Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If a question is covered here, it’s unlikely that I will answer it in an email or on social media.
Why do you call the site Vanishing South Georgia, when many of the places you photograph are obviously not vanishing?
When I began photographing for the website, I sought out properties which appeared to be endangered, be it by neglect or demolition. As I have traveled the state in recent years, many of the properties I’ve photographed have vanished, validating my initial mission. The kind of abandoned places I prefer to photograph have become more difficult to locate, so I photograph historic architecture in general, and anything unusual I might run across.
How do you locate these places?
I often have an itinerary when traveling, and an average photography trip lasts about three days. I seek out crossroads towns that are often nothing more than names on the map, and in getting to those out-of-the-way places, I find the older architecture that appeals to me.
Why don’t you share the exact locations of the places you photograph?
Out of respect to the privacy of the property owners, I do not give addresses. This is a policy I adhere to strictly, and if you email me requesting such information, it is highly unlikely that I will respond.
Do you get permission to photograph these places?
In Georgia, the laws allow structures to be photographed from the right of way and no permission is needed. Occasionally, I may turn around on a culvert or shoulder and zoom in on something that isn’t quite as visible from the right of way.
I’m the owner of a property depicted on your web site and would like it removed, regardless of what the laws allow. How do I go about doing so?
Simply email me and request a removal. It will be done without any questions. (I’m proud to say that in over ten years of doing this work, I’ve only been asked to remove four photographs, and two of the property owners later contacted me and requested that I re-post them.).
Why is Augusta included on the South Georgia web site, while Macon is on the North Georgia site?
I roughly divide the state by the Fall Line. Therefore, some areas may not seem to “fit” into the particular region I’ve included them in; it’s sometimes a difficult call but works best for me.
Do you accept referrals of places to photograph?
I will gladly look at any location, but consider that I travel all over Georgia all year and it may take me a while to get to the location. If it’s urgent or is soon to be demolished, please add Urgent to the heading of your email.
I’d like to see inside some of these houses; why don’t you show the interiors of most places you photograph?
I generally do not share interior photographs due to privacy concerns and property rights issues; occasionally, when I come across a place in the woods or a place that’s obviously abandoned, I will get a few photographs, but this is generally not something I do nor something I would encourage. Abandoned structures are often too dangerous.
I live in a place you’ve called a “ghost town” on your web site and quite a few people live in my area. Why do call it a ghost town?
I use the term “ghost town” on a limited, case-by-case basis. For my purposes, it’s a place where nearly all the commercial structures and many of the houses are abandoned. I’ve actually removed that label from many places and added it to others.
Are any of these houses or businesses for sale? Why don’t you give listing information?
I may occasionally note that a property is for sale, especially if it’s obviously in need of a buyer to prevent demolition, but I do not represent, nor imply representation, of any property on the web site. This extends to the depictions of the properties themselves.
How do you know the name of a house or any of the other history you share?
I often don’t know anything about the properties I depict on the page. With the exception of properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, all structures that are identified on the web site have been identified by people who either own, live near, or have other associations.
How do you determine the architecture of a house or building?
I use multiple sources (see list) and often learn as I go. Some styles are quite simple, while others are difficult. The biggest problem in identification comes with houses built between the last decade of the 19th and the first few decades of the 20th century. I call many of these “Eclectic” as they often display characteristics of several different styles. I sometimes use one term and later discover a better term, in which case I will change the title.
How do you determine the date of a structure’s construction?
Most dates come from sources such as the National Register of Historic Places, local history books, and owners themselves. Occasionally, the dates are in conflict and I do my best to note these variations. I’m always open to changing and amending the information as new material becomes available. When a date is not known but assumed, I assign it a “circa” date, which is often just an educated approximation. With churches, I give the date of construction of the structure, not the date the congregation was established. This is due to the fact that I’m documenting architecture.
Do you sell your photographs? How do I go about buying a print? Do you sign your photographs?
The availability of photographs for printing varies greatly. While I shoot everything in high resolution, I don’t always like the way an image may print, and therefore, it won’t be available for sale. The best way to order a print is to contact me via email, and immediately let me know what size you would like to purchase. Prices and sizes vary, as well. I generally do not sign photographs, but if that is something you would like, it costs extra because double shipping charges apply. I don’t think my signature is valuable, but the shipping costs are.
I’ve noticed a few businesses on your web site, especially restaurants; I’m a business owner and would like to have my business appear. How do I go about this?
My general policy is to only depict businesses that are historical in nature, i.e. a place that’s been open for many years and is a local landmark. From time to time, I patronize a business that I like so much I feel the need to share it with the public.
I made a comment on the web site but it has not appeared. Why?
All comments on the web site are curated by me. Though I publish at least 95% of the comments, some don’t make the grade.
What kind of comments are not allowed?
Any comment that has a political intent will not be published here. There are literally thousands of places where people occupy themselves with arguing, insulting, and debating, 24/7. I strive to make this a non-political space, and therefore, no matter what you think about something as relates to politics, it just won’t make the cut here.
Insulting comments about properties, property owners, and the like, are also forbidden. If you think you have an interesting story about a place that might be a bit controversial, just send me a message and a determination as to its validity in context will be made.
Prejudicial, racist, and xenophobic rants will never be permitted here, either.
Why do you show Confederate monuments and other places related to the Confederacy during the Civil War? I thought you avoided controversial topics?
As I’ve stated here, I will continue to share these properties and memorials as they are part of the broad spectrum of Georgia history and culture. I understand that they are uncomfortable to some, but in context, they are quite integral to our state’s history.
Why can’t I find a list of haunted houses on the web site?
I enjoy stories of hauntings as much as the next person, though I generally try to avoid the term as it attracts people to properties that generally do things I don’t, such as entering structures, night photography, and other actions that property owners would find highly objectionable.
I saw a house I liked and forgot to bookmark it. How do I locate it?
You can use the search box on the right of the site if you have a general idea. You can also scroll down the side for an alphabetical list of counties, followed by an alphabetical list of cities, towns and crossroads. Click on either the county or place name and scroll through the list when it appears.
I’d prefer to see the photo on a black background, without all the text. How do I view it this way?
Simply double-click on any photograph and it will reload the image on a black background.
I wish I could see more details in your photographs. Why are they so small?
I purposely publish the photographs in lower resolution/smaller size to prevent them from being downloaded at full size. I truly wish I could show the photos at a larger size, but ultimately, I have to protect my copyright and intellectual property.