The title From the Shadows references the photographic process of drawing light out of darkness. But, it also suggests shining light upon those who have been marginalized in society’s shadows, as Walters seeks to highlight the hidden diversity of the region. His portraits honor unsung heroes including teachers, fly-fishers, artists, community activists, CEOs, farmers, caregivers, rectors, public officials, librarians and more. Walters’ figures are grounded in the natural and built landscapes of the Finger Lakes region; the uniformly sized portraits eliminate a sense of hierarchy.
“These people honor their ancestors and carry on their stories. They tackle the greatest public health crisis in a generation. They redefine our relationship to the land. They respect the deep cultural heritage of our region. They reclaim historical narratives. They exalt in the radiant beauty that flows from one end of the Chemung River Valley to the other. They stand up for voting rights. They tell us that all are welcome here. They innovate, lead, and steward. They protect and care. They host and give comfort. They march to proclaim that black lives matter. They love. They make. They do. They amplify and elevate. They protect. They serve when others won’t. They draw light from the darkness, and I am honored to tell their stories.” -Chris Walters