Gallery: The joys and realities of being a photojournalist in a Winnipeg winter

Last August, I left Toronto for Winnipeg to start a new job as a photojournalist at the Free Press.

Before leaving, friends jokingly wished me the best of “Winterpeg”.

Having only been to Winnipeg once before — a one-hour stop en route to Edmonton on the Via train in the summer of 2013 — this was the first time I had heard the term.

But I soon became intimately familiar with my friends’ joke.

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November 25, 2021: Free Press photojournalists Mike Deal and Mikaela McKenzie set up a meeting. I wasn’t impressed with the tacos we had the last time we met, so this time I suggest we go to my favorite pho spot in Winnipeg to have our photojournalist meeting.

This winter, Winnipeggers witnessed the third highest amount of snow on record in the city, shivered for 26 days in temperatures below -30°C, navigated deep snow ruts while driving and climbed huge embankments of snow while crossing sidewalks.

The winter was harsh, even for the most enduring Winnipeggers.

My editors asked me to document my first few months here as a photo project. I had wanted to do a documentary project involving other people but because COVID-19 was (and still is) prevalent, photographing others up close was still dangerous and I didn’t want to put anyone at risk.

This self-documentary was the perfect project to creatively challenge me. Here is my visual diary of my final months — the realities and joys of being a photojournalist for Western Canada’s largest newspaper, in the dead of winter.

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