la forêt/la lutte

there is a struggle

to feel human,

to part a veil of pain,

to dance in languid fields

of soft green moss,

and recline on sweet things,

there is a struggle

to stop choking,

stop thinking

and to breathe in 

clean air,

free of dry sharpness,

free of grey clinging smoke,

what about the heaviness,

that weighs around one’s neck,

that holds you under, stifling,

drowning, gurgling,

closing my eyes
I wish it away.

small things exist in vastness,

it takes but one to see

to open the eyes and look

to feel, to break, to tremble,

and wonder if life

as you may know it

is just irony,

voids and pains

or something more.

New Adventure: Shutterpunks Photography and Art

Hello! I haven't been keeping up to date on my blog, mainly because I'm starting a new venture, Shutterpunks photography and art. 

Aaron Shiflet and I are combine both our artistic and photographic talent to provide people with art that caters to the avant garde, different, strange, and unique. In a world of sameness, we want to be different and include everyone in art and the greatness of it. Check out our website and feel free to contact us to schedule a photoshoot or art commission. 

This website, racheladsheadphotography, will still be up and running and you may still contact me for shoots, but I'll be redirecting a lot of my work to the new website. 

Check out some promotional shots we created for Shutterpunks!

Erika and Paul: Engagement Session

I was happy to photography my sister and her fiance's engagement a few weeks ago. All images were shot in Lancaster county park and in Lititz Springs park. All digital images were taken by me, and all film images were taken by Aaron Shiflet.

Photo by: Aaron Shiflet.

Photo by: Aaron

Photo by: Aaron

Photo by: Aaron

Photo by: Aaron

Photo by: Aaron

 Photo by: Aaron

Photo by: Aaron

Photo by: Aaron

Photo by: Aaron

Photo by: Aaron

A Quiet Place: Historical Narrative

It’s just a small plot, a few grave stones scattered around in the tufted dead grass and contained within a wooden fence. The stones kind of look like teeth, teeth when they are rotting, loose, and missing inside of a jaw. This is not a macabre place though, but rather one of tranquil repose, situated between a small forest and a children's playground. The running trails paved around it pose a stark juxtaposition between the modern world and the old world of the cemetery, lending it a nostalgic and wondering feeling, one most people choose to ignore. 

I went to this place in the springtime once, to clear my head and photograph the dandelions amongst the toothy gravestones. The grass was swaying and the chatter of children from the plastic playground was muffled by the small hills separating death and life. This cemetery does that. It calms the mind and brings about feelings of mortality and feelings of being alive. 

Even in the winter time this spot holds the same calming effect over a person. The dandelions are gone and the grass around the gravestones does not sway and bend with warm breezes, but it is quieter in the winter and void of children’s chatter, a perfect place for contemplation and exercising of thoughts and whirling minds. 

The gravestones in this cemetery are old, very old for today’s standards. Ancient, even. The date of birth on one stone reads “1797” and the death date reads “1844”. Thirteen bodies lie interred in this cemetery, and the plot belonged to the Stoner and Steiner family who owned a farm on the land where Overlook Park in Manheim Pennsylvania sits. The farmhouse and the graveyard are some of the only artifacts from the past still standing, and they are surrounded by modern trappings such as running trails, a library, and restaurant. 

While walking through this park, or entertainment center, I notice and ruminate on how interesting it is that not many people stop and look at the old gravestones or admire the old house. Maybe it’s because the house has now been turned into a building for wedding receptions, a hollow host for gaiety and fleeting moments that end in divorce. The cemetery is stagnant, nobody else is allowed to be buried there. It is part of some historical preservation situation, with too many complexities and rules for a part of the past that existed without complexity and rule. Joggers run blindly past this cemetery, they don’t even glance upon it. They keep sweating and running and moving blindly on some path only they can see. 

This place may even be too small to be dubbed a “cemetery”. It is nonexistent, old, decaying, and silent. It only comes to life in the spring, when the dandelions pop up around it like sunbeams and the grass begins once more to sway in the warm breezes and the children begin to scream and whirl around on the merry-go-round. But right now it is cold and quiet and nobody notices.

photo by: Rachel Adshead

Historical Narrative

I'm taking a literary journalism class this semester, and I want to combine creative non-fiction with photojournalism, in a way that I will create more of an art piece rather than a newspaper piece. One of our assignments is to write a historical narrative of sorts on a place of our choosing. I have three places in mind which I am listing below:

-Old cemetery whose name I forget (but will find out): It's an old place in Lancaster where I go to sit a lot. It's a great place to choose because it has historical background and intrigue, and has interesting gravestones and architecture.

-the Mutter Museum: I recently visited this museum and was intrigued by its history and background. I feel like it would be an excellent place to write a piece about, mainly because there are many aspects to the place and many story angles I could use. I thought about interviewing someone who works there, or even someone who lives on the same street close to the museum. 

-Overlook Park Cemetery: I love old graveyards and gravestones, and there's a small section of gravestones in Overlook Park in Lancaster Pa. There is clearly a backstory to this small cemetery and I would love to find out more about it and who is buried there, etc. I wasn't sure who to interview for this, mainly because it's so randomly placed and small, but I believe if I contact the park I could find someone who knows about the historical background of the place.