Photo Portfolio: Behind the Lens

Cape Cod Life  /  November/December 2021 /

Writer: Christina Galt / Photographer: Christine Walsh Sanders 

“When the lighting is perfect, it just clicks,” says local photographer Christine Walsh Sanders. Sanders, who has been taking photos for a little over four years now, ultimately found herself within the company of a camera as a way to deal with the passing of her father. “Photography became a great coping mechanism for me,” shares Sanders. A friend gifted Sanders her first camera and when she got that camera in her grasp, she shrugs, “I just kind of ran with it.”

Sanders dove head first into photography, “A lot of it was self taught,” she explains, “but I also had the help of a few very talented local photographers who took me under their wing and showed me the basics.” Soon enough, Sanders started to branch out, getting herself a new camera and lenses, while taking a few workshops here and there.

“I got my start at the Chatham pier,” says Sanders who cherishes Chatham as her childhood summer stomping grounds and home for the past nine years. “It was pretty much where I learned how to take photos.” Sanders was taking what felt like thousands of sunrises and “character photos” of the local fishermen. The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization who works to protect our ecosystem and the future of our fishing businesses, even reached out and hired her to work with the local fishermen. “I went out on a couple of commercial trips, doing some photojournalism stories which was way out of my wheelhouse, but it introduced me to all sorts of walks of life and it just kind of morphed into a business,” shares Sanders. “I did not have lofty goals or anything like that, it just sort of happened and people started asking to buy my work.”

She notes, “I like to photograph things that are often over photographed, but capture them in a different light. I always try to tell a story with my work, it is something that I have morphed my photography into instead of just taking a photo to take a photo.” She continues, “I think Chatham holds a wide array of beauty, natural and also in terms of the architecture. I love making the familiar sights my own, with my own outlook on them.”

Sanders credits photography with her new outlook on life and nature, “When you are out photographing nature, you are forced to be centered–grounded. Photography is a meditative experience for me.” She laughs, “I have two teenagers, so my mind is a very busy place.”

About two years ago, Sanders started photographing wildlife. Last year she spent time in Jackson, Wyoming in Grand Teton National Park photographing grizzlies and elk, “Pretty much any animal I had the good fortune of photographing,” says Sanders. “Fitness was my first passion, and I am extremely outdoorsy, a huge skier, and I love being outside. You will never catch me taking a photo indoors,” remarks Sanders. In essence, she has always been in love with the outdoors, “This has just been an amazing way for me to now have these beautiful places and breathtaking moments etched into my memory.”

Over the last two summers, Sanders spent a lot of time with the humpback whales in Chatham, “It was a life changing experience,” says Sanders. “It is always a bit of a rush photographing whales because they tend to pop up around you, even though you try not to get too close, especially when they are feeding. Once I was in a small Boston Whaler with a friend, a whale literally came up from underneath us and we found ourselves on top of the whale! Thankfully we slid right off, but it was pretty intense. It is extremely exciting to capture something so wild like that. It was a life changing experience and I love being able to share that with people through my photography.”

She notes, “When you are behind the lens, you’re really forced to stop and take it all in.” Photography has brought her to places she never would have imagined and given her experiences she never thought she would have. “I’m grateful for my photography because I can always look back at a photograph and remember what that experience was like.”

To see more from Christine Walsh Sanders visit, christinewalshsandersphotography.com or @christinewalshsandersphoto on Instagram.

Christina Galt is the Editorial Assistant and Digital Coordinator at Cape Cod Life Publications.

Christina Galt

Christina Galt is the Digital Editor at Cape Cod Life Publications. Born and raised on the Cape, Christina has always had a love for the ocean and everything "Cape Cod." She found herself the perfect home away from home at the University of Rhode Island and double majored in Sociology and Gender & Women’s Studies. After graduating, Christina came back to the Cape and started her journey at Cape Cod Life. She spends most of her free time with her family, especially her chocolate lab Sadie, and enjoys spending summers on her family’s boat.