May 4, 2015

Saskatoon Angel Program – Elicia

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This beautiful lady was a joy to meet and work with!  She is just as beautiful inside as she is on the outside – she could totally model!  Through her story (below) you will also see the road she has travelled… and has come out a strong and beautiful woman!  She is such a light – a positive beautiful personality that is just  a blessing to be around!  In these images you will also see that this stunning lady is pregnant – with little blessing #2!   I wish I looked this amazing when I was pregnant!

If you know of a lady or girl in your life that has been through many things, trials and rough roads and you would like to lift her up and show her what a inspiration she is for her strength and determination – please message me – we would love the opportunity to perhaps work with her and celebrate her victory…   Now… let’s celebrate this lovely lady… check out her session and her story!  Blessings!

Hair – Uyen Huynh – Ninja Stylist                       Makeup – Ashley Kurysh Hair and Esthetics

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 “My name is Elicia Munro- Sutherland. I’m a 21 year old First Nations woman. I was born July 24th, 1993 in Saskatoon. I was always on the road travelling or moving to somewhere new in many cities, towns, and reserves throughout my life. Moving lots had its up’s and downs. I am very thankful for all those experiences though because it made me who I am today. I love the saying “One door closes and another one opens.” There are endless opportunities anywhere you go. You just have to go out and find them & keep a positive mindset.

I was very much into the party scene over two years ago. I was a bartender and a server so I was always around alcohol. I always knew where all the parties were. I drank every night of the week practically. I was beginning to feel very lost and bored living that kind of lifestyle but didn’t really know which direction to go. My biggest wakeup call was when I went to British Columbia on a trip in August 2013. I put myself in the scariest situations while I was over there. I was being very irresponsible while drinking and drank to the point of blacking out a couple times. I was drugged while at a pool party and someone paid a cab driver to take me back to my “friend’s” house. While I was on my way back the cab driver attacked me. I tried jumping out of the moving vehicle and screamed for help to the car behind us while my bare feet were dragging on the hot pavement. It was one of the scariest moments of my life because I was not in the right mind state either. When he finally stopped the vehicle I ran for my life. I can still remember the way he looks…. My “friends” didn’t believe me at all. I thought I was with people I could trust but they just turned their shoulders on me. I felt very lost and alone while I was in BC. My “friends” alienated me. They were expecting me to go sleep with men to get money to pay one of them back, to stay longer, & to party more. I thought about it but I felt so disgusted with myself for even thinking that was the only way out. I was planning on hitchhiking all the way back to Saskatoon to get out of that ugly situation I put myself in but decided to post on KIJIJI Ride Share to see if anyone was headed that way first. I got one response from this guy saying he can give me a ride to Edmonton. On our way to Edmonton he asked me to tell him my whole situation. He called me crazy for even thinking of hitchhiking because it was the highway of tears. A lot of women go missing on there. He was very supportive and gave me the best advice. He was the friend I needed at that time. I am forever grateful for that person. It was an eye opener for sure. Those situations taught me to choose your surroundings and friends wisely.

The past two years have been very life changing for me. I’ve grew into a better and stronger person. It took me awhile to realize who I was and who I wanted to become. I’m still kind of figuring that out & still healing from past experiences but I’ve honestly never been happier and more proud of myself because of where I am in life now. I quit drinking in November 2013. I quit the bars and parties. I changed my surroundings and circle of friends. I just left that ugly lifestyle behind me. I started doing things that actually made me feel happy. I began involving myself with culture by going to ceremonies and cultural classes. I started to volunteer lots with children and helping people that were in need. A few new friends and I made a group called Oskapios Igniting Change. “Oskapios” means helper in the Cree language. Our purpose in that group was to help rebuild struggling communities with culture and to inspire a positive change in young individuals. I was volunteering with other non- profit organizations as well. I also started to involve myself by doing things I used to love to do before like music, art, & theatre.

I started to date this amazing guy. He is very supportive and positive in every way possible for me. He believes in me. Accepts my past, supports my present, & encourages my future. He still thought I was beautiful while I was at my worst when I was going through something very personal. He was there for me when no one wasn’t. He is my best friend. January 2014 we got blessed with the most amazing gift ever. I found out I was pregnant. I was super happy but very scared at the same time. I knew I had nothing to worry about though because I have such a supportive family and boyfriend. Those nine months I carried made me feel more alive than ever before. It changed my whole perspective on life. I felt so beautiful and everything around me was beautiful. I felt like I was getting rained on with positive energy and happiness all the time. I felt unstoppable.

Friday October 3rd, 2014 at 1:15am a beautiful 8 pound 20 inched long baby girl arrived into this world. It was three days of hard labour but worth every second of it. The moment I saw her face put me into instant tears. I couldn’t believe it and I still can’t. It feels like a dream. I named her Zahara Lily Rose Munro. I love flowers so much, I wanted her to be my flower child. Zahara means flower or to shine radiantly. I find her name to be very beautiful, strong, and different. Zahara is my everything. I am willing to go above and beyond to give her the best life possible because she deserves it.

Right now I am currently upgrading my marks because I want to get accepted into university for this fall so I can become a teacher just like my mother. She is my biggest inspiration and I hope someday to be half the woman she is. She has had such a positive impact on so many students lives and someday I hope to do that too. I have already been accepted in the Youth Care Program at SaskPolytech for this fall but my main goal is to get into the UofS. The children and youth are our future. I believe in them. I want to help them succeed to reach their goals and dreams. I believe I can help a lot in that area.

I was into photography in 2012 and I am slowly getting back into it. I love getting creative and having fun. I will be starting my own photography business up soon that will be focused mainly on First Nations culture and people in North America. We are often stereotyped for being alcoholics, bums, druggies, etc. But that is not what we are. We are leaders. We are successful. We are beautiful. We are strong. We are doers. We are dreamers. We are warriors. I see so many First Nation people rising and standing up for what they believe in. I love it and I want to be a part of it. I believe a picture tells a story and that a picture can say more than a thousand words. I want to help empower others by showing the beauty of our people and culture. That they should take pride of their background, ignite the fire within, and to not be afraid to show it to the world. I’m currently gathering up props, ideas, and “models” to help build my portfolio. I was thinking of naming it “Ignite Your Spirit Photography” I am beyond excited and I believe it will be a great turn out.

I am all about getting involved with my community, culture, and helping others. I have been meeting so many amazing people lately. They are all very inspiring and I look up to a lot of them. I am forever grateful for everything in my life especially my daughter. Not to long ago we have just found out we are expecting another this August I didn’t know I was pregnant for three months because I was on birth control and didn’t even have the thought of being pregnant again right after I just had a baby but it happens the doctor said. It was very shocking I was scared at first because I thought oh my two but hey twice the loving!!! We are beyond excited and we find out what the gender is this weekend. Zahara will have a best friend forever. We are truly blessed.

Ignite the fire within. Embrace who you are. Be passionate. LOVE. Be positive. Travel. Laugh. Enjoy nature. Eat lots of food. Help others. Be fearless. Experience as much as you can. Pray. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. Live it to the fullest. It’s a beautiful journey.”

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Saskatoon Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer –   Gina’s Portraits –   Saskatoon, SK      email – ginasportraits@shaw.ca       call/text   306-341-1527

 

 

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Cecilia Rajanayagam : 07:50 May 26, 2015 Reply
Stunning photos and a moving and beautiful story! I heard about Elecia from a friend at work and would love to be in touch with her about her photo project.

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