‘Her whole future ahead of her’: Photographer captures Manitoba graduate posing on iceberg

Some say a photograph is simply a memory frozen in time – and a high school graduation photo taken in Churchill, Man. takes that adage to a completely new level.

Photographer Brandy Bloxom captured Emily Dingwall, a graduate of Duke Marlborough School, posing on an iceberg near picturesque Hudson Bay Beach on Sunday, July 7.

Bloxom, a self-taught photographer who lives in Denare Beach, Sask., travelled to Churchill for an Indigenous women’s conference and took the opportunity to fulfill a photography dream.

She put out a call on social media looking for a subject and said Dingwall jumped at the chance.

“I said, ‘Would you like to step on an iceberg? It’ll take two seconds if you want – this would be epic,’” Bloxom told CTV News. “She was game for it and she was just thrilled.”

While the photo makes Dingwall seem like she’s floating in the middle of nowhere, Bloxom said the chunk of ice was only about 15 feet away from the shoreline.

“[The water] was basically up to her mid-calf,” Bloxom explained. “But the angles and lighting… make it look like she’s way out in the middle of Hudson Bay – but it’s the tricks.”

Bloxom said the water was calm during the photo shoot, which helped create the glassy, mirrored image. She said she wanted to depict what it’s like to grow up in a place like Churchill.

“It shows the difficulties, the coldness, and the hardships,” Bloxom said. “But yet… she has her whole future ahead of her – she’s got this background of solid people and a solid community.”

Bloxom grew up in Leaf Rapids, Man., though her roots trace back to York Factory First Nation southeast of Churchill. She described the trip to Churchill as a learning experience and a way to connect her family’s past.

“What you see in books and everything is polar bears and whales, but there’s so much more to it,” she explained. “The people are amazing. The landscape over at the Churchill Flats looks like the east coast of Newfoundland. It’s just beautiful.”

Bloxom said her next dream is to photograph Inuit people in the Arctic.

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