Imagine winning a $10,000 bursary for your education and almost missing it.
“I didn’t even see that I had won it at first because it went straight to my spam mail for some reason,” said second-year Durham College Photography student, Photini-Dawn Ingham.
She had just won one of three Bermuda Arts Council Student Grant Awards in July, an annual award given to young artists to support their careers.
“It was 10 o’clock at night, and I was bored so I was like ‘let me just check my spam’ cause a lot of stuff was going to my spam, so I looked and said…’is this real?’,” said Ingham, who was born in Devonshire Parish, Bermuda.
Ingham took a moment to make sure that it was indeed real before running to tell her mother.
“I went ‘Oh my god, mom I just got a bursary!’,” said Ingham.
She applied through the website bermurdascholships.com where you can apply for multiple scholarships at once. Ingham sent in her resume, reference letters, portfolio and for this bursary wrote an essay about her journey with photography, which started when she was four-years-old when she was given a camera by her uncle, who was also a photographer.
Ingham worked multiple jobs and internships in Bermuda that utilized her skills in photography and saved up enough money to come to Durham College last year at age 23.
“I was researching different schools…I loved how broad Durham College was with the different types of photography they had,” said Ingham. “I really liked how it had fashion, portrait, it had product, it had a lot of different aspects to do photography, and also, it had the business.”
Ingham returned back to Oshawa from Bermuda for a second-year at Durham but it has been a different experience for her, as Durham has moved to mostly online classes.
“It’s amazing. I love it (in Oshawa). I wish things could be in person but, better safe than sorry,” said Ingham. “I’m glad I get to be out here in Canada and keep on pursuing (photography).”
Although Ingham misses the ocean views in Bermuda, and due to the current global pandemic, she won’t be returning home for Christmas, she still speaks to her family every other day through WhatsApp to keep connected.
Ingham hopes to continue pursuing her education in videography next year which she said caught her eye in her first year of Durham College courses.
“I really enjoyed it, I want to get that under my belt as well,” said Ingham, noting people are more likely to hire a photographer who does videography as well.
You’ll be able to find Ingham in London, England for her next adventure in education as she works towards her goal of working in fashion and portrait photography and owning her own business.
“Bermuda is an English (British) territory so it’s kind of a second home for us,” said Ingham. “I love fashion and It’s one of the fashion capitals of the world also.”