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ELISE SWOPES

Photographer

 Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a graphic designer turned photographer who specializes in influencer marketing and mobile photography and editing.

 

How did you get into photography?

I got into photography through Instagram in 2011 by shooting and editing with my iPhone. At first, I was just posting selfies, and photos of my cats, but then I started to use my love for graphic design that I have had since I was a little kid, to start creating my surreal landscapes.

 

Why did you choose to volunteer with Lens for Peace – what does it mean to you?

Initially, I volunteered because I love teaching and I was excited about meeting all the wonderful people from Off The Street Club because I had heard so many great things, but in time, I was really becoming family with everyone involved. It changed me as a person and allowed me to open my eyes further to what’s important – family, love and support. We all miss sight of these small wins every day, whether it be a simple smile or a hug, and Lens for Peace and Off The Street Club brought that back to me.

 
 
 
 
 
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NOLIS ANDERSON

Photographer

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Nolis Anderson a portrait/lifestyle photographer born and raised in Chicago, IL. After transitioning from a life of being a pharmacist, I took a leap a faith and dove into photography never looking back.

 

How did you get into photography?

I got into photography just as a hobby to go along with my professional career, but at a point I realized that it was something I was very passionate about and Instagram helped play a significant role, giving a lot of self taught photographers like me a place to showcase their work and be seen and respected in the photography community. My first camera was an old film canon camera i purchased from a random pawn shop, its kind of what started it all. 

 

Why did you choose to volunteer with Lens for Peace – what does it mean to you?

I volunteered with Lens for Peace because after being in the health care community for so long I felt something was missing now that I was no longer in a position to really help people anymore. I wanted to find a way to use photography to help to show people, most importantly kids that look like me and grew up in similar areas like me what could be done if you have a passion and the dedication to execute your goals be it photography or not. With that mindset I've worked with LFP and multiple non profits this year and hopefully continue to do so in the future. My favorite part was giving advice with the kids and actually seeing them apply it to their final products. 

 
 
 
 
 
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TRASHHAND

PHOTOGRAPHER

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am trashhand, a Chicago based photographer specializing in architecture and sports photography.

 

How did you get into photography?

I got my start in photography through Instagram after joining in 2011. Shooting with just an iPhone 4 at the time, Instagram reached out and did an interview on me and my mobile work. That interview was all I needed to motivate me to purchase a camera and pursue photography full time. 

 

Why did you choose to volunteer with Lens for Peace – what does it mean to you?

I volunteered with Lens for Peace because of OTSC and everything they do for their community and city. Off The Street Club is one of the oldest and most genuine clubs in Chicago helping to protect, inspire, and teach. They go above and beyond every day to give these kids a safe place to learn and play. I wanted to be a part of this effort and do what I could to help inspire the next generation of Chicago photographers. 

 
 
 
 
 
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MICHAEL SALISBURY

Photographer

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Sr. DevOps Engineer and freelance photographer

 

How did you get into photography?

I started taking photos when I was in high school over 10 years ago. Over the years I took it more and more seriously, and in college really started to find my niche in architecture and street photography. I started posting on instagram in 2014 which has opened a lot of doors for me to connect with other local photographers and find a lot of new friends. Since then I've been able to work with brands like Apple, adidas, Puma, Allstate, McDonalds and many more. 

 

Why did you choose to volunteer with Lens for Peace – what does it mean to you?

Volunteering for Lens for Peace was important for me because I never had a mentor during my journey in photography. Being completely self taught is admirable, but I think having a mentor is extremely important when just starting out. I love helping kids because of the excitement they feel when taking photos, it reminds me of how I felt when I was just starting out. Weather or not they decide to make it their passion or career, opening a door for someone to express their creativity even for a moment is a very rewarding experience.