“A word of advice, Professor P hates photographs of Faner Hall.”
That was the guidance from the teaching assistant in my very first photography class. Faner Hall is a brutalist concrete monstrosity situated right in the middle of my university’s campus.
Admittedly, I didn’t like photos of Faner either. It struck my 18-year-old self as the lowest of the low-hanging fruit. Capturing shapes and forms at that point in my life was beneath me.
On the other hand, having someone tell me what I should or shouldn’t put in front of my camera was a bigger affront. After spitefully attempting to create some compelling shots of concrete, I gave up and put Faner Hall out of my mind.
Earlier this week, I was wandering around the new food hall at City Foundry in St. Louis. This place is an adapted reuse of an old industrial site.
When I came upon this original factory wall, I was whisked back in time. Faced with some interesting concrete, I didn’t hesitate. In hindsight, I should have given Faner the same chance.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.