Artist Spotlight: Chris Lengers

Cristina Cuduco , Arts & Entertainment Editor

For the last three years, senior Chris Lengers has been actively capturing the world around him through photography. What originated with his iPhone, quickly turned into a passion for this hobbyist as he continued to explore the craft.

“I bought my camera to make movies, but then I realized how expensive and difficult it was to do so with no budget or actors, so I had this very expensive camera just sitting there,” said Lengers.  “I was using my iPhone [to photograph] so I thought I should use my camera too.”

Most of his life Lengers dreamed of being a filmmaker, and pursued the prospect into college by choosing to study communications with a concentration in film.

“Photography has helped me more with film than the other way around,” said Lengers. “When you learn composition and cinematography, it really helps. Whenever I take pictures, I always look at things through the lens of a film. But the more I get into photographing, the less I’m into film.”

Despite having taken a handful of courses in various academic environments, Lengers admits that the bulk of his education in photography has been self-taught, including his study and emulation of seasoned photographers, whom he admires.

Armed with his professional-grade Canon camera and a multitude of tools, Lengers partakes in recording anything that seems worthy to him at the time.

“I don’t really go out and say, ‘I want to do this’ or ‘I won’t do that.’ Anything that appeals to me and looks good at that moment, I document,” he said.

Having recently focused the body of his work on playing with light and self-portraiture, Lengers believes there are challenges associated with photographing certain subjects.

“I’d like to photograph other people, but it’s tough,” he said. “One of my favorite photographers, Thirteenth Witness, believes that it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission. [Thirteenth Witness] takes pictures of whatever he wants, and sometimes that’s hard for me, because not all subjects are willing to be a part of that moment.

“I don’t want to talk to people, I just want to take the picture, candid. When you take a candid picture it’s real, it’s emotional. If you tell someone you want to take a picture of them, they might put on a mask, or they might put a smile on and act like everything’s ok, but that’s not real to me.”

Although, like most college seniors, Lengers is in the process of planning his future, he sounds hopeful, reciting some notions he lives by.

“I don’t have a plan B, that’s the best advice I’ve got. If you love something enough and are dedicated enough to do it, then just do it no matter what,” Lengers said. “I don’t want to have a plan B, because I believe enough in myself and my ability to be at a place where I’m doing what I love; I can do this for the rest of my life.”

 

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Chris Lengers