Focused on adventure, social causes

Photographer Chris Shane ’11 seeks to make impact through visual storytelling

Chris Shane class of 2011
Chris Shane ’11

Chris Shane ’11, who was an economics major at Wheaton, embarked on a career in the financial sector shortly after graduation. But during his seven years in the corporate world, he spent every minute of his free time shooting film and studying photography and storytelling.

“I left the office whenever it was possible to take on shooting assignments and used up all of my vacations to shoot stories and adventures with outdoor athletes,” he said.

Soon Shane developed a strong enough portfolio to turn his passion into a career. He co-founded Pamola Creative, a Maine-based production company focused on telling the stories of people, culture and adventure in the outdoors.

Shane focuses his creative efforts on boosting social causes. His many clients include Boston Health Care for the Homeless and the Winter Walk organization, for which he has created videos to help raise public awareness about homelessness. He also has collaborated with educational nonprofits in Kenya and worked to encourage youths living in cities to go out into the mountains.

“It’s incredible to see how these stories told through film directly influence resources for these causes, and provide a deeper purpose than just engaging in adventure, which will always be a part of my work,” he said.

Shane said he rediscovered his love for the outdoors as a junior at Wheaton and began taking photos with his first camera, an Olympus Tough.

“I started hiking all over New England, primarily in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, often for sunrise or sunset. I then got into mountaineering, taking on increasingly difficult challenges. All of these adventures always had an enormous impact on me, and it felt like photography was the best medium to share these experiences,” he said.

He credits his success to Wheaton classmate Erik Saksa ’11, a fellow outdoors and photography enthusiast, who loaned him camera gear and encouraged him to pursue his craft.

Although he doesn’t use many economic principles in his day-to-day life (“sorry, Professor John Miller,” he quipped), Shane views his Wheaton liberal arts education as a long-term investment that enables him to thrive in his creative work today.

“The soft skills, social and cultural diversity and constant pursuit to identify the ‘why’ in the world are experiences that the Wheaton faculty and students help develop and sharpen,” he said.

Shane shared with Wheaton Magazine the photos and stories behind four projects that took him to locations as diverse as Maine, Bolivia, Kenya and Oman.