What first drew me to Sarah wasn’t her ability to take pretty photographs; it was the intensity that she unabashedly infused into everything she created. From that first image, I could tell she drew her inspiration from a bottomless well of lived experience. It seeps out from all those stories, clear and sweet and strong, needing no embellishment.

That’s the other thing about Sarah: she’s disarmingly candid, both in her work and in-person. Hers is an unsparing sincerity. The kind that immediately asks for your trust, grabs your hand and breathlessly races you both away to show off something exciting and real. In this era of fear and fraudulence, these are rare and exhilarating qualities.

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The adorable idiosyncrasies and whimsy that swirl around her are pure extensions of herself, as true and unforced as her creations. So, from the first moment, our friendship was a foregone conclusion. Two kindred spirits with crazy stories to trade, already thinking up new chapters to scribble together.

We spent more and more time together, confiding in one another when we needed emotional support, and nurturing our mutual perception of the world as we laid on our backs in the still waters of loneliness after relationships floated away.

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Most of all, we created. The oscillations of our waxing and waning emotional states yielded rewarding collaborations. We were overflowing with raw feeling, sucking the poison from our respective wounds and projecting it all into film.

Our combined creative process was a welcome beacon during those terrifying storm surges in our lives. I’d found a friend that—unlike photographers I’d worked with in the past—possessed a single intention: to hold the deepest possible truth and meaning in every piece of work she created.

Even now, spanning time with Sarah remains some kind of spectacular manic daydream. Long car rides to cities we’ve never visited to create a portal to another reality. A new outpost where our deepest feelings and internal dialogue and most depraved discussions live. All matters are understood and secrets safe.

When I’m low on social stamina she steadily carries me through the situation, talking me through like an on-call therapist who happens to love me. We are both aware we can be women of extremes. When we were apart, I would begin to feel her absence diminishing me, and when we finally were together again, I would be multiplied once more.

Eventually, we learned to self-regulate when we weren’t around each other, taking time to examine and hone in our excitements. But even through our growth, we remain as close as ever, even as we learned to treasure our solitude.

I’ve always been an advocate for strong, nurturing female friendships. Being a woman in this world is often unfair, and we often need each other to rekindle the tenacity it takes to thrive. Learning to put petty jealousies aside and receive a fellow woman’s loveliness without questioning your own is a gift we shouldn’t take for granted.

Once you’re able to do this, magical things start falling into place. I admire women who are older than me who can pass down vital and valuable information with the emotional intelligence, grace, and inner wisdom of a mother. Working together, creativity and knowledge can blossom, casting out the bitterness. I reserve special respect for women who aren’t stingy with their expertise. The truth is: it becomes even more powerful when you share it. It takes on new and deeper meaning that this chaotic world needs. The beauty of your soul shines through when you are being your most kind and open self.

My advice for creative women? Tend to your female friendships like a precious garden. Be your most vulnerable self and don’t be afraid to water that garden with your laughter and blood and tears until it welcomes you both in full bloom.

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Let your confidence and self-love and all your creations spill into the world around you to replenish each others’ senses. You’ll attract women who are doing the same: a friend who regards you as a growing living entity, a sensitive and magical creature, a universe of original thoughts and ideas. That is the kind of creative partner you’re looking for.

Carefully choose these friends, then repeat your successes with lovers and teachers that will help you keep your creative fire lit. Seek this out and you will finally taste a little of the divine: a life that is full, deep, and wonderful.

You can follow these two excellent people over on Instagram: @edensheaven and @saraheiseman. The photos above offer a behind the scenes look at their journey together, while below you'll find their full vision.

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