By Brianne Fanning | Photography by Chandler Williams, Modus Photography
Imagine trudging through jungles in torrential rain to meet medicine men, paddling through turbulent waters in search of adventure, meeting new people and exploring diverse cultures—and experiencing all this while capturing unique moments, memories, and stories through a high-definition lens. For most of us, it’s a lifestyle we only dream of living; for Chandler Williams, it’s reality.
An enthusiastic artist with a keen eye for detail, Williams has combined his passions—travel and photography—into a thrilling career. As a teenager, he realized travel was in his blood after buying a one-way bus ticket to live with his sister in New Mexico. Shortly afterward, a sports journalist mentored him in the art of photography and developing film, and so his interest in photography was born. The next few years found Williams, camera in hand, trekking across the United States, Mexico, and Costa Rica on the lookout for awesome experiences and, of course, the perfect shot.
“In San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, inspiring students support a local orphanage where even basic needs such as water, food, and fun are rare,” Williams shares. “An incredibly emotional experience, this image represents hope, regardless of an individual’s race, color, or denomination.”
“‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ is true for this Nicaraguan native searching a landfill for trash he can recycle for money or trade,” Williams narrates. “Capturing authentic lifestyle moments like this one makes being a photographer worth every moment.”
People relaxing on the beach and boats floating in the water represent a typical day on the island of Tortuga, Costa Rica. The unique shapes and vibrant colors illustrate the brilliance of this beautiful island.
Hawaiian green sea turtle swims effortlessly through the crystal clear water just off the North Shore of Oahu. “Taking photos in the water is always a thrill because there is no time to review the shots taken, compelling you to live in the moment and be surprised by the amazing results later,” Williams shares.
Exhausted mom and baby turtle battle their way back to their ocean home during the arribada or “arrival” in Ostional, Costa Rica. “Observing these strong animals rest, rejuvenate, and continue their trek to the water was truly inspiring,” Williams says.
“This spirited boxing match takes place right off the streets in Cienfuegos, representing the strong boxing history in Cuba that dates back to the early 1900s,” says Williams. “Exploring new areas with excitement and a learning attitude always leads to discovering the unique traditions of different cultures.”
This young boy, thrilled to have clean water, keeps running back to the new fountain to refill his cup. “During this film shoot with a charitable organization that installs water filters in Cuba, the extreme importance of clean water was evident,” Williams says. “To witness the time, service, and sacrifice that others unselfishly offer is always a strong motivation to do better and serve those in need. Through travel and photography, it is inspiring to rub shoulders with so many individuals that share this common thread of others over self.”
“Mental therapy at its finest as this Gulf Coast native floats calmly over smooth, tranquil waters,” Williams explains. “Growing up around the salt water, finding balance and peace in life out on the water has always been a necessity.”
A flock of seagulls drifts across a radiant early-morning sky in Grayton Beach, Florida. “I captured these little fellows during a lifestyle shoot after nerding out about the awesome lighting,” Williams recalls. “Natural light is always shifting, and often the best photos result from unexpected moments with fantastic lighting, like this one.”
Williams’s adventures led to the launch of Modus Photography in 2007. From a small one-man operation peddling still images, Modus has now grown into a team of creatives offering a range of photography and cinematography services around the world. When speaking about his career, Williams expresses pure excitement for the lifestyle he has built. “I remember the first time someone paid me to take photos,” he says. “It was the summer of ’99. After the shoot, I was so excited that I went directly to the local drugstore to get the black-and-white film developed. I look back at those moments now; I never imagined I would visit so many places, meet so many people, and take pictures for a living. I really do love my job!”
As an artist and a business owner, Williams constantly looks for new opportunities to expand his creative limits, from transferring images to a variety of mediums to building rustic frames out of locally salvaged and repurposed wood. He is currently adding a limited-edition expansion to his gallery in Grayton Beach, Florida, to share more of the moments and emotions captured during his explorations.
With the support of his family and friends, Williams continues to explore the world through his camera lens, his photography forever revealing a traveler’s spirit.
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Find Williams’s artwork for sale at ModusPhotography.com and see his travels at ChandlerWilliamsPhoto.com.