what’s left behind

In Digital, Inspiration
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Can you know people from the things they leave behind?  What can their things tell us?  Can we fashion a story from scraps and snippets, little bits of life lived?

What about the food they ate?


The clothes they wore?


The rooms they inhabited?

What they were reading?

woman dupes
Every time I enter an old house — whether it’s a perfectly preserved museum or an abandoned house like this one — I like to imagine I could construct a life from these relics from the past without knowing a thing about their true history.  My imagination is free to write their story and share their lives with the viewer.

What stories have you found in your world lately?  Share your images with us on Instagram and tag them #viewfindersio and #stories.  I can’t wait to see what tales your images will tell.


PS:  These photographs were taken at Fuller Farm in Marstons Mills, Massachusetts, a small village in the town of Barnstable on Cape Cod.  You can read the history of the farm, which has recently been purchased by the Barnstable Land Trust, on historian Jim Gould’s blog.  And you can see more images of this historic property on my flickr page.


  1. Such interesting questions. I know this will sound “woo woo” but I always wonder about the energy left behind by the people that inhabited the home. Where they happy there? Is it a joyful empty? Or sad or angry? I always try to leave my homes a little bit happier than I found them when I move out. This home is fascinating and beautiful. How wonderful that you were able to photograph it.

  2. These are so wonderfully atmospheric Lucy. I found myself peering further into the images, to see what other clues I could find.

  3. these move me in a way I can’t quite put into words… I too LOVE imagining the lives lived in places like this. I love how you captures so many little details that make up the larger story.

  4. I agree with Vanessa Simpson. These images make make my breath catch in my throat. Since I was a child, I’ve loved exploring abandoned houses and imagining the stories of those who lived in them. (Oh, that sweet tiny dress!)

  5. What interesting thoughts and images. When I have a chance to go into an abandoned home or business, I always wonder: What happened to the people who’d been there? How did all this get left behind? And I feel melancholy after seeing the “things” of a former life.

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