I’ve always found beauty in dilapidated buildings. It’s one of my small pleasures to explore rundown places, especially ones with strong character. Those places are the perfect canvases to imagine stories as a writer.
This was my first time working with the amazing photographer, Nina Tellier, and she couldn’t have picked a more interesting place to work in. She's a fantastic photographer - please check out her body of work in the links above!
These photos were taken at an abandoned lot on the outskirts of Greensboro. It was a very old house judging by the layout and the rate of decay. Beside the house was an abandoned barn, so I assume whoever once owned the house must have worked in the barn and stables. This place had apparently been forsaken decades ago. All of the windows had been broken and glass lie shattered everywhere, but the long sheer curtains remained in tact and swayed eerily in the breeze at all times. With no protection from the elements, the carpeted floor sprouted giant moldy spots in many corners. There were gaping holes in some of the rooms, so every step Nina and I took was calculated and cautionary. You entered into the house through a long, narrow front porch which lead into a large open kitchen connecting to the other rooms. One room clearly belonged to a child at some point; the wallpaper print had preschool cartoon images of barns, tractors and farmyard animals repeated across the walls.
Sadly, Nina had learned this house and lot would be torn down sometime this month (there's a good chance it already is as I write this.) Many people had been there before, partying or generally vandalizing the place. To add to the air of creepiness, Nina learned of this place from a model who had done a zombie photoshoot there. In the kid’s room, there were buckets of fake blood splashed onto the walls.
Perhaps the most hilarious part of this story to me was how after we explored the place and came up with picture ideas, we began to shoot, and not after but two pictures, all of the sudden we heard a huge SLAM coming from one of the back rooms. We were both paralyzed with fear and had barely just begun shooting. Of course, the wind had simply shut one of the doors, but the blood and overall creepiness added to our paranoia.
I’m absolutely in love with these pictures – but the irony is that the main style advice I planned on discussing is completely covered by my hair in the majority of the pictures, which I totally hadn't realized until afterward. I’ve been using clip-on earrings to dress up my collars a lot this season. It’s a very simple trick that instantly elevates any outfit into something more formal. The clip-on’s that I have were actually given to me, so I’ve found alternate ways of using them.
Clip-on earrings are generally always inexpensive and easily found in most secondhand thriftstores or vintage jewelry shops. They are ideal because they won’t damage your clothing like a pin might, such as leaving puncture holes. These are easily an interchangeable seasonal accessory, but it does look especially nice when you pair them with sweaters. In most clothing retailers, I frequently see shirts with decorated collars. You can also add clip-on’s to a jacket with rolled up sleeves to give the illusion of button cuffs. I actually used this trick in another photoshoot wearing an embroidered jacket – can’t wait to post it!
I’ve read somewhere before that you can also use clip-on earrings to dress up a pair of flats or a scarf, but I don’t feel as comfortable doing so because the clip-on's don’t feel nearly as secure in those places as opposed to a collar where it might be more easily noticed if one happens to fall off.
Here are some pictures to use as inspiration for styling your outfits with clip-on earrings:
Here's a close up of the shirt and clip-on's I wore for the shoot. The shirt already had a unique embroidered print that is nicely offset by the gold and pearls.
Use clip-on earrings as faux button cuffs. Looks very vintage and expensive!
Dress up a solid colored shirt with clip-on's that have a texture or pattern. This would look really great with a sweater over it.
This is a sheer black button up shirt. The color black perfectly offsets the shiny, gaudy clip-on's.
I would love to see how anyone else has used clip-on's to spruce up an outfit! Leave a picture below in the comments.