This week’s Selective Focus subject makes the most of the square format of Instagram with beautifully composed photos of abandoned, forgotten buildings around the area. Andy Miller tells us why he documents them.
AM: I’m a photographer working in several different areas/projects. The buildings project came about for a few different reasons. I wanted to show people that you don’t need an expensive camera or a ton of free time to get into photography. These photos are all taken and edited with my phone. (Previously a Samsung Galaxy S4 and currently an LG G4) I also wanted to document the economic changes happening within our area. I’ve always been interested in abandoned and derelict buildings, especially businesses. It’s fascinating to me that one area of a town will flourish while another falls into decay. At one point in time, these buildings were one of the most important things in someone’s life. Now, sitting vacant, they’re hardly noticed at all by passersby. I think documenting this contrast is important.
I got my first camera in July of 2007. I started my first “professional photographer” job in April of 2011 and I’ve been working on the building project since November of 2013.
I work full time, so finding time to shoot is always difficult. A big part of the project grew out of that. I don’t always have my camera with me, but I always have my phone. As far as the rewards – It’s pretty nice to be recognized for my art. A lot of people tell me about a building they’ve seen that I should shoot or show me pictures they’ve taken. A lot of people react to places they remember from their past.
This entire project is currently housed on Instagram – I’m horrible at using hashtags so the fact that anyone has seen it at all is pretty amazing to me.
I’m the staff photographer for the Renegade Theater Company. We typically run 6 shows per year and I provide production runs for each show.
The rest of my photography is typically event based and usually ends up on my Facebook page.
I’m looking to get a website of my own started. I don’t have the slightest idea what I want it to do or how I want it to look. I’d like to do a coffee table book for the building project. I’ve been thinking of different ways to fund it – crowdfund, loans, etc.
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