Documenting life experiences that tell stories, create perceptions, preserve moments or evoke emotions.

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Excited to head down to Savannah for a series of vendor portraits for Whole Foods! I always meet the most amazing people on these assignments! #sustainability #organicliving

I’m taking my Studio website mobile!! After some tinkering, Visual-Storyteller.Com is now responsive!

Just a shot of the lovely ladies from Paradox Pastry! I had the pleasure of documenting them in action at their hopping and happening cafe in the warehouse district of Charlottesville, VA. We began working together in April, when they were relentlessly working on bringing the vision of their cafe to life. We started with a website to show off their cakes, did a fabulous social media workshop and then scheduled this photo shoot! 

So amazed to see their vision come to life!! Oh, and did I mention how amazingly fabulous their food is?? Guinness Chocolate Cakes, Ham & Swiss Croissants to die for and brownies that will make you weep! Oh, and did I mention that the owner graduated from the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris? Seriously, just make the trip to #CVille and revel in the culinary divinity!!

I’m embracing the Tumblr fully for my business portfolio. After a new business meeting the other day, with a locally-based organization with international reach and clients- I realized that my existing site on Photoshelter is designed for photo editors, not CEOs or Creative Directors who aren’t photographers

I needed something simple, beautiful and all in one place to help explain what I do to potential clients. And I needed it yesterday!

Enter my favorite online entity- the Tumblr!!!

The reasons I went here until my main site is built (which could be awhile):

It’s RESPONSIVE

It’s ONE PAGE

The pictures are big and the videos embed nicely

And did I mention how simple it was? Yea, easy, super easy.

When you’re focused on landing new business in a new town and learning/defining your place in the existing market- tinkering with websites is the last thing you have time for.

Thanks, Tumblr, for giving me the means to be up and running quickly and efficiently!

Taking Visual Storytelling Mobile- All Down & Dirty Like

I stumbled upon this little gem yesterday and it made my heart all a flutter. A mobile reporters field guide!! 

I am perpetually looking for ways to employ my documentary storytelling skills without the weight and complexity of all the “torture-chamber-esque” new gear for DSLR Hybrids. Hell, if I could revert back to film tomorrow for all client work I would- but those days have passed!



So, when I stumbled upon this little guidebook for mobile journalism via the iPhone on Multimedia Shooter, my heart skipped a beat! Could I possibly make a small- yet powerful- storytelling kit from a mirror-less camera system (eye-balling the Fuji x100 & x-Pro) and these accessories designed for journalists on the fly?

After reading this fabulous book- with reviews, pros/cons and advice on everything from stabilizing to professional audio to editing on the iPad- my hopes were rekindled! This little book rocks and I know it was given the proper love and attention needed for photojournalists turned commercial producers since it was written by Richard Koci Hernandez, whose work I’ve admired for some time.

During the past few weeks, I’ve been meeting with companies I hope to call clients one day very soon. And each one has stated the specific need for small, documentary storytelling along with nimble and quick video production. They want real documentation of actual events/realities for their clients and they don’t want the REAL polished out of it or an 8 week post production schedule. They’ve voiced their opinions about working with large film production companies- which can do amazing work- but are often unnecessary, overstated and overzealous for a majority of their client’s storytelling needs.

And this is a gap I’ve seen in the marketplace for some time and now have the means and vision to fill. Now, I can and do bring my team in for the nice polished productions when necessary. And the work is beautiful- but it takes a team.

I’ve been wanting to dabble in full production that meets my requirements- which are simple- with all this new technology. I don’t want the gear to hinder my abilities to tell the story. I’m a trained photojournalist- this is my specialty.

That’s it.

Oh, and I don’t want to have to visit the chiropractor after each assignment, buy new systems each year or spend all my time re-learning Final Cut every time Apple gets a wild hair up its ass.

I want to tell the story. I want to do it without interference and with a simple, understated beauty that connects the audience to the purpose of the story. And that’s what my clients want as well.

And this little guide has helped me see the merging of technology and size to help me meet my goals and provide the the type of service that the market is demanding. Thanks for creating it, koci.

(Yea, I recently added an iPad pen and doodling apps to my production toolkit. I purchased them for location scouting notes- but the fun factor is enjoyable. If only the pen function didn’t look like a tequila soaked frat-boy snagged my iPad, I’d be happy!)

The Beauty of Renting

In the ever present tug-of-war between staying close to my documentary/analog roots and the need to make a viable living with my photography one persistent dilemma has always driven me mad.

While I was Tweeting the LensPro folks, they got my gear back and the snacks I left them! Cool.


The need to keep up with constantly evolving gear.

Now, I’ve been a loyal Canon girl since the age of 10, when my dad placed an AE-1 in my hands and I never let it go. Ever. That said- it drives me absolutely ape shit to see the technology I invest in go sour every 12 months or so. I get that digital technology changes constantly- and usually for the better- but that doesn’t ease the pain I feel in my bank account every time I glance at the B & H Photo site or see the latest buzz on Twitter about a still/video hybrid. I truly want to invest in one, high-quality-ass kicking camera rig and be done with it. I take fabulous care of my gear and computers and will squeeze every possible ounce of functionality out of it until the poor device can no longer stand the mounds of duct tape holding its precious innards together.

Yes, I’m that picky about my gear.

Which is why, when faced with a camera rig that’s outdated and cumbersome, I turn to my obsessive-compulsive side and research the hell out of all possible gear scenarios that will meet all of my stringent requirements.

  • Must be able to cover editorial and commercial projects with the same amount of equipment and not look like a first year photoj student.
  • Must not be bogged down with too many accessories and doodads that distract me from unfolding moments- I’m a documentary photographer- technically we don’t recreate a moment when we miss it (unless my client is an ad agency- then we pretend)
  • Must be fun to shoot with. This is a must. When I raise the viewfinder to my eyeball- I must feel this electric charge of creativity that surges through my body and mind and takes me into the Flow. Sorry, but most of the digital cameras on the market just don’t do this for me.
  • Must not cost more than my vehicle. Seriously Leica, one day you will be mine, but until I either stop owning a vehicle, buy a shiny new one or you lower your prices- I shall have to search for alternatives.
  • Oh, and as noted above, I don’t want to replace my kit in 12 months. Nope, I want at least 5 years. I don’t need 45 MegaPixels and an automatic espresso machine attached to my lens- just powerful, simple, brilliant technology please.


So, this long diatribe is the run-around to my newly found savior/solution in the ever necessary need to keep on the edge of technology for my commercial work, but also keep my documentary work simple and up to date.

Enter LensPro To Go!  

Yep, they rock. Plain and simple. They are my newest solution to a debate that has driven me batty for years. (And if you’re a Photoshelter member, you get a discount on your first rental!) I can rent the exact gear I need for the specific assignment I have and never actually leave my home (except to send it back to them- using a prepaid label for UPS).



And, they sent me a lollipop with my camera. I love them. Their customer service is fast and brilliant- and on Twitter! The camera they sent me rocked my assignment and shot circles around my massive- and ancient- 1Ds. So much so, that I had a few sad moments during my shoot, wearing both cameras and realizing that the 1Ds is about 2 shoots away from being a big old paperweight. For someone who still shoots with the film 1V and her AE-1, having a camera be totally outdate and only 6 or 7 years old depresses me.

So, I now have a solution to my dilemma and can focus on dialing in the camera kit that truly connects me with my documentary work. And sorry folks, but it’s not a Canon.

Many thanks, LensPro!!

While on a portrait shoot for Whole Foods last week, I had the lovely opportunity to photograph the most stunning farm and intriguing farm animals. There’s a farmer inside of me dying to get out! Click this link to see more of this Virginia farm!

The latest commercial multimedia production from Street Studios!! We shot this film in Southern Pines, N.C. for our client’s website to help better explain their product to new customers! Our insanely talented programmers also translated TerraSoft’s marketing materials into a website to help promote this horse bedding as it goes to market in the spring.

Enjoy!! And shoot us an email when you’re ready to bring your message to the world!

Whole Foods Market Environmental Portrait Shoots

Whole Foods Market contacted me in the Spring of 2011 to visit a handful of local vendors in the Charleston area to produce a series of environmental portraits for in-store displays throughout the local Whole Foods.

Connecting consumers with the folks who produce their food is an ongoing mission of the company and I’ve worked with them on multiple photography and multimedia projects over the past several years to help further this connection of producer and consumer.

I have to say, these shoots are some of my favorite commercial assignments! Not only do I get to spend the day interacting with fellow foodies and people who are passionate about their work- I usually get to sample the amazing food they produce.

My happy place!

Westbrook Brewing Westbrook Brewing King Bean Coffee King Bean Coffee Sinless Raw Chocolate

Client: Whole Foods Market


Project: Environmental portraits of local vendors for in-store displays in the Charleston Whole Foods Store.


Photography: Crystal Street

The Project: Westbrook Farms Identity Narrative

Still Images/Audio: Crystal Street

Production: Street Studios

Westbrook Farms approached Street Studios with a perplexing challenge- to help bring this hay brokerage company into the online arena using a visual narrative to connect the audience with the vivacious personality of Westbrook’s owner and educate the customer about the intricacies of buying and selling hay.

We chose to spend several days documenting the owner, using still images and ambient audio, as he traveled throughout Southern Pines, N.C. touching base with clients and checking on the distribution of hay from a recent harvest. After the shoot, we conducted an indepth interview with the owner and wove the story of the company, its logistics and the nuances of hay into a narrative for use on Westbrook’s website. We are currently working with Westbrook to build a digital platform for funneling customers to learn more about the company and how to order hay through the farm.

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