness (why wasn’t there a family living in that house anymore?), curiosity (what made them leave?) and apprehension (the unknown).  But I can’t resist stopping and even exploring.  I wondered what the house looked like when it was lived in, when it had a fresh coat of paint and shiny door knobs.  I’m sure each empty house was beautiful (I like to think that anyway).    This particular house took my breath away  (strange I know…) but there was something about the setting that was so beautiful.  The house was sitting on a large piece of land, a for sale sign that looked like it had been there for decades, and surrounded by withering golden corn fields.  So stunning yet very eerie.  I grabbed my cell phone, camera and keys and stepped out of my car, locking the door behind me.  I was out in the middle of nowhere but I’m OCD about locking my car doors.  Anyway, I tip-toed up the decrepit porch that looked like it could cave in if much weight was on it (not smart – I’ve already been scolded for that) and walked through the bright green front door.  I stood for a moment in each room studying the old fireplaces, the wood ceilings and the dusty floors looking for any evidence of who may have once lived there.  In the kitchen I saw an open window-paned cabinet  that still had plates, glasses and bowls in them – I couldn’t resist reaching for my camera but knew not to touch a thing in the house.  I didn’t want to leave but the sun was setting and I knew Jeff was waiting at home for me probably wondering where I was.   I hope to go back to that house and explore others that I’ve found – so  mysterious yet I have a fond respect for these old dismissed places. 





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ohana photographers - david & kimi bSeptember 30, 2008 - 3:08 am

i can’t even begin to say how much i LOVE that house!

sheenaSeptember 26, 2008 - 7:57 pm

this is the coolest thing ever!!! i love exploring old places!! and I can’t believe there were DISHES in it!! how fun!

PaigeSeptember 25, 2008 - 1:17 pm

Goosebumps~ love your commentary on your visit to this hauntingly beautiful house. Wow, what a find. I’m dying to see pictures with your kids there!!

MekennaSeptember 24, 2008 - 8:10 pm

Oh wow!

I haven’t visited in a while…again. I’m sorry. :)

I ablsolutely love old houses, they are so compelling to me. Beautiful pics!

AmySeptember 24, 2008 - 10:52 am

Super sweet!! I heart old abandon houses!! I love going back home to south dakota and exploring. There are so many abandon houses where my parents live, i just love it!! so many unique things you can find. I think it would be fun to do a series on them. Of course you rocked it once again, i just love your work!!

TaraSeptember 23, 2008 - 11:57 pm

I grew up investigating old abandoned houses and you precisely described my feelings when I see one. You have a great way with words (and pictures :) ) because I could almost smell and feel the house before I even saw the photos.

elizabethSeptember 23, 2008 - 8:28 am

Kudos to you.. seriously I love old abondoned buildings and houses and am always far to chicken to get too close.. ( maybe too many horror movies ) but wow.. you braved it and look at the treasures you found.. so so cool..

shannon lottSeptember 22, 2008 - 10:23 pm

Ooh, you are brave. I felt like I was reading a novel or something:) Love it too…green paint, old wood, all of it. Why don’t you buy it?! Studio?

cindy cieluchSeptember 22, 2008 - 4:46 pm

you’ve got to go back now to do a portrait shoot there. unreal. the green, the textures, the architecture, the entire scene is just stunning. thank you for sharing.

Tineke van der EemsSeptember 22, 2008 - 8:40 am

wow these shots are beautiful…and oh i love your textures!!
Hey this is such a great location for shootings :)

Megan CristelloSeptember 22, 2008 - 7:56 am

Omgosh Kara…I had chills reading this! What a fabulous find and such pictures to go with it. Something about that cabinet with the scattered dishes stirred such emotion in me..sadness. You must go back..with your girl!

JaniceSeptember 21, 2008 - 5:45 pm

Oh you know I love these already — so inspiring – makes me want to go out & explore all the old places around me (we live semi – in the country -) I think I want to be you when I grow up :) I love your style & the way you see things. It takes something special to see deeper in life!!! Be safe when scouting though — I am always afraid of spiders, snakes or mice –ECK!!!! Your PP rocks also

MandsSeptember 21, 2008 - 5:43 pm

Love this old house Kara! and perfectly your style! can’t wait to see a photoshoot in front of it! All the images are just so dang cool, and I remember light switches like that at my grandma’s house!

HayleySeptember 21, 2008 - 4:24 pm

Beautiful!! I know most think we are nuts, but I am the same way, finding the absolute beauty in these same things! What a find!!

StephanieSeptember 21, 2008 - 10:50 am

Oh. My. Goodness. Eerie. Lovely. Thought provoking. amazing. I wish I could see this with my own eyes..however, your photo does the job perfectly. :D What a find! Something for me to pay more attention to next time I’m out driving..thanks for sharing! :D

nathalieSeptember 21, 2008 - 1:01 am

you are sooo brave!!!!!!!!!!!! i don’t think i like old houses as much as you do. those green walls would be a perfect backdrop. and everything else i imagine. this is an awesome finding. i guess there really is taste for everything. lol!!!! sorry for having dissapeared! i have been busy…..the usual stuff. and i imagne you have too. i will send you something soon. you will like it.

MeredithSeptember 20, 2008 - 11:15 pm

Hauntingly beautiful…and your pp is stunning. I love the variety of all your posts – never a dull post. Pure talent how you can capture something so decayed and make it eye catchingly beautiful.

pamelaSeptember 20, 2008 - 10:10 pm

beautiful shots, always fabulous pp’ing ~ you are one brave chickie heading into a place like that alone. hate to sound like a ‘mom’, but do be careful! maybe take someone with you or at least let them know where you are, goodness girl. =)i totally agree, one cannot help but wonder what happened to the family & why still even dishes in the home. don’t homes like that inspire you to fix ‘em up? i wish there was some sort of contracting company that went around and just re-did these sorts of places and re-made them into the gems they once were. love the corn field around and on side of the first shot.

Kara MaySeptember 20, 2008 - 8:00 pm

Thanks ladies! You don’t know how fun this was for me – I was giddy, my mind was racing and all I wanted to do is find out more information. There was even a hanger hanging on a door knob that I took pictures of too. It looked like it had been there for years – of course that brought about so many questions in my head too. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my fascination ;)

SarahSeptember 20, 2008 - 7:57 pm

You can make something like this look like a work of art. beautiful work Kara!!!

Jenn PennSeptember 20, 2008 - 5:14 pm

What a cool old house! I love the photos and I can also imagine what the home used to look like. What a great find!

Natasha WhiteleySeptember 20, 2008 - 4:33 pm

beautiful, totally gorgeous!

bev robisonSeptember 20, 2008 - 2:57 pm

Wow, Kara. You are so brave to go inside! I am too chicken. I found an abandoned house (more like a mansion) here in Poland. I was alone and I really wanted to see inside, but as I approached the house I got too freaked out and ran back to the car. Bummer.

JoeySeptember 20, 2008 - 12:34 pm

Wow! What a great old house!

RebeccaSeptember 20, 2008 - 12:23 pm

Ab fab dawling! It takes a great eye to take something that others might label as “dirty”, “ugly”, “worthless” and turn it into awe inspiring beauty.

Rachel BrookeSeptember 20, 2008 - 10:37 am

I’d say you found a perfect little gem for your next session!

PennySeptember 20, 2008 - 9:46 am

These are amazing and wonderful. You must go back (with Jeff) and take more pictures.

melissaSeptember 20, 2008 - 8:24 am

I am the same way about old houses. You described all the feelings I get seeing old houses. Your pictures are great and really tell a story.

ChristieSeptember 20, 2008 - 8:09 am

WOW! What an awesome find! I love desolate and abandoned places such as this. Talk about texture heaven!

Carrie YoungSeptember 20, 2008 - 6:25 am

OMGosh! What a find! You have to go back, daughter & camera in tow!!
Love the texture on these, fits perfectly Kara :D

TanyaSeptember 20, 2008 - 3:16 am

Oh this house is fantastic Kara!! would love to see more of it & the others you have discovered, I too wonder those same things when I see a house like this (not that that happens very often living on the coast!) they hold so many memories, it would be amazing just to see a glimpse! Your photos are nothing short of sensational, & your pping WOW!! wish I could go discovering with you!! :)