Dawn Rose Winters is a photographer from Hopedale, Nunatsiavut, NL, whose images document the world around her, from landscape photography to family celebrations.
Winters was gifted a camera one Christmas when she was ten or eleven. “You had to wind up the camera, take a picture and wind it up again,” she recalls, explaining that there were no places to have film developed in Hopedale, so she had to send the film away by mail in order to see her pictures.  Through the years she practiced with this camera and later an instant Polaroid, learning the mechanics of photography by experimentation, taking photographs of family and friends at special occasions like birthdays or celebrations.
Today Winters works exclusively with digital film, taking shots of the town and surrounding landscape, documenting the survival skills like hunting and gathering that she grew up learning. “Every time I go out I take my camera,” she says. “I take pictures of what we do—it’s normal in our town, but if people come in from somewhere else, they find it amazing and they ask questions.” She uses her photography as a way to communicate these traditional skills to people that aren’t aware, and as a method of keeping them alive for future generations. “It’s good to share,” Winters says simply when asked why this is important to her
Winters has also been learning how to bead and work with sealskin, and created her first pair of sealskin mitts in March 2023 following a workshop. She decided to pick up these skills because of her grandmothers and great grandmother, who were all artists in their own right working in these mediums. “I felt I should be able to do all that too,” she says.
Despite these new skills, Winters’ principal focus remains on photography, with a freelance career picking up steam. Community members have begun asking her to take portraits of babies and each other, and Winters has also worked as a wedding photographer, something she would like to pursue more in future. “I like to do it all,” she says when asked whether she prefers the creative freedom of her documentation work to commissioned photos like these. Her sense of opportunity for the future is widespread as well, encompassing both an interest in printing and selling her photographs on canvas or postcards, and partaking in art exhibitions when she has the opportunity.
This Profile was made possible through support from RBC Emerging Artists.