Architectural Photography / AJ Brown Goes to Jail

   When I tell people I am an architectural photographer usually they conjure up images of me at exotic locations photographing outstandingly beautiful buildings and interiors.  Sure, sometimes that is true but what they don't realize is that a huge part of what I do is not that glamourous.  Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, and it is ALWAYS interesting!

   I would have to say the most interesting assignment of 2012 was what I referred to as "The Jail Tour".   AJ Brown Imaging traveled to three different county jails in the state of Illinois to photograph the exteriors and interiors.  I had a police escort with me the entire time while they moved inmates around to clear out the space for me to photograph.  The above image is cell block C at the Muscatine County Jail.   

   This image is the holding cells at the Mercer county Jail.  This is where people are taken when they first arrive at the station.   After they process your paperwork and find space for you they move you to an actual cell (seen below).

   Often, if I am able to, I like to go back and visit projects that I have shot and check in with the people I have met.  This project was a little different.  Although I did meet some great people, I was very clear with them that I hoped to never come back to see them!

   One thing I pride myself in is always meeting my clients needs.  A lot of photographers will only shoot the best looking or most prominent parts of a building or space.  Because of my unique style of shooting I am able to shoot a project much faster and less disruptive than many photographers in my field.  This gives me plenty of time to shoot the less desirable but still very useful parts of a space.  For example, in 2012 alone I photographed several power plants, utility closets, server rooms, empty garages, bus stops, bus washing buildings, sidewalks, interstates, and even an underground retaining wall!  But the Jail Tour was by far the most interesting.  

Here's to a fun and interesting 2013!