Shawnee Center Cemetery

An hour away from where my maternal grandparents rest in Reading, my paternal grandparents graves are settled in Shawnee Center Cemetery in Wakarusa, Kansas.

I have family in the area so I spent a lot of my childhood up there, but never explored it as an adult until I started getting interested in cemeteries. We visited in the middle of summer, when the river was rushing and everything was exploding with lush green. A great time to have my 16mm lens.

It has some of the prettiest old gravestones I’ve seen–but also lots of broken ones, some of them propped up or pieced back together by iron bars. Most of them are simply crumbled piles of stone. And there are plenty of contemporary plots–I wouldn’t call it “busy”, but it’s common to run into other visitors here, when most cemeteries I visit are perpetually empty.

This is one of the first places I shot with my Viltrox 85mm–still my favorite lens when I need to get that perfectly separated background, although it can be a challenge shooting a dog with such a long focal length. We’re still (always!) working on Alfie’s Stay & Wait.