There’s a New Photographer on Campus
Just over a year ago, Alejandra Chandler was one of a dozen Northern Essex students photographed and interviewed for the then fledgling #FacesofNECC, a colorful student photo gallery. Now the 25-year-old is the one asking the questions and taking the portrait photographs.
After a year capturing our students’ images and personal tales, Jose Garcia, alumnus and founder of #FacesofNECC, is passing the mantle or in this case camera duties to Chandler.
The Newburyport resident and NECC 2019 liberal arts graduate is packing her camera to roam both the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses. She will continue to shoot in the style of the wildly popular and highly publicized “Human of new York” blog created by photographer Brandon Stanton. She will only photograph and interview individuals who agree to participate in the project.
Chandler is almost as new to photography as she is to this country. Four years ago, she arrived in the United States from Colombia on a temporary visa to babysit a cousin’s newborn. During that visit, she met a man who would become her husband. She enrolled in NECC’s English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and went on to earn an associate degree in liberal arts.
Boredom and loneliness led Chandler to create a food blog. She soon recognized the need for high quality photos of her food to accompany her posts. Since her camera phone wasn’t sufficient, she invested in her first digital camera. And then a funny thing happened. Her interest in photography waxed while her blog waned. Photographing food, led to photographing landscapes and people.
“I started taking photos of everything and everyone,” she said.
She needed a home for her photos and created “orchideyes.com”. Orchid is the national flower of Colombia.
According to Chandler, she took to photography with the same enthusiasm she took to her new home.
“Photography makes me feel like I belong no matter where I go,” she said. “Everywhere I go I find something that is beautiful. I don’t need to be surrounded by a lot of people I know to capture the beauty. There is a comfort in being surrounded by beauty.”
Today, in addition to taking on the duties of #FacesofNECC, Chandler works full-time in administrative support and as a translator for SPS New England in Salisbury. She spent so much time outdoors capturing nature that she fell in love with it. Now she is enrolled as a full-time student at Southern New Hampshire University majoring in environmental science and conservation.
Her long-term goal is to one day combine her interests in conservation and photography and create a career for herself.