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Forgive Us Our Trespasses

by Richie

Okay, I’m a trespasser. An interloper. Snoop with a lens. 

I wander around old barns and factories. I peek into empty houses and under stadium bleachers. I investigate train tracks, dead end roads, and construction sites. I’ll poke around any place that looks interesting. That’s trespassing, you say. I call it a photo opportunity. 

It’s a victimless crime.

Really, I’m not a vandal, just a camera buff. I’m cautious and respectful when I trespass. Once in a while I get challenged but it usually ends well. It helps to look mostly harmless and be super apologetic when caught. 


Just yesterday I got tagged for being on private property. The place looked abandoned but right after I took this photo a beat-up Chevy came flying in, skidding to a stop right next to me.  “Just taking pictures,” I said. “Nice place you got here. Sorry for the disturbance.”  

“Aw, girl, you alright,” the guy said. “Have a nice day!” And off he went.

Holding a big camera usually explains why I’m standing in a ditch leaning over your fence.

I will ask permission if there’s anyone around, like at this big granary operation. But the guy forgot to call off his guard dog. The beast was the size of a sofa and it circled around my car peeing on all the tires. I got the photo by standing through the sunroof. 

Horse barns are a good place to wander around with a camera. I’ve strolled into show stables and training facilities without any trouble. Racetrack workers don’t mind as long as you say hello and smile. Even their sleepy baby figured I was okay.

There’s a barrel making factory near my house. It’s called a cooperage and in the summer they keep the doors wide open. I did a quick shoot and scoot before the boss came out.

A bunch of bourbon warehouses are under construction in Bardstown. I waited until Sunday when nobody was around to hustle me off the property.

I’ve wandered into a couple of funerals and fires, too. Respectfully, mind you. 

I’ve even followed around the guys that work on our farm. 

You’ve got to be careful on farms, though. Not only are there guard dogs, but the farmer is likely to greet you with a shotgun. The trick is to stay close to the road and be quick with the shutter.

One time I walked around the tiny town of Raywick taking pictures and the local constable tailed me for an hour. I was a little dense and didn’t get the hint. Then the parish priest came out and asked me to leave town. Turns out Raywick is notorious for its pot growing farms and there had been a big bust the week before. So everyone was suspicious of strangers.

I got escorted out of this stadium in Columbus, Ohio. But the security guard was real sweet and let me squeeze off some shots first.

Don’t remember where this arena was, but it was empty with no security.

Photographing kids is trickier. You don’t want to be that creep hanging around the playground with a camera. 

Some people like the attention, though. Like this guy who walks around downtown Bardstown with his lizards.

Recently I decided I needed some press credentials to legitimize all this trespassing. Fortunately you can buy anything online these days. 

Sorry, Officer, I was just taking pictures!