I first met Heather, officially, back In March when we were both presenting on a Youth Panel in Thunderbay, ON. We instantly clicked – like besties, it was almost weird – and we did a sweet little collab shoot featuring amazing Indigenous artists and showcasing her clothing apparel and hankies from Dickson Designs. It just so happened that she was coming to Saskatoon to work with me and some of our dream team in YXE for promotional images.
In Saskatoon, we snagged our models Breanna Doucette-Garr (Dene/Cree), Kendra Weenie (Cree), and Josh Nash (Tahltan/mix), and our favourite makeup artist, Kacey Beaudry, MUA. In between the two of us, we had a jewelry store of Indigenous Designers to choose from for accessories, and we used pieces from Beads, Rhymes, Life and Savage Rose and Tania Larsson, and of course, knowing me, we also got a bit extra at the end and rocked some Fox Fur by Just Furs.
We needed some clean cut images for promotional use, and as Heather is from Whitehorse, an area with mountains (she calls them hills), we wanted to showcase the skies of Saskatchewan and the flat prairie. For our second location, I wanted to dirty it up with tons of accessories and colour, back alleys and graffiti, my usual jam. We had an amazing day – our models were game for everything – and it just made the session flow. It was hot – kind of crazy hot for May – and I walked away with a ridiculous t-shirt tan/burn that lasted all summer, basically, but we also got some freaking beautiful images of some beautiful people wearing beautiful product. So yeah, totally in love with this session.
I have been working with SheNative for a few years (yay for indigenous women entrepreneurs) and it’s always something different. This time, I got to play t-shirt designer as well. Devon wanted to try something new – work with photography and create some art shirts – so we chose some past images from past shoots – and created a few textual based designs as well, and voila -the spring line of t-shirts with the newest designs of the luxury SheNative leather goods.
We got together with some emerging Indigenous models Kiyanna, Kiara Desjardins, and Kaisayla Paintednose and local talent with hair by Jessie Lachance and makeup by Charissa Leitch. It was a beautiful day for late March, and we made some magic happen. These young women were pretty effortless in front of the camera, and we made sure to rock some Indigenous accessories as well, with feather earrings by Savage Rose and beaded bling by Beads, Rhymes, Life, and sweet beaded pendant by Her Braids.
It was a grey, drizzling day my last morning in Vancouver, but we gathered up and met at the beach. Maddie is a talented dancer in many styles, and I’ve been exploring the idea of dance and ‘Indigenous dance’ and what that means. I’m interested in ‘traditional’ styles of dance, but also when we take other styles and what we bring into it, as Indigenous people with our own viewpoints and aesthetics.
With makeup by Indigenous Barbie, this YVR indigenous team made good that day. There’s something so powerful about when indigenous women collaborate – work together and pool our strengths and just trust one another to do our best. Maddie was so open with me, and so fearless – it was cold that day, but she just went for it. And Elisha’s makeup work was flawless, as usual, and she came with us as we carried blankets and jackets, making sure Maddie had breaks to warm up. And in between all that, we laughed, told stories, giggled, and laughed at me as I bossed around Maddie.
Indigenous women rise, indeed.
Elisha is the talented artist behind Indigenous Barbie (FB + Insta), a Vancouver and area based makeup artists that is so incredibly talented. I had been creeping her page for a while when Maddie and I started chatting about doing a session, and we asked Elisha to be our MUA. As a Thank You, Elisha and I did a session together as well, as she was very early in her pregnancy.
So. Much. Fun.
We were shooting the morning before my flight back home to Saskatoon, so we jumped from ocean side to airport in a few hours, but we also captured some magic. Elisha was pretty effortless in front of the camera, and it was beautiful to see her traditional ink and her emerging baby bump. She told me hilarious stories as we drove through the city, and I asked her a million questions about makeup and art.
Making friends who get your business hustle, your goals and your determination – priceless.
When you meet up with someone from home in the big city, it’s always a good feeling. Tahira had been living in Vancouver (YVR) for a minute, and we wanted to shoot and meet for supper. A true Vancouver girl at the time, she made me walk ten miles or so – “it’s not far,” she lied – and while we creeped in and out of back alleys and found graffiti that made my heart sing, we laughed. Tahira is the cousin to my sister-in-law and the best friend to my god-sister, so I’ve always known who she is but we’ve never just hung out, just the two of us. I had been nervous – what if we got awkward? – but it was effortless and it felt like home, just walking around downtown with good friend and a camera.
edglanete + welcome
sweetmoon is a photography business currently based in Treaty 6 Territory of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, specializing in capturing the stories of Indig and non-Indig people throughout Canada.
Avilable for travel and gossip.