By Hunter D’Antuono
When they were kids, Shasta and Shawna, now 23, had that secret, made-up twin language we all secretly wished we had with someone when we were younger. “We had secret code for telling each other when we had boogers on our face even,” Shasta said. They have three other sisters, “but we aren’t just sisters. We’re closer than that,” Shawna said. “We’ve been close since conception.”
Missoula photographer Ashley McKee has developed a unique way of telling people’s stories through photos and reported captions. She met the twins in 2013, while on a quest to take one picture every day for a year and post it online. Her subjects often tell her their secrets without prompting — things you wouldn’t expect to tell a stranger who just asked to take your picture.
“I think I have a way with people,” the University of Montana photojournalism graduate said, “but at the same time, I don’t want to reveal everything.”
The Missoula Rabble project started as a challenge: A friend had recognized that McKee let her artistic flow run dry while overcoming an alcohol addiction and battling personal demons. He suggested a long term documentary. McKee signed a hand-written contract with him on a pad of legal paper on May 29, 2013, and started shooting portraits. The project has helped her live her own life better, she says. She hopes to publish the Rabble as a book once it’s completed. You can follow the Missoula Rabble on Facebook and through her blog, 365 Days.