The Rural Decay Series

Why I do what I do…

Ever since the Winter of 2008, when I first came across a derelict farmhouse in North Dakota, I have been on the hunt to preserve abandoned houses and buildings through photography. I have always had a fascination with them since childhood. I can recall a handful of interesting abandoned and neglected houses in the areas that I had grown up in and how painfully sad I was when they were torn down for new development. Most people won’t remember them now, and unfortunately it never occurred to me to photograph them when I was younger. Now I see this series as a photo preservation project, a race to visually capture neglected buildings before they are gone.

Over the years, what began as a personal curiosity and an exciting way to spend a free afternoon, has grown into a deeply rooted passion. In the beginning I would just sneak into houses, take my pictures and quickly leave. Now I am coming into contact with locals, property owners and historians in order to learn more about each building. Eventually I hope to create a book, or series, on the subject of Rural Decay in America; but for now I photograph and write.

My Rules

I have set for myself a guideline of “rules” to follow. I deeply respect and love these old buildings. My intentions are purely to explore and  visually record what is left of them before they no longer exist. The condition of the house and or building when I come across it varies greatly, some are in decent shape while others are barely holding together, therefore some common sense and gentle patience are required when exploring the interior.

  • Cause no Damage to property – This, one would think, would be obvious. I never force a door open or break either a door or window to enter  the interior. If I can not easily  and safely enter a space without causing additional damage then I simply do not enter at all. I am cautious of each movement I make inside and where I step. I see plenty of the damage left by others before me and I do not wish to follow their disrespectful behavior.
  • Do NOT take or leave behind a thing – It is imperative that I  leave a place as I found it. To take anything from one of these sites is highly unethical as nothing inside belongs to me or anyone else except for the legal owners of the property. I aim to leave a site exactly as it was before I came across it. This also includes not leaving behind garbage of my own. Littering is for me a major pet peeve and I view it as the highest form of disrespect one can display against our country, or any country for that matter.
  • Always be Responsible for Oneself – Some people worry about me entering an unsafe building, which is understandable. I have been doing this for several years now and know very well what are my own limits.I trust my own ability in judging the safety of my own actions. I do not hold others responsible for my own decisions. Often I will make several trips over a period of  time to one house to capture it in different lighting and in the process will become familiar with the house’s strength or lack of. If I do not feel safe then I do not enter.
  • Location Note – The location of some places must remain a secret for the protection of a building or at the request of the owner. Lets face it, not everyone is me and will respect these buildings as I do. If I do not give strong or exact location of a building then please assume that it is not up for sharing.


Please do NOT use my images without my permission. That would be tacky and rude. If or when permission is granted then please remember to give me credit for my own work. That would be polite. I work very hard on this series and you don’t want to tarnish your karma by stealing images. Bad karma is not worth it!

Prints are for sale. Simply contact me  for prices and sizes via Email:

Want to suggest a place?

I am always scouting for new houses and interesting buildings. If you know of a place that you feel I should consider please feel free to send me an email at or leave a comment . Also If you recognize a house or building from my photo series and have any additional information regarding its history, please definitely contact me. Researching some of these buildings is not easy and any assistance is always appreciated!




7 responses to “The Rural Decay Series

  • Doc

    Hi Amber,

    I don’t see anything here about Table Rock Village anymore, but I thought I’d drop by to let you know that the demolition has started.

    • palechickstudios

      Hey Doc!!

      I haven’t posted the last TRV adventure and photos yet.. I have been a bit behind on my writing since work has been picking up these past few months, But it will be posted soon! 🙂 The other posts are still here. You should be able to find them via the Wyoming tag.. Perhaps I should also tag them as Table Rock..

      Hope your doing well! When will the demolition be complete?

  • emilebklein

    Amber, the work is great, let’s talk, I am really liking this work, a lot! I think we might be able to fins some way to collaborate.

    -E and You’re U.S.

  • dbobway

    Hello Amber
    I fell into your pictures of houses in Table Rock.
    I spent a year building those houses as a Contractor for Colorado interstate gas.
    The original project was to be 35 houses.
    I didn’t see the water tower or the holding pond.
    The way it sounds about the posts it may be all gone.
    My email is

    • palechickstudios


      WOW! thanks for contacting me!

      They demolished the neighborhood a few years ago. One or two buildings are left, as of a year or so ago when I was last in the area, but none of the houses or road exist. Though a few of the houses were relocated to GreenRiver long before I was there to photograph the neighborhood.

      • dbobway

        I was a young married man then. Left Denver to work for my wife’s sister’s husband.
        He was the developer of the project.
        Without checking this would 1977.
        Under that ground may be a complete water and waste system we created.
        We recycled waste with a sewer system that turned sewer into water for grass and washing cars.
        The gas station was open, they had great hamburgers and they sold a six pack for the 64 miles to Green River. It legal to drink that six pack while you drove back then.

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