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  • community. culture. connection.

    The North. It's full of storytellers. People who can make you laugh and remember through their tone, voice, and language. And sweetmoon, well, I tell your story through photographs. I want to capture what connects us to our homes and families, the reason that we reach back to the land, and the inside jokes that make us laugh out loud while tossing our head back.

    Thank you for sharing in my journey as I photograph our people, our stories, our communities and our culture.
    Your support and stories are the reason sweetmoon exists.

2016, damnnnnn you did me so good.

I love this series. I love compiling my favourites into one long burst of love, and looking through, and seeing how I’ve grown, or what I could improve on. It also makes me so sadddddd, as I lost a hard drive with six months of work on it…. work that I hadn’t backed up. My clients got their images previously, but that meant I only have snapshots on this blog now, and that really, really sucks. Bittersweet.

But I did end the year strong. I ended with love and laughter and adventures. I got to shoot from Vancouver to Walpole Island. I got to travel for photography work. I got to meet new friends and got to photograph my own family and kin in the big moments of their lives. I got to cry behind my camera in joy, and roll my eyes with bros who wouldn’t quit. I got to do some makeup, do some hair, and make my friends who never felt glamour feel absolutely amazing in front of my lens.

What did I learn?

I think that’s going to be the goal in 2017. Not hustle, not more go-go-go, but more questions to myself …

What are you taking away from this moment?

How is this bettering you as a person, as an artist?

Are you capturing the emotion?

So here’s to a fabulous 2016 – I loved you! Ha!

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Engaged! Trent and Shey were engaged last year, and ended some up to date images for invitations to their summer wedding. We snuck in some family images, of course, and made the best of the freezing weather. You gotta love how I make all my couples pretend that it’s only -1. The three girls -Ava, Kelry, and Laya, were troopers and hilarious. Laya was so over us, and did not want to be put down, at all. Ava and Kelry are so used to posing of pictures for me, just amazing little superstars. Loved this session ūüôā

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SheNative launched a quick Winter line of hoodies and sweaters.Uni-sex, perfect for all of them, great quality, limited quantities. We used models Shasta Mike and Rodrick Rabbitskin, and Shasta also wore her Grandma’s mukluks. Beautiful. We shot at the University of Saskatchewan campus, at the Gordon Oaks Indigenous Student Centre, and it was freezing. It was freezing. But we still went outside, did some quick changes, hopped around on our feet, and made it happen. These two were pros, ha.

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When we were shooting this, I knew I wanted to have a part of this represent where a lot of us currently live – in that urban jungle, the big city, off-reserve, guests on different lands than the ones we come from. I wanted a t-shirt that could travel with me from picking berries in the bush to standing in line at the club. From fishing on the boat to sitting in class, taking notes on campus. Something that could walk between worlds, the way we often do.

I worked with Joi T Arcand for the graphics. She had designed my sweetmoon logo, as well as the branding director behind tea&bannock, a collective blog we created. A Cree artist, I trusted her and gave her minimal direction, which probably annoyed her. We had a few discussions, and I sent her images of mine to start from, but also gave her free rein to edit as need be. And she created visuals that completely represented various parts of my stories, and I raise my hands to her.

The Dene syllabics are just as special to me. Only few women from our home community can read and write Dene syllabics, and my Auntie Marge happens to be one of them. I contacted her, and asked if she wanted to participate. She laughed a little, and told me she knew how to text pictures now, so she could write my words down and send me the translations. Love!

The white t-shirt reads “We Are Beautiful.” The grey says “We Are Powerful.” The black says “We Are The Land.” I picked statements and ideas that resonated with me. I wanted these to uplift people, to inspire them. I wanted the statements to ring true.

#WeAreDene 

… …

Credits:

Models: Tara Campbell, Jazmyne Black, Dene Robillard

Hair: Rachel Pacquette

Makeup: Kacey Beaudry, MUA

T-Shirts/Bunnyhug: SheNative (Logo Design by Joi T Arcand, Dene Syllabics by Elder Marge Reynolds) 

Accessories: Circle Beaded Earrings and Bolo Choker: Beads, Rhymes, Life // Beaded Cuffs & Turquoise Beaded Necklace: Catherine Blackburn // Beaded and Leather/Feather Earrings: Savage Rose

 

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A year ago, I knew I wanted to try my hand at a t-shirt line. Something just for fun, something that could really resonate with me. I am surrounded by talent – with Neechie Gear, SheNative and Kiowa Sage, locally, as well as knowing the art that could be in lines like OXDX Clothing and The NTVS – so I wanted something that would showcase my story, my culture.

I teamed up with SheNative, as the company makes it a point to give back to the communities, and we decided that we create a scholarship for an Indigenous woman in the Arts (details to be released soon). After a few talks, and a few pushes to get started, we created three products. It was incredibly interesting to see the work that goes on behind the scenes of a launched product, and it was incredibly satisfying to brand this the way I wanted it to be.

We shot in two locations – one more Northern inspired, and one more urban (coming soon). I specifically wanted my cousin Tara to be my lead model, as she and I grew up together,¬†and she just represents¬†our community to me. Next, I chose Jazmyne, as she is also from our home community, and I’ve photographed her before as a grad escort and I loved her Indigenous¬†look. Finally, our male model was suggested to me. Legit, his name is Dene. We all laughed at that a bit, because we basic. And then we had my power-trio, my tribe.

And we created our story.

#WeAreDene

….

Credits:

Models: Tara Campbell, Jazmyne Black, Dene Robillard

Hair: Rachel Pacquette

Makeup: Kacey Beaudry, MUA

T-Shirts/Bunnyhug: SheNative (Logo Design by Joi T Arcand, Dene Syllabics by Elder Marge Reynolds) 

Accessories: Beaded Earrings and Bolo Choker: Beads, Rhymes, Life // Beaded Cuffs: Catherine Blackburn // Dreamcatcher Earrings: Indicity

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