Surreal photos go inside abandoned mall in suburban Chicago

Not everyone is lamenting the death of shopping malls in the age of Amazon and strip malls.

Photographer Seph Lawless is making a career out of capturing images of the abandoned malls, traveling to places like Texas, New Jersey and even suburban Chicago to capture them. Shots of the now-closed Lincoln Mall in Matteson, shown above, are featured in his book Autopsy of America.

“The youth will never understand what the mall was to us,” Lawless said. “Going inside an abandoned mall to me is always an exciting thing.”

Trespassing in the abandoned buildings may be the exciting part for this maverick, but he admits he finds the images beautiful and sad all at the same time. Like shooting a funeral. As his own childhood memories of visiting the mall fade, he says his photos help evoke nostalgia for people who like to remember those days long gone.

“They don’t necessarily miss the shopping mall per se,” Lawless said. “They miss that time in America that once was.”