The beauty of abandoned places

One of my favourite things about Malta is the accessibility of abandoned buildings.

Of course what leads to them being abandoned isn’t great. The majority of these buildings are casualties of the bottom falling out of the tourism market in certain areas. Some are just a shell, never getting so far as light fittings let alone furniture before the developers packed up and left. Others are ghosts of what could have been, marble tiled floors cracked and covered in beer cans, huge rooms that suggest bars or receptions – the only light being provided coming from the gaping hole in the ceiling or missing walls.


In the UK, these buildings are usually boarded up and guarded, their secrets shut away behind so much barbed wire. I personally think this is a great shame. These buildings contain stories, their decay a beautiful reminder of former or intended utility. I feel like these places deserve to be documented and remembered.

Recently, I went to an amazing abandoned hotel in Malta. Outside, people had set up beach and picnic gear on the former poolside area. Gazebos stretched between the gutted swimming pool and the sea.

Wandering around, my friend and I started guessing at what the rooms were. This one had to be the reception, the pillars in another suggested a bar or dining area. The toilets were more obvious, even with missing cisterns and mirrors reduced to a few fragments on the wall.

I’m currently trying to figure out how to turn these into composites. I really wish I could have arranged for a shoot there, or even manage to work past my discomfort in self-portraits, but I’ll use them somehow.

Bridal photoshoot on Brighton beach

Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography


“I am longing to be with you, and by the sea, where we can talk together freely and build our castles in the air” – Bram Stoker, Dracula

Evening shoots are tricky. You’re hoping you can get the shots before the light disappears, hoping your camera is picking up as much of the blues and purples of the night sky as possible before your shots fade to a grainy dark grey. A shoot with an uncompromising deadline.

And as the yellow smoke of the smoke bombs disappeared into the night, I hoped I’d captured images that did justice to everyone’s hard work.

Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography

I’ve been dying to feature Rosie’s dresses in my photography since I first laid eyes on her Instagram page. I knew the sheer material and delicate lace would look amazing on camera and every dress has an attitude to it, something that makes them not just beautiful.

Amy worked so hard, creating beautiful poses while balancing on a ladder, in a headdress and holding flowers, while getting soaked by crashing waves long after the day had passed its warmest.

The beautiful colour scheme, carefully chosen props and overall styling was all down to Georgina of Ruby Wedding Design. Although we had to forego the red smoke bombs (after being advised that red smoke means ‘I’m in danger’ and is a great way to get the coastguard involved in your shoot), the colour scheme beautifully matched the serene location.

Running around between us all, helping Amy to scale cliff faces in delicate lace and supporting her as she climbed a ladder balanced on a shifting shore of stones was AJ. All after creating the fabulous updo Amy is sporting.

Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography

We may have finished the evening exhausted, cold and chasing down the beach after wandering balloons, but working with a wonderful team made it all worthwhile.

Beach bridal shoot - Brighton - by Stevie-Ella Photography

Couture: Rosie Red Corsetry & Couture

Styling: Ruby Wedding Design

Model: IAmRoseModel

Hair: AJ Judge Hair

Flowers: Hunter Florist

I’m an introvert, so what?

Growing up, Wednesday Addams was my idol.

She wore pigtails without them looking cute, was totally independent and when someone told her to be someone she wasn’t, she burnt their camp to the ground.

I’m an introvert and I think Wednesday was too.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all, it’s simply the way my brain works, but the misconceptions around it are frustrating. Especially when I’m called shy.

Considering all the stuff on the internet about how introversion isn’t a bad thing, some people seem to have missed it.

I’m not shy, I’m quiet

If I have something to say, I’ll say it, but I won’t speak simply to have spoken. If I’m quiet, I’m concentrating. Yes, that’s a lot but there are a lot of things to think about; what I’m doing, what you’re saying or even the way the light is interacting with whatever is in front of me.

Want an immediate response to a problem? You won’t often get one, a multitude of options will be running through my head and I’m testing the viability of each one. I also choose my words carefully, not because I’m afraid to speak but because I like what I’m saying to be as correct as possible. Wednesday’s cutting comebacks are considered and all the more effective for not being a rambling of thoughts.

Shyness is often seen as a weakness, so when you call me shy, you’re kind of suggesting the way my brain works is a weakness.

I’m not antisocial, I run out of social energy

In the same way I have a finite amount of energy to run before I need a rest, I have a finite amount of social energy. I can be having a wonderful time, but when that energy runs out, that’s it. I need alone time. It’s not you, well it kind of is, you’re exhausting.

I’m not miserable

I just have resting bitch face ok?

Joking (sort of). I’m not ‘perky’ and I don’t want to be. Doesn’t mean I’m not happy, it’s just not natural for me to animate it.

Extroverts and introverts both have their benefits, but assuming introverts aren’t social or are shy is misreading what’s actually happening.

The good stuff

I’m focused. I learn quickly and I’m confident in my ability to become good at most things. If I want to learn to do something, I learn to do it, whether I have any natural ability or not.

Also plotting, I’m good at that.