22 August 2015




 "When history remains frozen in ruined structures; they have a thousand stories to tell. In my humble opinion, I believe that the onus is on photographers to present their stories before the world."  


Old architectural buildings are such marvels with nothing but a glorious past. Their degrees of wooden decay and concrete cancer are so beautiful. They will tease you. Tickle your creative bone and then, just as you think you’ve gotten the perfect shot, snatch it away with a cackle and a flurry of pigeons. Bad light, passers by getting in the way and annoying authorities enforcing a no-trespassing policy at a historic site, can all conspire against your perfect picture, making a seemingly easy subject one of the most challenging to successfully capture.

Better known as "De old church in Chaguaramas by de golf course" St. Chad’s Anglican Church, was first built by the British in 1850 and is nestled among the ruins of the old Mt. Pleasant Village  in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. My photographer, Luis and I, had been eyeing this location for quite sometime. The big, yellow "NO TRESPASSING" sign glared back at us every time. Many photographers relish the opportunity to shoot at this location and rightfully so. In the past this historic church has been photographed in such a manner where the photographers' frames have focused on the broken windows of the church, so when we finally were able to shoot here we decided on doing something a bit unconventional.

We wanted to create a mood for our shoot and so, we shot from creative angles and perspectives. In order to play up the natural character of the church, Luis got the camera low to the ground and shot upwards emphasizing the vastness of the church. He also shot at an angle to heighten the sense of disorientation.  I love Luis'  work as a photographer solely because he always manages to tell a story of the place he's shooting in. He knows all to well a subtle shift of the camera’s perspective can make a huge impact on the mood of the photo and he does that so well.

 Our concept for this shoot also included focusing on the weather-beaten, rustic feel of the church, which we figured would provide a timeless contrast against my well tailored, stylish, white garment. We decided that these two elements would be enough to fulfill our goal for this shoot.

 My dress isn't a wedding dress as many assume, but rather an outfit I designed and wore for Eid last year. I hadn't gotten many shots in it and decided a re-shoot would be awesome. A re-shoot at this old, abandoned church. More awesome! I can't say that I enjoyed the shoot because honestly I didn't have time to.  It took about 10 minutes, from the time Luis and I were positioned, to capture all the frames posted here. My shortest and fastest shoot ever! In retrospect I guess that sort of thing is enjoyable. In case you may be wondering why our shoot was done so quickly, refer to my earlier point about annoying authorities enforcing a no-trespassing policy.


Nevertheless, there is a very special kind of beauty in long abandoned and ruined buildings and that combined with the thrill of doing something risky, the adrenalin flow when you take risks never knowing what’s going to happen next, and prospects of getting some really amazing photographs all makes it irresistible.

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