social history photography

Letting go can be incredibly sad and incredibly painful, especially when something holds such wonderful, golden memories from childhood. This commission was an unusual one for me but when I heard the back story there was no way I couldn’t have documented this for my client.

I was commissioned to photograph the exterior and grounds of a house on the banks of the River Thames. The house belonged to my client’s parents and it was where she grew up. Her parents were keen gardeners, the grounds contained its own orchard along with greenhouses and her father was a handy man, having his own workshop on site. On the grounds were also a boat house and an indoor tennis court. 

The house had remained untouched since her parent’s death. The glasshouses stood empty, the orchard overgrown and the workshop just how her father left it, except with a little more dust. It was like photographing a time capsule. She and her husband had brought the property next door and in turn had raised their family there. Sadly she thought they were going to have to sell the grounds and house which she feared would probably be demolished and so she wanted me to get a record of how it all was before putting it on the market.

Social history and urban exploration are two topics that really grip me. Seeing how things used to be combined with memories is an incredibly powerful emotion. 

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