The Paint Mines - A Diary

Three of the biggest life lessons I know and live by, I learned from my mom: film is the way, mental health days are absolutely necessary and road trips are emotional and spiritual and should be taken as often as you can. 

I’ve been needing something transforming for some time now. I needed some form of reassurance and the feeling of connecting to something deeper than myself. When Keesha & Kelsey of Orenda Lou suggested the Paint Mines outside Colorado Springs, Colorado, I didn’t realize it was exactly what I had been after. I wouldn’t say things have been weird but things have been weird. I’m a stand still where I feel motion around me but I myself am not moving. It’s causing a bit of mental vertigo and I needed a moment to clear my head and get back to the basics. 

I’ve heard people describe my work as “urban” and “city” which fills me with immense pride as I consider myself an “east coaster”. It’s the most flattering compliment I can think of for someone who was raised by city people and who considers herself a city person as well. But there’s another side to me, a more lonesome and quiet side. Sometimes I crave the landscapes of nature. I think of those who came before me who lived off the land, who gave themselves to the land. As I watch nature reek havoc on Houston, I can’t help but want to connect with her calmer side, the coolness of a Colorado sun in the shade and the heat she brings when I stand below her. The Paint Mines can trace human presence 9,000 years prior to my feet standing on its pastel rocks. I thought of them a lot during this shoot. 

Styled by Orenda Lou

ft. Evelyn

Words & Photography by Sammy Keller

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