Behind the lens: Get to know the photographers of The Collegian
Bethel's campus is home to three skilled photographers, each with a distinct style of shooting.
The Collegian readers undoubtedly understand the importance of quality writing and editing from the paper’s staff, but The Collegian offers access to another essential genre: photography. Newspapers and magazines rely on aesthetic appeal to draw in subscribers and help tell its stories. By providing a visual baseline for each article, photographers are reporting about news events in their own right. More importantly, they find beauty and art in the ordinary.
The Collegian is fortunate to have three incredibly talented photographers: Sophia Chindamo, Andrew Graber, and Lindsey Pfannenstiel.
Sophia Chindamo came to Bethel College after signing to play volleyball. She was always familiar with Bethel College, because her father is an alumnus. That being said, Chindamo’s journey with photography began far before Bethel.
“I got a camera for my birthday and took a black and white photography class and I realized I wanted to pursue it as a career,” said Chindamo. A selection of Chindamo’s photos are currently displayed in Mojo’s by Reverie.
“I specialize in nature and wildlife photography. This is a much smaller field of photography, and I want to do as much as I can to also help in conservation of nature,” said Chindamo. “Photography is a form of conservation through education.”
Andrew Graber came to Bethel because he felt connected to the community it represented. That connection is evident in each of his photos; Graber now serves as an Athletics photographer in addition to his role as a Collegian photographer.
He started as a kid who was fascinated by camera equipment, and that fascination grew into a self-proclaimed obsession.
He added that photography requires a significant financial investment. “A quality camera can cost up to 1,000 dollars and that's without a lens, lenses cost around 2,500 dollars. Then there is editing software that costs about 60 dollars a month and it’s extremely difficult to cover all those costs,” said Graber. Photography is not for the financially faint of heart.
“In my opinion, photography is very personal to both the photographer and to the subject because of a photo's ability to show both beauty and imperfections,” said Graber.
Lindsey Pfannenstiel has developed a name for herself professionally, in Newton as well as back home in Hays and Kansas City. She shoots weddings, high school and college graduates, families, pets, and even maternity photos.
Funnily enough, Pfannenstiel’s commitment to Bethel was tentative at first, but through the persistence of Director of Admissions, Eric Preheim, Pfannenstiel enrolled. “I owe him a big thank you because Bethel has helped me grow so much as a person,” said Pfannenstiel.
During an eighth grade yearbook class Pfannenstiel discovered that photography came easily to her. After plenty of practice and years of saved funds, she purchased her first camera.
LDP Photography, Pfannenstiel’s business, has taken off and is a major time commitment for her. Thankfully, she has still found time to continue shooting for The Collegian.
“What makes my work unique is I really try to capture emotion in my photos. I look for moments that people often miss,” said Pfannenstiel. “I am a very intentional person so capturing a photo that encompasses a moment is really what makes me fall in love with my work and strive to create moments people will look back on 20 to even 50 years from now.”
The Collegian thrives with the most passionate and talented photographers on campus behind the lens for its coverage. Bethel College is lucky to have artists like Sophia Chindamo, Andrew Graber, and Lindsey Pfannenstiel beautifully capturing campus life.