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Elie Gardner January 28, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Peru.

Puno, Peru 2011

Elie Gardner (b. 1984, United States) received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri and currently freelances with INTI Media, a multimedia collective that she co-founded with Oscar Durand in Lima, Peru. Prior to that she worked as a multimedia editor and photographer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Elie has also taught for National Geographic Student Expeditions in Bar Harbor, London and Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. She was awarded scholarships to participate in the Summer Fellows Program at the Poynter Institute in 2006, the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Buenos Aires in 2011 and the Missouri Photo Workshop in 2012. She now produces multimedia stories for NGOs and  magazines  related to health, the environment and social inequality.

About the Photograph:

“In January 2011 I was still adjusting to the food, language and culture in my new home, Lima, Peru, when INTI Media landed a gig in Puno – 3,800 meters above sea level – to tell a story for a North American NGO. I boarded the plane with nerves, flu-like symptoms and hoped the altitude wouldn’t make things worse. It was my first freelance job in Peru. Just as the sun was coming up our first day in the field we stopped along the side of the road for breakfast. On one side of the road I could see the shores of Lake Titicaca. On the other side I noticed this young shepherd with her alpaca. We exchanged a few glances, and I lifted my camera to make a few frames. We both smiled and there was something about her that reminded me of myself as a little girl on the North Dakotan prairie where I grew up. Everything foreign slowly became more familiar. My nerves, headache and butterflies in my stomach were gone.”