Let me take you back to this day, when I decided to scout for abandoned locations in the Italian countryside… While on a trip to Italy, I decided to go on a hunt for those rare and creative places, full of life and yet so empty. One of my favorite aspects of urban photography is to capture those moments. After long hours of walking in Massa Lombarda and trying to communicate (in some kind of hybrid language between Spanglish-Italian-French) I finally found my way into a walk up apartment.
Before starting out, you need to keep one thing in mind (and I won’t stress that enough): safety first. You never know where you are heading and what you are going to find. While this is an exciting part of searching for locations: do not go alone. Make sure you are not trespassing either.
“Be Patient and you will find the right location.”
Make sure to start early in the morning. Finding the right places takes time. A lot of time. The trickiest part of this exercise is that you need to find the right place at the right time. Do not give up: you will find that special place if you think outside of the box. Open your eyes, look around, especially for the details.
“Use the light and all the natural elements around you to compose your frame.”
“A tripod is not optional”
You are going to be shooting from dusk till dawn (hopefully) and you never know how much light you will get. It’s best to bring a light weight tripod with you as you might be walking for hours before finding the right place. One of my favorite backpacks for that is the Manfrotto NX Backpack . If you own a wide lense, make sure to get a shot of the entire space before getting to the details.
“Set the mood and don’t touch anything”
There is something about those places that make them so special. Life is perceptible. What is it about it that makes you visualise the people who inhabited this place? Don’t touch anythIng and look around. Use nature, light and all the elements around you. The objects people left behind will talk.
Satisfied with my shots, I decided to walk around and discover other parts of the Italian countryside.
90 Year old and still gardening and full of energy. Although I couldn’t communicate with them, we connected. I was invited on the field and they let me take pictures. Photography is a universal languages and I am always amazed of how much it brings people together.
Citizen of the world born in France, Sarah is an actress, journalist and activist. She has lived and worked in Mexico City, New York and Paris and is now based in London where she is finishing her architecture studies. Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Mood Board Magazine and founder of “The Cherry On Top” her lifestyle blog. As a former professional tennis player, she loves running, traveling and sharing her journey on Social Media.