Calivika Shareholder Highlight

Q&A with Dendra Qakvall’aq Chavez of Dendra Chavez Photography

Storyknife, May/June 2024 edition

Dendra ϲ챹’a Chavez, 첥app Shareholder and owner of Dendra Chavez Photography

Dendra Qakvall’aq Chavez owns . Learn what inspires her and how she makes every photoshoot special.

Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to create a photography business.

My name is Dendra ϲ챹’a Chavez and my parents are Richard Blackwell from Tonkowa, Oklahoma and Cecelia Elluvaaq Kashatok Blackwell from Kwigillingok.

I was born and raised in Bethel where I lived most of my life. I presently live in Anchorage with my husband of 23 years and our loving dog, Rusty.

As a child growing up in rural Alaska, I enjoyed watching National Geographic specials with my Aatii (father) and was intrigued by the captivating imagery. This exposure to National Geographic, along with the breathtaking scenery of Alaska, inspired me to pursue photography.

Some of my clients have pieces made specifically for their photo shoot, but in most cases, the pieces have been passed down from generation to generation and hold a special meaning to them and their family.

Dendra ϲ챹’a Chavez
Tell us about a rewarding experience you’ve had with your company.

I passed my love of photography on to my panik (daughter) Hailey ճܲ’a, who works as a second shooter and lighting assistant at my sessions. Together, we strive to create a fun, unique experience for our clients, while capturing the perfect images that will last a lifetime.

What do you specialize in?
Dendra ϲ챹’a Chavez

Dendra ϲ챹’a Chavez

Over the past 16 years, I have honed my skills as a photographer, overcoming the challenges of location and lighting that Alaskan photographers often face. I am now experienced in all forms of photography, specializing in weddings, families and high school seniors.

My work has been featured in several publications, including 첥app’s Storyknife, Alaska Native Culture Guide, and Alaska Bride and Groom Magazine.

In addition to photography, I also work as the Quality Improvement Director at the Association of Village Council Presidents.

How do you incorporate elements of your cultural heritage into your products or services?

Many of my clients are Alaska Native and I encourage them to embrace and represent their heritage by wearing their Native regalia. We work together to create and document the beauty of their culture in every image. Every piece worn has a story and memory behind it. Some of my clients have pieces made specifically for their photo shoot, but in most cases, the pieces have been passed down from generation to generation and hold a special meaning to them and their family. Capturing these images helps preserve their culture and creates memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Where can our readers purchase your products/services?

You can contact me on my website at , find me on Instagram or Facebook at .

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