Chandra McCormick
American, born 1957

Chandra McCormick calls herself a “visual ethnographer.” She photographs the African American experience in New Orleans with her longtime collaborator and husband, Keith Calhoun. McCormick first encountered Calhoun when she sat for a portrait, but her darkroom suggestions proved so shrewd that the two began working together. Their images of what Calhoun refers to as “vanishing Louisiana” span the Lower Ninth Ward, Treme, and the prisons surrounding the city. The couple’s work has drawn comparisons to the photorealism of Walker Evans. When their photo archive was partially destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, they found a technique to reprint the slightly damaged images on transparencies. McCormick says she finds the “pulse of the city” in the moments when she photographs the architecture and daily rituals of the area.