Behind the Scenes of a Solo Style: Cairo, Illinois

*Before I get started into the post you came here to see, I’m going to take a quick detour. 😉 I got so much support on my last post where I announced that I’ve officially hit 1,000 on this blog! Everyone was so kind and congratulatory, and whenever I opened my notifications there was a comment there that made me smile. Thank you so much guys, it means a lot that you keep coming back here to see the going-ons of Absolutely Olivia!*

Now back to scheduled programming:


My favorite thing is finding a location to shoot my outfits that goes perfectly with the vibe/feeling I am trying to create with my clothes. I sometimes feel that it’s the place, not the outfit, that makes or breaks a style picture! Today, I’m doing another BTS of a Solo Style, except unlike my last one where I focused mostly on how my shoots worked, (Behind the Scenes of The Perfect Summer Dress Solo Style) I will be focusing more on where the photos were shot.
It all started when I clicked on an article about an abandoned town in Illinois called Cairo. I was scrolling through the pictures and instantly knew this would be the perfect place to shoot one of my Solo Styles. Cairo is different than most abandoned places I have seen, because the buildings were completely intact (besides broken windows, missing doors, etc.) and have the potential to be functional, yet no one lives or uses any of them. If you were just driving through, you would think without a doubt that families lived within the houses, the churches were worshipped in, the restaurants ate in, and that the gas stations pumped gas. But that’s not the case at all, and it’s so crazy and cool to me that this small town of Cairo has been left completely behind.
I mentioned this place to my family and luckily we hadn’t planned our annual summer vacay yet, so we decided to plan it out around Cairo! We ended up road tripping to St. Louis and Chicago, then stopped at Cairo along the way.
Once we arrived in Cairo, we did a quick drive through of the main parts to scout out all the places we wanted to shoot my outfit before stopping anywhere. This way, we had a clear plan of where exactly we were headed throughout the town. One of the places we spotted was an abandoned (obviously!) movie theater called “The Gem,” so we decided to shoot there first. I was so glad it wasn’t that hot as we were shooting photos, so there wasn’t a lot of sweat involved throughout the day!


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One of my favorite shots taken at The Gem.

The next location wasn’t too far away because just down the block was a big, baby blue house overtaken with ivy. I would’ve tried to get pictures on the steps and porch, but the house was just a little sketch and we had no idea what would be up there! The lighting was great though, and the ivy made a cool addition to the background of the outfit shots.


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Then, we walked across the street to an old church and grabbed a couple photos. They didn’t turn out that great, but here’s a picture of me jokingly trying to ring the broken buzzer:


My dad saw a deserted AME Church that became our next stop. I could walk up the stairs and peer inside through a knocked out window. It was gorgeous! Everything on the inside was still intact, including all the stained glass windows. The fact that beautiful places that could still be functioning are completely deserted blows my mind every time I think about Cairo, Illinois, and this church was no exception!



Sorry this picture doesn’t include the stained glass windows!

The AME Church was supposed to be our last location, but as we were rolling out a beautiful Victorian house built in 1865, called Riverlore came into view. The front gates were the coolest and went perfectly with my dress. When I am older, this is for sure similar to a house I want to move in to!




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Trying to get into my dream home… it didn’t work 😦


This was one of my favorite shoots I have done (I feel like I say that every time, but hey, I mean it every time!), and I had so much fun chilling with my family while getting gorgeous photos. It was such an experience to travel to a place that was left behind, even though the buildings were still looking good. I hope you liked getting a peek into the abandoned town of Cairo, Illinois, and I look forward to sharing more Behind the Scenes!! Leave in the comments any post ideas or thoughts you may have, I’m open to anything. Thanks for reading!
💜Love, Olivia


17 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes of a Solo Style: Cairo, Illinois

  1. It was so much fun to read about your behind the scenes! You put a lot of effort into what you do and it shows! Your photos are beautiful, Olivia! As for post ideas, it’s always fun to learn more about the blogger 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 2017 Goals Check-Up #3 | Absolutely Olivia

  3. Pingback: 2017 Final Goals Check-Up | Absolutely Olivia

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