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Evangeline Chavez

Evangeline Chavez

c. Evangeline Chavez

Peek-A-Boo, photograph, by Evangeline Chavez

Chavez’s photography helps charities

Nothing makes Evangeline Chavez happier than snapping the perfect photograph—unless it’s selling that photograph and donating the proceeds to one of her favorite charities.

Her talent led to Chavez’s selection as one of fifty photographers who contributed to the stunningly beautiful—and uniquely New Mexican—images currently displayed in the main auditorium of the Loma Colorado Library in Rio Rancho. The exhibit, which runs through the end of August, is a sampling of photos from a book titled, A Year or So in the Life of New Mexico: An Uncensored Look at life in the Land of Enchantment.

The book, published in 2011, was compiled by retired photo journalist and Santa Fe resident Rick Carver, whose goal was to showcase aspects of New Mexico that don’t typically appear in tour guides. He asked the photographers to cover every event and moment of interest in the state during the year 2010.

Chavez, a 12-year employee of the Sandoval County Bureau of Elections, was honored to be chosen for the project. She was also pleased that Carver planned to donate profits from the book to Santa Fe-based Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families.

Chavez has a total of 27 images in the book, including some that took more than photographic skills to capture. For instance, a photo from the Red Rock Balloon Rally in Gallup looks as if the photographer was standing on the face of a mountain.

That is just one of many unusual locales to which Chavez has traveled in search of the perfect picture. “A lot of times, I just take off in my car and travel the back roads of New Mexico,” she said. “There’s so much to see—the open spaces, the mountains, the landscape. Being a photographer also has opened my eyes to all of the different cultures in the state.”

Her cultural sensitivity has gained Chavez and her camera entry onto some of the Native American Pueblos located in Sandoval County, where picture-taking by non-tribal members generally is prohibited. In fact, some of her most striking photos from A Year or So in the Life of New Mexico are of ceremonial dances on Zia Pueblo.

Animals are among Chavez’s favorite photo subjects, which is one reason she serves on the board of the 4H Amigos. Another reason for being on the board is a desire to help kids, which she does by auctioning photos and donating the proceeds to 4H programs.

Chavez also serves as official photographer for the Sandoval County Fair, where she takes pictures of the winners in the livestock competitions, as well as the parade and rodeo. While she has a special affinity for photographing New Mexico, Chavez also has ventured to Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, and China in search of photographic inspiration. She says her 2008 trip to China gave her an appreciation for a whole new culture, in addition to yielding a cache of great photos.

Chavez, who was born in Albuquerque but now resides in Bernalillo, says she snapped her first photo around age eight when her mother bought her an old box camera on a family trip to California.

 In 2006, she launched a website and a blog featuring her work and since then she has had people contacting her to buy her work, and has had her photos appear on the covers of phone books in Truth or Consequences and Rio Rancho. She has won numerous awards and been featured in multiple shows

To see more of Chavez’s work, visit the Sandoval County Facebook page or Chavez’s website:

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