Tessa Sayers and Jeremy Logsdon are an engaged couple in real life who posed for this Native styled shoot. They brought traditional elements into the photo shoot that honor their grandparents and their own personal connection to indigenous culture. Tessa is Ojibwe, Cree and Metis, while Jeremy is Potawatomi and Assiniboine. They met in the third grade while taking Indian Education classes together. Their paths crossed again later in life, and on September 23, 2017, they will be married.
Physical elements shown in the photoshoot are Tessa's handmade traditional beaded earrings made from seed beads. European settlers brought glass beads from Europe and traded them. She also wears a natural turquoise bracelet gifted from her grandmother. Jeremy wore a bolo tie gifted from his grandfather.
There are four sacred medicines traditionally used among Native people; tobacco, sweet grass, sage and cedar. Tessa is seen using sage and "smudging" Jeremy to signify a letting go and release of past energy. They are clearing themselves before they join as one.
Strawberries in Ojibwa culture are called the "heart berry" because they look like a heart. The heart berry signifies love between the couple and a reminder to stay connected to their indigenous roots and their commitment to each other.
Other background pieces include a drum designed and painted by Tessa's father, a traditional beaded loincloth from Jeremy's grandfather, and a bone knife used for hunting and preparing food.
Tessa says, "Jeremy and I thoroughly enjoyed our Native American themed photo shoot because we were able to incorporate our culture into the details. Both being Native, we have family heirlooms, traditional beadwork, and items that are important to us. I was very clear up front that the only way this photo shoot would work is if I had approval capabilities throughout the process. I did not want anything stereotypical or anything Jeremy and I wouldn't really have at our real wedding. Our culture is very important to us, so we wanted our heritage to be portrayed in an accurate fashion. Yes, Jeremy and I are a real engaged couple! It was important for me to wear my grandmother's turquoise bracelet and for Jeremy, his grandfathers bolo tie. I am a professional beadwork artist; therefore I wanted elements of my work incorporated into the shoot as well. Modern Native Americans get married in all types of ways. Some have very traditional weddings, others your average American wedding, but for us, we always wanted to mix elements of both. We get to throw our own Native wedding this September. It was fun to do this photo shoot and practice for the real thing!"
Photographer | Gina Neal Photography | @ginanealphotography
Second Shooter (Film) | Esther Louise Photography | @estherlouisephotography
Coordination/Styling/Desserts | Just a Dash | @justadashcakes
Rentals | Classic Vintage Rentals | @classic_vintage_rentals
Floral | Hardcore Florist | @hardcoreflorist
Signs and Invitations | Letters & Dust | @lettersanddust
Models | Tessa Sayers and Jeremy Logsdon | @tessasayers32
Dress | Sincerely the Bride | @sincerelythebride
Makeup | Cassandra Kennedy Beauty | @ckennedybeauty
Hair | Paige Ashcroft | @paige_ashcroft
Bridal Jacket | Fox Glove Firs | @foxglovefurs
Veil | Annie Ekstrom Bridal | @annieekstrombridal
From a young age Stephanie showed a great passion for the culinary arts. Her mother and grandmother both lived for bringing joy to others by filling their stomachs with delicious food. Her mother would walk into the kitchen to see a mess of ingredients and equipment spread out in the kitchen starting when Stephanie was five. Stephanie graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2007 with a degree in the Baking and Pastry Arts, filled with inspiration and excitement. Stephanie returned to Portland right as the food scene started to explode. Sweets by Stephanie was started in the fall of 2007 as a way for her to create beautiful cakes and delicious catering on the side. She has worked in multiple restaurants and bakeries throughout Portland and the Willamette Valley gaining experience and learning skills from lots of talented people. Stephanie landed at Reedville Catering in May of 2013 and created a fast growing and successful dessert and cake program. Her cakes were featured in Portland Bride and Groom and on Oregon Bride Magazine Blog. Stephanie saw an opportunity to branch out on her own and rebrand Sweets by Stephanie. Just a Dash was born with a focus on cakes, but it is now branching out to include other things like event planning. Celebrating every kind of love is what pushes Just a Dash forward.
Raised in the sticks with a constant itch to road trip and meet interesting new friends and faces, my life pursuit of art and thrill over a freshly developed roll of film—capturing all those faces and magical moments—spurred on a long time photography hobby that would eventually become the work that I do today. Now a full-time mama in the city, I still love road trips and the magic of meeting and capturing new people and their amazing stories.