Fashion Meets UrbEx
I really enjoy combining Urban Exploring with Fashion Photography.  It gives the images a little bit more an edge.  You can always shoot in a studio or in a city, but shooting in a building that has been forgotten can be quite interesting.

However... it can also be very dangerous.

The images you will see below were taken in a large abandoned factory in Germany.  This particular scene was quite risky for me.  Which is why I want to explain what it required.

I was already familiar with the layout of the factory before this shoot.  I also took the fashion designer on a location scout prior to our shoot date.  We also hosted a pre-production meeting with the models to discuss the dangers of the location.  It was important that everyone was aware that they should stay together and not wonder off.  I assured the models that they would not be at risk and told them if they felt uncomfortable about anything they should let me know during the shoot.

This part of the factory has a very large room with a very high ceiling.  Between the model and myself was large pit that covered half the floor.  The opening was to the room below which also has high ceilings.  Thus, one would not want to fall into the pit.

The model stood across from me on the others side of the divide.  On my side there were several small openings in the floor.  In order to get the shots I wanted I had to stand sometimes on a narrow space.  For a different angle I climbed up onto a large concrete block.  In all honesty I should have had a safety harness on.

What I want to stress to everyone is that when you want to explore or shoot in an abandoned building you have to be prepared.  Safety should become for fun.  If you are working with talent on location like this you need to have a section in your contract that waives your liability and you have to make sure they are informed.  If anyone on the shoot starts to stray then end the shoot.  It is better to end a shoot versus someone getting hurt.

If everyone is well informed about the location and follows the safety guidelines that you have set then and only then will you have a great shoot.

In addition, I highly recommend not doing urban exploration alone.  In case of an emergency always have someone with you. 

One last thing one should remember is the motto of an Urban Explorer: TAKE PHOTOS, LEAVE FOOTPRINTS!  This means that you should leave the location as you found it, so that the next person should discover it.  The idea is to preserve and not destroy.

Model: Sheraida A. Wellnitz


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