Meet Stephen Nadler '21, photographer and Watson Fellow

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Stephen Nadler

Stephen Nadler ‘21, an anthropology and visual arts double major from Scarsdale, N.Y., has spent his time at Union capturing memorable moments on the athletic field and on the College’s picturesque campus. These images have been featured widely on the College’s social media channels. After graduation, he’ll take his photography talents worldwide visiting Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain and Senegal as part of the prestigious Watson Fellowship. See more of Stephen’s work and learn more about how Union shaped his journey into photography.

What got you interested in photography?

I first became interested in photography after taking Photography 1 during my sophomore year with Prof. Martin Benjamin. Film photography changed the way I viewed everyday photos and images while introducing me to basic concepts such as the usage of light and composition. I enjoyed the intensive process of physically developing and printing my own images which made the entire process that much more rewarding and enjoyable. This quickly became a creative way for me to connect with others around me.

How has Union helped foster this talent?

The Union community has introduced me to a variety of people and events to photograph. Taking photos around campus has been essential to developing my photography and retouching skills. I have always loved sports and realized that I had a special opportunity to take photos at athletic events where I could access all areas of the field or court (...or pool). It has been a tremendous learning process but one that I have really enjoyed. Football has been one of my favorite sports to photograph on campus and has allowed me to document and share games in my own style. Apart from sports, daily campus activities have given me the chance to connect with students from all parts of the world and take photos of everything ranging from portraits to taiko drumming.

What are you hoping to learn on your Watson trip?

During my Watson year, I hope to explore different parts of the world, connect with people of all backgrounds and combine my academic and personal passions into a fascinating project. Soccer has been one of my favorite ways to connect and communicate with people, even when there has been a language barrier. I am excited to integrate myself into other communities and exchange stories and experiences with others. I hope that this fellowship encourages me to be imaginative, resourceful, and to continue working towards cultural understanding.


I would like to thank Dean Lynn Evans for her assistance and guidance throughout my application process. The endless amounts of time we spent working on my application really made the difference at the end of the day, and I’m grateful to have had her support.