tell the light not to go


The light was fading on the mountain. We made portraits, and then ran crazy with a fake deer. I love these people dearly, they make our hearts so happy

October 19, 2014 . Autocord . Portra 400

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Open Hearts

It’s October again. A hard month.

It used to be the month I lost my son, last year it also became the time I said goodbye to my Gran.

These friends helped me through October, and now it has returned, remembering…

I was out of film, out of energy, no more strength in my heart, only tears behind my eyes. After two weeks of unexpected travel alone with my kids saying goodbye to my Gran and crisscrossing the country to lay her to rest – these friends were a gift. The Parson family opened their home and their hearts to us, because welcoming others in from the cold is a way of life for them. At the end of a long journey, waiting for a flight home, we found ourselves amidst friends, good food and laughter. A gift our tired souls needed badly. Everything was a gift in those few days, even this roll of film given to me by my kids’ camping partner, Magnus. I won’t forget those days, our trip to the farm, their lovely children, laughing and eating outside, and joyful Alec and his scarf. These friend’s easy smiles and kind hearts mended us, and kept us together til we could finish our journey home.

I can’t do these beautiful people justice. But I wanted to take a bit of the gift that they are with me, so I clumsily made portraits.

I’m so thankful for this time, glad to hold these reminders on bits of film.

10-13 . Hasselblad 500c/m . Tri-X . developed and scanned at home . only half the roll made it through airport security handling and home developing

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Our friend is an amazing maker of skateboards and surfboards, and an awesome Dad. He made his sons surfboards and is working on making our boys their own hand shaped boards now. They got to hang out in his backyard workshop and learn about the process, and are so stoked to ride them soon. They went home and drew out designs and I will share photos of the finished product once they are ready to take them out for a session!

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Our summer on 100 rolls of film > real fast with music


Jesse likes to ebay. Last summer he bought a box of 100 rolls of 12 exposure expired Fuji Superia. He told me it was a great deal – I thought he was crazy.

I shot all 100 rolls last summer in my Nikon 1 Touch, Jesse and the kids helped. I think Jesse is less crazy for that ebay purchase now.

Our friend Roger scanned all 1200+ images on his fancy scanner machine. He’s amazing, and you can thank him for this video…

I’m really really glad we have these images

Summer 2013 12exp from sharon mckeeman on Vimeo.

Music >>> The Bleeding Heart Show by these guys

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Real Big

Last week I wrote this post about how making pictures was all tied up in my current heartbreak.

But sometimes you just need friends to get out a large format camera and spend lazy hours sitting in the middle of the road, making photos like people did in the old days while kids scooter circles around you. Then you eat pizza and watch them develop twelve sheets of four by five inch film in the kitchen sink, scan and eight hours later stare at bits of magic. That mountain afternoon, my little family growing up, caught so I can’t forget.

Sometimes you just need those same friends to send you a text that says “We’re picture makers… that’s what we do. It just is.”

And that’s enough to put aside all the anger and confusion over babies you can’t hold onto and images you never made, and take some steps back into life. The beautiful mess of life that deserves to be documented. Life filled with kids growing big and strong and friends who laugh troubles away.

Thanks Kaisers and Ellsworths


5-17-2014 . my first large format images . crazy camera with a shirt over my head, triX developed in the sink & scanned at home . photo of me by Jesse

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