For nearly a decade, photographer Ken Miner has used collodion wet-plate photography to capture witch Brianna Shambrook and document the evolution of her craft.

This historical process involves exposing an image onto treated glass or metal and developing it on the spot with a mixture of wet chemicals.

The result is haunting, as in the photo to the right, where Shambrook holds the first broom she handcrafted and wears the outfit she once wore to handfast a fellow witch on the previous new moon. She’s standing on the land that she’s been restoring for four years, turning a junkyard on Vancouver Island into an enchanted forest. When her family purchased this land in 2019, it came with more than 10,000 pounds of dumped garbage. Now flowers, grass, and moss are growing again. The forest is filling with green along with foxgloves and other plants. Taken with a twenty-five-second exposure on glass, this image symbolizes the integration of Shambrook’s shadow self and the reclamation of her—and her land’s—power. It’s a “portrait of a witch standing her ground,” she says.

“To me, witchcraft means becoming my own healer so that I can reclaim my personal power and magic,” Shambrook explains. “It also means creating a relationship with nature and recognizing that nature is my mirror. My spiritual practice is leading me to a greater understanding of my higher self and of the universe.”

Being a witch is often also about having a familiar—that is, as Shambrook describes it, “a spirit guide that will manifest as an aspect of nature, like an animal, and have a consciousness.” The familiar will show up within divine time and be your partner as it supports and assists you along your magical path. Not every witch will have a familiar, Shambrook says, but if you do, it will surely assist you in your growth, your spiritual awakening, and your expansion of consciousness.

On page 84 [above] you’ll see a wet plate on tin of Shambrook and her third familiar, Binx, who died just over two years ago. “This particular plate holds a really special place in my heart,” she says. “Binx was an incredibly special and unique familiar; his soul shined so bright that he left an imprint on everyone he met. He had a profoundly spellbinding connection with nature, and getting to witness that really opened my heart in ways I didn’t know were possible. Binx taught me how to lead from love and use my heart space as my compass.”

With the help of his mobile darkroom, Miner has been able to take wet plates of Shambrook (and her familiars) throughout her journey, in every season. For those who wish to dive deeper into the wet-plate process and witness the creation of even more photos, check out Brianna’s YouTube channel @Briannashambrook.

To learn more about Shambrook and join her online coven, visit

Learn more about Ken Miner at


Winter Witch Issue by Enchanted Living Magazine - The Year of the Witch 2023 #65Enchanted Living is a quarterly print magazine that celebrates all things enchanted. 
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Carolyn Turgeon is the author of five novels, most of them fairy tales, and the editor-in-chief and co-owner of Enchanted Living. She also penned The Faerie Handbook, The Mermaid Handbook, and The Unicorn Handbook, all from HarperCollins.