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When I stopped in Alabama earlier this year and agreed to shoot my brother’s senior pictures, I had a few locations in mind. There was a field behind their house, a park just down the road, and then a small village nearby.

Having taken photos at the first two places on our itinerary, we then headed to the village and began walking around and looking for the perfect backdrop for our photos.

Given that the downtown area was so small, it didn’t take long until we found somewhere to take photos. I loved this little space between 2 buildings, with a sign indicating that it was Art Alley.

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After posing Ricky with the old-fashioned Coca-Cola sign on the side of one building, I then had him sit on the stairs of the other building.

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Next, I commanded Ricky to climb to the first landing for a photo. The angle didn’t work for the photo, but when he started to walk back down, I ordered him to stop.

“What’s in there?” I asked him.

“The door is bolted shut,” he replied.

“But what about the top floor?” I was already climbing up and squeezing past him on the landing to make my way to the 3rd floor.

When I got to that landing, I was amazed to see that the door was cracked open. I pushed in and called out, making sure nobody was in there before leading Ricky into the entrance area for our first photo inside the creepy abandoned building.

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To the left was a room that was very dark, but we attempted a few pictures next to the covered window that still had a little light spilling through.

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Back in the entrance, we followed the door opposite to the one we’d just been in and were amazed to see the remnants of what we speculated was once some kind of dance hall or gathering area.

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We experimented with shots near the abundant windows in here, before moving over to a platform. As Ricky sat on the platform, the sunset light streamed in through the covered windows, illuminating part of him in a golden light.

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While we were getting ready to leave, he received a phone call and stepped just outside the building to stand on the stairs to take the call. I was stunned by the view as I looked out at him, and the moment he hung up, I insisted that he pose for just a few more photos.

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It was a completely unplanned stop in our photo session, and it meant that we couldn’t shoot at a different location we’d planned to visit at sunset, but I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything!

Love, Elizabeth

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