The Thirty A Review March 2021

l o c a l a r t i s t

Picture This Photographer Chandler Williams Expands His Business b y D e n i s e K . J a m e s

W hen an independent study opportunity during his senior year introduced Chandler Williams to photography, he unknowingly found his newest life passion. A competitive athlete, Williams learned from a sports photojournalist how to artfully capture motion and light, while “…developing 35mm film using changing bags at a kitchen sink. The creation process that happens when film is developing really got me hooked,” he says. Before completing high school, Williams had already independently moved to explore the country: first living with his sister in New Mexico and then in the Midwest with friends. He continued his travels across the United States, Mexico, and Central America, constantly taking photographs of nature, scenic landscapes, and cultures. In 2007, after getting married and starting a family, Williams decided to revisit the idea of a side business in photography. He was working full-time in a thriving property management business, meanwhile maintaining his photography skills as a creative outlet. Could he turn it into a full-time business? The answer was a resounding yes. By 2014, Williams decided to depart property management and embrace his photography business full-time. Today, Modus Photography is a creative hub for the 30-A corridor, and Williams is selling

“I Need Some Space”

Artist of the Year Award

workshops, he believes the concept will be well-received. “There’s nothing like that here, for either young students or older retirees. There really is nothing else like it in the area for locals or tourists,” he points out. “My theo- ry is that we all want personal growth to

Chandler Williams

some degree. Just like brushing up on your second or third language skills, photography is a language, and like with any language, the more you know, the more you can speak slang and break the rules.” In addition to these upcoming workshop oppor- tunities, Williams is looking forward to launching his new gallery website, where photography lovers can peruse and purchase fine art images for their homes or businesses. Despite this upgrade in his digital presence, however, Williams believes that having the gallery and studio and teaching his craft personally are important to the business. ““I think having a gallery—where you can view physical prints and see different textures in the variety of media—allows people to experience some of the creative process,” he says. “There’s a connection that visitors experience while in the gallery, and I really do believe that the landscapes and seascapes of South Walton fuel this connection. It’s very cool to now be able to offer workshops in an area that I have grown up in.”

Photo by: Chandler Williams, Modus Photo; Talent: Strother Allen

fine art and landscape photography in his gallery as well looking for ways to teach the community more about the medium itself. As of three years ago, Williams’s wife Jessica also opened Mahalo Grayton, a boutique retail space, and has recently launched RockPaperScissors30, a kids’ art studio. However, according to Williams, who was just named South Walton’s Artist of the Year, more is on the horizon. “It’s safe to say that I am obsessed with and love photography. It has opened a lot of different avenues for me, and I am constantly learning,” he notes. “I’ve taught at local schools, both private and public, and I’ve also taken opportunities to teach domestic and international workshops. Now, I’m looking to bring these workshops here to 30-A. Today’s art world can offer an amazing blend of mixed mediums, and I feel that photography,

although it is not recognized as an art to some, is fundamental to all artists.” Williams credits his own three children for illumi- nating the idea that art and creative output is important. “I have three boys, and I think that’s partially why I, as a parent, see the need for creative outlets,” he muses. Based on his philosophy that one creative person should share their passion and expertise with other peo- ple, Williams and his team are planning to host all sorts of local photography workshops – from “crash” courses to five-day programs—and even have a new Sprinter van to host pop-up workshops in other locations. A native to the South Walton area, Williams is confident that the picturesque environment is ideal for showing his stu- dents the concepts of photography. Furthermore, because the area hasn’t previously offered these types of

To reach Chandler Williams, visit the gallery, located at 39 Logan Lane, or visit

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