Crystal Street

I build simple websites.
I teach storytelling.
I create.


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4 posts tagged photojournalism

Siri brought me here. And told me to turn left. And I did. Siri says I'll be there in 1/2 mile. Not quite what I was looking for, but beautiful. Siri says my destination will be on the right. Uhhh...ok. Siri says I have arrived. Ummm... not quite.

I recently had to rely on Siri and my iPad’s new Apple Maps to help me navigate the rural Eastern Shore for a Whole Foods photo shoot in Virginia. I had 14 destinations— some in the middle of f***ing nowhere — and the iPad was all I had. No map would show these destinations. Shockingly— she led me to the proper destination on each location- even if she was off by a few hundred yards. Still- she was a life-saver!

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):



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!

A Powerless Weekend & Documenting the REC Linemen

Virginia took a beating last week with a round of thunderstorms that no one anticipated. Over 800K homes in the state lost power- and some still don’t have the juice back on almost a week out. I arrived at the Barn about 10 minutes ahead of the storm. The power died, I realized I had no matches and I listened nervously as the 60+ mile hour winds howled through the Barn and hoped that the tell tale sign of a tornado- that sound of a train bearing down on you- didn’t present itself. Luckily, it didn’t. So, I went to bed in the stifling heat and hoped that the power would return in the AM. It didn’t. For three days.

Fast forward to Sunday evening. I’m laying on the couch, in the middle of a massive heat-wave with no AC, no power and now no water at the Barn. I’m reminding myself that I used to spend my summers in the developing world, where the heat was worse, the air was fully polluted and you didn’t really want to have much to do with the water anyway. Big deal, I can weather this little inconvenience. And in comes a call from a client needing shots on the fly. In 12 hours. Two hours away. In the heat, documenting the linemen trying to restore power to the Culpeper region. Hell yes! Anything to get out of this Barn and into something productive.

Are the batteries charged? No. Can I charge them now, no. Have I showered recently and can I shower somewhere tomorrow- early? Yes. With all the major items covered, I went to bed with the knowledge that I’d be documenting something pretty sweet in the morning. Works for me.

Four a.m. at the barn rolls around and all the lights explode into life in the Barn! Woo-hoo!! Power! I get up to turn the AC on, lay back down and they die. Really? I fell back asleep- if you call it that- somewhere in-between sleep and misery in that kind of heat- and then the Barn lights up again. And this time it sticks. I jump up and crank that AC, plug in my camera batteries and try to catch another hour or two of sleep before I jump in the truck and head north.

So, this is where the Universe inserts itself into those little moments just for comedic value. I roll out of bed, ready for an adventure with the linemen and head to the kitchen to revel in the beauty of running tap water. I turn the faucet and water explodes- everywhere- from BENEATH the sink!! WTF?? I’m still in my PJs, I’m thinking of my day ahead and now my feet are soaked. And so is my floor. And its going EVERYWHERE!!! And not stopping.

My landlord, who lives 100 yards away runs over to the rescue and turns off the water. We start mopping and I’m looking at my time schedule for the day go to shit, rapidly. But, I was able to salvage the timing and get on the road without too much delay.

And then the work began. Phew!! The shoot was fascinating and I have a new appreciation for the work that goes into keeping my lights on and my camera batteries charged.

And if Virginia keeps rolling in these storms (three major ones in a week— w/tornadoes) I’ll be seriously considering solar panels soon. Oh, and that emergency weather kit I forgot to purchase, yea- that’s next on the list!

Just a little snapshot from my time in Quartzsite, A.Z. I spend me winters in this tiny town, documenting the community and enjoying the simplicity of a town known for it’s gems and minerals as well as it’s snowbird culture explosion in January.

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