As we ready ourselves for an exciting photo shoot later this month, we're thinking about those things that inspire us artistically, make our design juices bubble, and encourage us to keep moving forward with our mandate to support inclusivity and diversity.

Even though we're thinking fashion ... and of course we love the stunning and stylized glamour shots from fashion mags like Vogue ... we're actually feeling more inspired these days by the lifestyle and cultural art of photographer Nadya Kwandibens.

Nadya is Anishinaabe/Ojibwe from the Animakee Wa Zhing First Nation in northwestern Ontario. Her work to capture Indigenous lifestyles, cultures and realities through photography has taken her across North America to collaborate with many groups and organizations. Nadya's remarkable talent has been featured in print, online, on TV, and in many photography showings.

Beyond inspiring us with images, Nadya, and her company Red Works Photography, also inspire us in a business sense. Red Works is another woman-owned business in a man-made world.  She's a self employed artist who strives to highlight diversity as beauty and inclusivity as strength. It's a mission we totally agree with.

 

Along with the usual photography offerings like photo shoots and sessions, Red Works operates basic photography workshops for schools and groups, and also provides organizations with visual presentations that highlight the diversity of First Nations communities across Canada.

 

 

Most of all, we love Nadya's gripping and inspiring Vision Statement that truly illuminates her passion:

"We, as Indigenous people, are often portrayed in history books as Nations once great; in museums as Nations frozen stoic; in the media as Nations forever troubled.  These images can be despairing; however, my goal seeks to steer the positive course. If our history is a shadow, let this moment serve as light. We are musicians, lawyers, doctors, mothers and sons. We are activists, scholars, dreamers, fathers and daughters. Let us claim ourselves now and see that we are, and will always be great, thriving, balanced civilizations capable of carrying ourselves into that bright new day."

We love how Nadya has so beautifully described the intent behind her passionate visual work. Find out much more about this inspiring photographer, view her stunning visuals and maybe schedule a session for her upcoming work, emergence, here:

Red Works Photography

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