MMIW Awareness | Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

MMIW Awareness | Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

MMIW: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

One picture, just one is all they asked. What is MMIW, you ask? Until I heard from Kate and her mom, Tara, I was unaware as well. Tara asked that we recreate this image for Kate so that together we can support her in her desire to bring awareness to these tragedies.

Threaten our Existence, Expect our Resistence – MMIWUSA
Indigenous women are ten times more likely to be killed than the average national murder rate. There are more than 5,700 cases of missing or murdered Native women documented with murder being the 3rd leading cause of death for Native American women. All I ask is, why? Why do some hunt indigenous women who are proud to represent their heritage? Why do some strip them of their freedom and innocence? I do not know them, yet they are my sisters. Moreover, my sisters do not deserve this. We do not deserve to be hunted for our history and our cultural values. We will never be silent again. No more stolen sisters.

Meet Kate

My name is Kate. My family and I come from a proud history of Native Americans as members of the Muskogee Creek Indians in Oklahoma, via The Removal. Oklahoma is ranked 10th in the nation for MMIW. It frustrates me to see what is happening to indigenous peoples who represent our culture. It hurts to know we are ignored and discriminated against while our sisters, mothers, daughters and aunts are hunted and discarded without care. We have decided to speak out. No more shall be hunted for wearing their honor proudly.

MMIW Arizona Photographe

Tara and Kate, thank you for bringing awareness to our community, sharing your story, and allowing me to be part of your journey.


Best Friends | East Mesa Photo Shoot | Mesa, AZ

Best Friends | East Mesa Photo Shoot | Mesa, AZ

Best Friends Senior Pictures

You’ve been through everything together, late nights studying, stressful classes, boyfriends, summer vacations, and more. Your BFF is there for it and you get through it together. Celebrating with a special photo shoot is a perfect way to celebrate your senior year experience! For these two girls their birthdays are only a couple weeks apart so we made this a birthday/friends photo shoot. Alex and Mavery are both seniors at Desert Ridge High School this year! Woohoo!!!!

If ever there was a quote about these two, this is it.

“It’s not that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but it’s your best friends who are your diamonds.”
-Gina Barreca

Just Be Yourself

I know being in front of the camera can be intimidating, but when your best friend is with you the tension disappears. You’re always welcome to bring a friend to help with wardrobe selections, touch-ups, and of course share your most embarrassing moments! Mave and Alex are two of the sweetest young ladies, but when they’re together the giggles start. This is when where we started, in my favorite ditch where we can have the space to ourselves.

Let’s get started! Ok girls, let’s try to get a sweet headshot of you together…um, really? NO, not like that!! LOL!

Best Phoenix Senior Portrait Photographer

Take two, this should be easy with teenagers, right? They aren’t little kids and they should be able to follow directions. Let’s try again…just about had them set when this happened. But I’m not sorry I caught this moment! They crack me up!

Phoenix Photographer Friends Photo Shoot

Third time is a charm right? Yep!!! Finally, heads together, bright eyes, and beautiful smiles! Success!

Phoenix Senior Photographer Best Friends

Ok, now close your eyes and take a deep breath, slowly let it out, then stare straight into the lens. Of course, this took several attempts because neither one could keep a straight face. Good thing they did though because this image was selected out of thousands of entries to be published in Teen Years Magazine!  There is one more winning image in this post. Do you want to see the other winning images? Here they are!

Phoenix Photographer Best Friends Photo Shoot

Some of my favorite poses for teenagers are doing piggyback rides and bumping hips. I love that they had matching jeans too!

Phoenix Photographer Best Friends Pictures

Photo Shoot for Teenagers

While we’re out, I always get some individual shots as well. We brought this hat from my Style Closet and let me tell you, this girl can nail the serious look perfectly!

Phoenix Photographer Senior Photos

Mave loves this polka dot skirt and lace top from the Style Closet, and this white hat is brand new so we decided to try it out. Remember, if you’re going to be in the water make sure you have flip flops and a towel.

Phoenix Photographer Senior Pictures

And the outtake to prove that getting twirly shots isn’t always as easy as it sounds, especially with a hat! Yep, several times Mavery flipped around and the hat went flying!

Phoenix Senior Photographer Girls

A Lesson in Locations

I want to take a minute to talk about locations. Clients are always worried about choosing locations and it is one of the most-asked questions I get. However, look at these two images below. Can you really tell where they were taken? Well, the first one maybe a little, but the 2nd one could be taken nearly anywhere as long as the light is good. When I tell you that the location is only secondary, these images show exactly that. They were taken in the desert but there ins’t much around to show that. Instead, I chose to focus on Alex. Sometimes I do shots that include more of the background, but every mom will always love beautiful pictures of her children!

Phoenix Photographer Teen Photo Shoot

The image below is another award-winning photo that was published in the premier issue of Teen Years Magazine! So that’s two…but there are more! I had a total of FIVE images published! Want to see the other winning images? Here they are!

Phoenix Photographer Sweet 16 Pictures

Let me tell you, even though it was just for fun this was not an easy shot to get! They collided a couple of times and were rarely synchronized, but eventually we did get one that was a keeper.

Best Phoenix Portrait Photographer Girls

Want to see more of this location? Try these posts!

What to Wear for Senior Pictures
Unique Locations for Senior Pictures
Gilbert High School Senior Photos