a year in the life of storyportrait media – 2013

Wow, suddenly here we are, looking back on a year and entering into the next. Time seems relentless – fast, yet full. Before this calendar year flips to 2014, I have to reflect on some 2013 highlights and tell all of my clients, friends, and family that they make my life incredibly rich and meaningful, and make rising each morning a great adventure.

Motion storytelling continues to comprise a larger part of my work and offerings. Letting moments unfold before me and hearing stories told in first person is a joy. Here is a short clip of some of that ambition, creativity, humor, and the simple rhythms of nature recorded this past year.

For the second year, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with John and Wilson Scanlan of VERVE Gallery of Photography, to expand their artist video collection showcasing the behind-the-scenes world of fine-art photographers to educate and inspire collectors and gallery visitors. This year, StoryPortrait Media created videos for Ryuijie in Monterey Bay Peninsula, California (pictured below at Asilomar State Beach), Joy Golkdind in St. James, New York, Maggie Taylor in Gainsville, Florida, and Nevada Wier in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We’re currently working on a piece featuring Kamil Vojnar in Los Angeles, California. Each of these artists search for the deep meaning in their art and life, take time with their craft, and produce exquisite work. Maybe they will also inspire you to collect great photography and surround yourself with the beauty and the inspiration to keep searching and questioning, like they have for me.

We also created videos for two important local nonprofits doing amazing work in and for the community, Youth Shelters and Peace Talks Radio. Please check out their videos and websites, and, if possible, consider contributing to their year-end fundraising needs.

Glenna Goodacre, a renowned Santa Fe sculptor, shared her story about the making of Irish Memorial for a video marking the 10th Anniversary of the piece shown at the events ceremony & gala. Debut author Margaret Wrinkle spoke of the personal inspiration and process of writing WASH.

Collaboration in filmmaking is key. Important stories abound. This year, it’s been amazing to contribute as director of photography and/or additional cinematographer to projects directed by four other women filmmakers: Aimée Broustra with Horseback Ride to the Soul, Jilann Spitzmiller with Life on Purpose with Baeth Davis and the Fuster Cluck featuring Hensforth in Eldorado, Lindy Birkel and a web series to guide people through PTSD with the aid of nature, and with Cristina McCandless and The Velocity Project. I will post updates from those projects as they become available.

Capturing moments in time with still images for business owners, families, and events is still at the core of my work.

This year marked my fourth year as the photographer for Santa Fe Living Treasures, honoring six new local heroes and Living Treasures: Consuelo Hernandez, Dave Warren, Patricio M. Serna, Barbara Goede, Sarah Taylor and Owen Kunkle (left to right, top to bottom)

In an awaited announcement, the New Mexico supreme court unanimously ruled the state constitution protects the right of people of the same gender to marry. It was an honor to photograph two incredibly touching and meaningful weddings and witness a moment of historic equity in our community.

Exciting News: The launch of Doc Chicks Media! A new Santa Fe based video production company including long-time filmmaking friends Jilann Spitzmiller, Shelene Bridge, Cristina McCandless, me and Mara Leader (in order of appearance left to right). We are available as a full-service, multi-media company, with a focus on documentary-style marketing and storytelling.


And, of course, a big thanks to the StoryPortrait Media Team (pictured below) which includes Shelene Bridge, an amazing editor and storyteller, and the very first StoryPortrait Media intern, painter David Oklahoma.

None of this would have been possible without starting 2013 with intentioned visioning. I want to give a shout out to Rubina Cohen of Firefly Strategies and leader of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Circle and Heather Robertson of Centre Line and her Life/Work Rhythm Workshop (both pictured below). I also attended, BIG, Bold Innovation for Good, led by Vicki Pozzebon and Rubina Cohen. These experiences gave me the time to connect with myself, my dreams, and my colleagues to continue the process of moving forward intentionally in business and life.

This time with Rubina and Heather helped me balance my work and personal life, managing my time to volunteer with The Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute Film Series, and 100 Women who Care, go to inspiring conferences: Collaborations for a Cause, Look3 Festival, Bioneers Conference, and continue my personal interests in dance with Amara Pagano and Chloe Goodwin, AcroYoga at Wise Fool, guitar lessons with Laurianne Fiorentino, Madi Sato’s Sing for Joy women’s choir, raw food preparation classes, backpacking trips, time in nature, in ceremony, keeping connected with my Book Club women, and trips to Ojo Caliente with friends.

I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love in a community that supports the arts and one another, in a time when telling our stories is essential. And, I can’t wait to carry on in the new year to continue learning, growing, and sharing bold optimism and innovation with the world. Thank you for being part of my journey. Here’s to a creative and storied 2014!

show hide 3 comments

Gardens of Possibilities – Design with Nature

Over ten years ago I met one of my first independent photography and graphic design clients, Donna Bone, designer and owner of Design with Nature, a design/ build landscape company. A business, at the time, with no visual marketing materials, I was hired to photograph their gardens to develop a portfolio and an advertising campaign. Fast forward to today…we have photographed over thirty clients gardens, with more to come.

These have been some of my favorite shoots – quiet, but vibrantly alive. Waking before the sunrise on cold Spring mornings to be on location at a private residence, always enlivens me. Feeling the first rays of the light come over the Sangre de Cristo mountains, or capturing the sun through the rain or before it settles behind thunder clouds in the middle of Summer inevitably makes me think of how lucky I am to be able to work in beauty. I would show up with my camera searching for the design intention, the unique color combinations, the spirit and character of the plants and place, only to be amazed, seduced, and enraptured by the glory of the moment, the magic of nature and designer working together.


What makes a lasting relationship between me as a visual artist and a client? Shared values top the list. Donna and I have a love of art and design, color and form, gesture and light. Also, we are in continual awe of nature, and have an authentic admiration for each others work. Another thing I love about working with Design with Nature, is the value of the tangible – a photographic print, like a flower, is something to behold. While many of the images I shoot remain in digital form for the Design with Nature website, we have taken many images off the computer to be seen as prints. We have created a large-format fine-art printed portfolio book, wall portraits, a Year after Year engagement calendar, leave behind postcards and brochures, magazine ads and fine-art cards and gift books for clients. With these beautiful marketing materials, Design with Nature no longer has to seek out new clients, new clients find Design with Nature.


Currently, we are reviewing the image library that’s been created and thinking about a new website that better represents Donna’s current direction, a coffee table book, and note cards – all likely to launch next year. It’s been such a pleasure to maintain a creative collaboration with Design with Nature over the years. The work continues to deepen and inspire. Thank you so much to Donna Bone and Design with Nature for reminding me of the power and pleasure of a single image, and the pure delight of spending time in the backyard.

While I love motion, still photography is my foundation and very much alive in my work and my offering to businesses and nonprofits.

As we venture into the dark and cold of winter, resting, rekindling, may we continue to relish the art of a moment and awaken when the first buds burst forth from the tree, or green shoots rise from the snow in Spring. With gratitude.

show hide 5 comments

Sat Nam Fest

Birthdays are important to me. It’s a celebration of life and a recognition that we come into the world at a certain time, maybe for a certain purpose. This year was a special treat because I was asked to shoot Sat Nam Fest East in Waynesville, Pennsylvania to help create a promotional video and commercial for Spirit Voyage and Prana Projects. I flew out on my birthday and spent the start of my new year in an amazing community of Kundalini Yoga and sacred mantra music. The energy was palpable – people connecting deeply to their truth, their heart. While most of what I shot was video, I shot a few stills as well to share.

So grateful to be able to connect with and capture what is alive in us all through photography and video.
My spirit is full of wonder!

The next festival happens in Joshua Tree, California, April 17 – 20th, 2014. Check out the website here.

show hide 3 comments

VERVE Gallery of Photography | Artist Video Series

I moved to Santa Fe thirteen years ago when I was hired by the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. (The workshops are likely responsible for many photographer’s relocation to, or at least their passing through, Santa Fe). One of the many things I learned at the Workshops was how a group of individuals can come together at the same location and return with completely different images.

As a photographer and documentary storyteller, focusing mainly on assignment work, I remain immensely curious in how fine-art photographers’ find and communicate with their muse. They are not commissioned, assigned, told what to photograph and for what purpose and by what deadlines. They have to look within themselves, and develop a relationship – a dialog between the internal and external worlds – to find and produce their work. I am so grateful to the pursuit of art, and I honor the artist and those that support them because the images (sculptures, paintings, textiles) they show, the ideas and messages they convey, touch something deep within, and somehow remind me of the mystery, beauty, and curiosities of life.

VERVE Gallery of Photography, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represents 41 photographers, 40 of which are still alive and working, almost daily. These artists are producing the best of every genre of contemporary fine art photography, and VERVE is making the connection between the artists’ work and collectors and patrons.

This year, VERVE celebrates ten years in the business. They are devoted to photography, and their artists. And, in an effort to teach, inspire, and bring attention to their collection, VERVE Gallery of Photography and StoryPortrait Media are collaborating on a series of artist videos. This has given me the unique honor and privilege to ask and explore the classic questions – How photographer’s find their inspiration, drive, what their techniques are, and how their passions, play and questions, lead to images and portfolios that hang on gallery walls and inspire thought and conversation.

We currently have created videos for eight artists: Brigitte Carnochan, Michael Crouser, Cy DeCosse and Keith Taylor, Joy Goldkind, Jennifer Schlesinger, Maggie Taylor, Stephen Strom, and Nevada Wier with more to come. Each video shares the lifetime of work created, and dives into their process and in the case of Carnochan, DeCosse and Schlesinger, their homes and darkrooms.

Watch the VERVE artist series on my website, or by clicking on the image below.

The current exhibition at VERVE features Nevada Wier, Janet Russek, and Alan Pearlman
The opening is Friday, September 27th, 5 – 7pm at VERVE Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe
Book signing on Saturday, September 28th, 2 – 4pm

no comments

Santa Fe Living Treasures Summer 2013

Twice a year, I get to sit down with the Living Treasures committee to read personal, heart-felt letters, rich articles, extensive resumes and sort through archival photos from an amazing pool of Santa Fe Living Treasure nominees. Typically, by secret ballot, the three honorees are voted into the Living Treasures community almost unanimously – they just rise to the surface, and leave us all glowing with a renewed belief in humanity. A life devoted to the public good is such an amazing thing to celebrate and come together for in gratitude.

This summer we honored Consuelo Hernandez, Dave Warren and Judge Patricio M. Serna. And, with another selection meeting on the calendar today, there with more Treasures honored in the Fall. Join us October 27th, at the next public event.

Consuelo “Connie” Hernandez
If you’ve ever been to Santa Fe, you’ve surely passed by and hopefully gone in, the Old Santa Fe Trail Gift Shop. It is filled with religious folk art, and something, undoubtedly, just for you. Connie will find that perfect something for you and also share story after story of miracles, answered prayers, healings, and transformations that she has experienced and witnessed. She is a believer and that energy pulsates and uplifts generation after generation. She keeps the faith and stories alive by caring for and teaching traditions.


Dave Warren is a historian, professor and community history organizer. Personally, I love that last title, a community history organizer. Dave has worked tirelessly with his own Native American communities to record oral traditions so that they might write their own tribal histories, instead of having others do it for them.

Patricio M. Serna went from “poor little country boy to Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. What some people just shrug off as words and folly, Serna took to heart, “With positive focus, determination and self-confidence, you can be anything you want”. And, what grace and kindness he showed as I received a personal tour of the NM Supreme Court chambers.

How am I contributing to my community, committing to my hearts’ path? How am I honoring those who are? Well, the Santa Fe Living Treasures is a great model, one that is a joy to be a part of.

Please visit the Santa Fe Living Treasures website for more information.

no comments