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Tinja’s husky farm lies off the grid: she cooks and heats with a wood stove, lights her home with candles and has to break the ice of the river every morning to get some water with a bucket.
Image Credit: Photograph by Brice Portolano.
In northern Finland, husky farmers like Tinja will go more than a month without seeing the sun in winter.
Living 180 miles from the nearest town, she works in freezing temperatures for much of the year in order to feed and care for the 85 dogs on her farm.
When Brice Portolano arrived in Lapland in early January to see her, the polar night was beginning to end and the sun was slowly returning to the Arctic landscape.
“The first day lasted just nine minutes,” he says, “suffice to say, the evening are long and pass by in candle light”.
For 20 days, the Parisian-based photographer swapped his temperate city climate to stay in Inari with Tinja and her husband Alex, a former professional skier who now works as a race musher.
“While looking for a story to shoot in Northern Finland, I discovered Tinja’s existence through her website,” says Portolano, 24.
“It usually takes me some time to find the right character for such a story but I found Tinja quite quickly and immediately sent her an email, telling her about my project”.