Most of what I do is done behind closed doors (hehe!) and stays that way. But sometimes, if I feel like a media outlet will portray my urbex adventures in the right light, I will allow engage with them and help them understand and construct an article about urbex and Abandoned World Photography.
I’ve summarised a timeline below of media appearances, starting off with a double page spread in the Metro Herald in 2008, a small Dublin tabloid newspaper, right up to getting featured in a double page spread in Western Australia’s biggest newspaper with a readership of 4.14 million people.
1. The Metro Herald (2008)
Abandoned World Photography’s first media appearance was in the Metro Herald, a tabloid newspaper that was served for free to the people of Dublin each morning. I worked for this paper as a journalist whilst completing my last year of college getting my Bachelors of Arts in Journalism, and continued to write for them for the next three years.
My editor-in-chief was a hands down legend and gave me permission to go on quick urbex trips during newsroom shifts, provided I came back with good photographs to show him.
About a year into the job, I was asked to write an article about my urbex adventures for a double spread article. I was absolutely delighted and jumped at the chance to get some recognition as a serious (but amateur) photographer. By that stage, my obsession for finding and photographing abandoned historical buildings in Dublin city was full-blown and unstoppable. I’d photographed one of the oldest, abandoned mental asylums in Dublin, a famous powerstation along the docks, and abandoned swimming pools that had drawn in hundreds and thousands of visitors every year.
My photography portfolio was amateur but I loved the niche I’d found – urbex, and the amazing aspects about urban exploration that no other hobby offers.
The spread was published on 27th May 2013 and can be viewed or downloaded below.
2. Indymedia Ireland
Shortly after the Metro Herald article was posted, there was a pretty cool response published by Indymedia which you can read here: https://atomic-temporary-64499791.wpcomstaging.com/2017/02/04/indymedia-article-by-michelle-blake/
3. Greystones Guide IE (2015)
A travel website in Ireland reached out after finding my photographs of the abandoned Windgate Farm. It was the first online feature I’d gotten, and it was nice to receive messages from people expressing interest in urbex and asking for some tips on how to start off as a beginner.
4. Commercial Real Estate AU (2019)
I was surprised when the corporate Commercial Real Estate website reached out and asked if they could include my photograph of the abandoned Broadway Hotel in Brisbane in an article they were writing!
5. Casey Community Radio, the Supernatural Show (2021)
Fast forward 8 years and I’m in Perth photographing as many historical buildings as I possibly can. I got in talks with a radio station from Melbourne about participating in their Friday night supernatural show. I made it very clear I wouldn’t be talking about ghosts because I haven’t seen any, but the radio host assured me it was all good, the listeners would still love to hear about the abandoned adventures I have and the places I explore. If you skip halfway into the 20th March segment, you can listen to the recording.
6. The West Australian Newspaper (2021)
I was very surprised to be contacted by the biggest newspaper in Western Australia by a journalist who was very interested in publishing some of my photos and writing about urbex.
The article was out within two weeks of getting contacted and cited some of the major sites I’d photographed within Perth, a two-page spread on pages 84 and 85. The article was replicated in a few of the smaller papers around Western Australian, such as the Geraldton Times, the Bussleton/Dunsborough Times, the Manjimup Bridgetown Times and more.
This was when I first learned trespassing laws in Perth are very strict. I also learned that the urbex community hated that the newspaper article mentioned the names of abandoned sites that are already on Google, and they grouped together to send me “hate mail” for weeks after the article was published. Fun times!