A Stroll Around the Mall as We Enter a Recession (published December 2007) deedsphotos

More by this Author

Comments 23 comments

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Not many shoppers in the mall this afternoon!

profile image

Iðunn 9 years ago

what a remarkable social statement and you didn't even need words.  yes.  this.

what was even stranger to me, it's the first time I've seen the inside of a mall in years.  I haven't been able to afford to even window shop in so long I've forgotten.

I haven't missed much.

"what if one was not enough" indeed. is that not the essence of the american elite's philosophy?

perfection in photo essay.

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author


profile image

Iðunn 9 years ago

it's almost exotic and terrifying to me to look at it, new again. like las vegas only cleaner. same bright colorz, same compulsive spending, same desperation, same plastic fungible people.

rogue nestling profile image

rogue nestling 9 years ago

Oh my! Nipply mannequins!

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

They only got that way when I pointed the camera at them!

profile image

Iðunn 9 years ago

I bet ;) :D

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Maybe it wasn't the camera??

profile image

Iðunn 9 years ago


seriously though, these are some outstanding photos. they look exactly as alien as they should.

stanskill profile image

stanskill 9 years ago from Greensburg, PA

Everyone's talking about a recession, but take a walk around Walmart any time day or night. That is where all the mall shoppers migrated to.

profile image

Iðunn 9 years ago

even wal-mart is reporting reduced sales in late month spending lately.  when americans are too poor to shop at wal-mart, you know it's getting bad.

Stacie Naczelnik profile image

Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

Great captures. I got the heebie jeebies just looking at them--I am not a fan of malls, never have been. I have to be dragged to them. I was particularly bugged by the skinny ass mannequins with the super hard nipples...that's definitely how we should teach girls to look.

Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 9 years ago

LOL - Love it. But why is it that the mannekins have nipples, but the playboy girls I see in ads outside Playboy have none?

barranca profile image

barranca 9 years ago

Recession, inflation, unemployment, stagnating salaries, gas prices, predatory lending in housing and credit cards, bubbles popping, out-sourcing, American corporations on sale to foreign opportunists, horrendous deficits, war, global warming and a stupid president doing a sword dance with the sheiks. I'm surprised that all the shoppers aren't out in their backyards building bomb shelters.

chabrenas profile image

chabrenas 9 years ago from middle of France

Nice collection. Were you uisng a compact? Last time I tried taking pics with an SLR in a mall (in South Africa) I was accosted by a security guard, so I went to the management office and asked for permission, as a freelancer. No dice. They only gave permission for commissioned assignments, and wanted veto rights - one reason given was 'some of our clients might be there with someone they didn't want anyone to know about...'

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

I used a Canon 80D SLR. I have been challenged a couple of times by security guards also. I didn't argue with them. I put my camera back in the bag and walked away. As soon as there was no security guard in sight I resumed taking pictures. Last Saturday nobody bothered me. I asked a policeman who was in the mall for some reason if I could be charged with a crime for taking pictures. He said no. I said what would you do if a security guard asked you to take some action. He replied, "I'd ask you to put your camera away. If you refused I'd ask you to leave." I said "You wouldn't arrest me?" He replied, "No." Now I try to be careful not to take pictures when a security guard is nearby. Also, I usually don't use a flash. Some of the pictures were taken inside individual shops. In a couple of cases I asked permission which was granted. They seemed happy to have someone taking pictures of their merchandise. And the security guards don't seem to be inclined to enter the shops. Thanks for your comment.

William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Enjoyed the tour. In fact it's a whole lot better than getting worn out walking five miles around the mall corridors. That could very well be me in the photo of the guys lounging around on the chairs.

profile image

pgrundy 8 years ago

Here they are talking about 20-30% of the stores in the mall closing in the first quarter of 2009. So many of the stores are very upscale. I can't imagine who shops there. Not me! I've gotten very familiar with all the secondhand and thrift shops in town, including the Salvation Army and Goodwill, but the thing is, you can find really good stuff there mixed in with the not-so-good stuff. You just have to look harder.

I think we are so screwed Ralph. I don't think the bottom of this thing is anywhere in sight and it seems to get worse daily. I'm thinking of stockpiling rice and beans. Thanks for the pics!

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

There was a news item aired on UK TV recently showing an American shopping mall where around 90% of the shops had closed down because of falling trade. I know that bad news makes good news so I don't suppose that this was completely typical, but it did set me to wondering just how bad things are getting for you guys? Here in the UK marginal businesses have already begun to disappear, and even some of the well known high street names are looking shaky.

Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Nicely done, Ralph! You've captured something here that can't be described, but as I looked over the photos, it occured to me more clearly than ever before that our malls are teeming with crap that's carefully packaged and presented to look like something of value. In truth, these items are as empty and meaningless as those scary-looking mannequins.

I'll be interested to see if the global economic crisis kills the shopping mall, and allows social structures of greater value to emerge in their place.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Excellent photo essay Ralph--one picture really is worth 1000 words in this case. I agree with Melissa G that you captured the essence of empty materialism here. I too would llike to see shopping malls go extinct--especially those big box stores.

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Here are some pictures from the previous 2006 Christmas at the same mall (Somerset Mall, Troy, Michigan).


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

How depressing.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article