I am a visual journalist and independent filmmaker working on human trafficking, healthcare, food systems and nutrition, alternative energy and the environment. I tell non-fiction, character-driven stories based on universal themes.
I like to do meaningful, purpose-driven work with the potential to create social change. This comes from a decision I once faced: commit to adventure photography or to photojournalism. While I chose the latter, the mountains are still part of me.
In high school, I got the taste for visual storytelling with my dad’s trusty Canon AE-1. At the University of Washington Daily Newspaper I put into practice the classroom theories I was learning about journalism; there I photographed my first in-depth feature, following three stories connected by organ donation. That story was a catalyst. Covering the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle was my break into the international market. I built multi-media stories and started a non-profit while covering sexual violence. Those years taught me much about community engagement and continues to inform my impact work.
My awareness of human trafficking began with news reports I saw about the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. When I chose to cover the issue, I went to Thailand--I had a friend's couch to crash on--and later, Cambodia. During that time, I took my first steps into cinematography.
In the years since, I’ve directed a feature documentary on sex trafficking and worked with a number of news, corporate, and foundation clients. I’m equally comfortable developing a project, directing, operating a camera, or designing impact campaigns. I still make photographs and sometimes I write. My experience at all stages of a project informs how I work. I also teach and consult on filmmaking, journalism, human trafficking and advocacy.
I've received first place prizes at World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, and Best of Photojournalism. I was recognized by the Overseas Press Club, and have won grants from the Open Society Foundations, Fledgling Fund, Alexia Foundation, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism. I’ve been nominated for a National News & Documentary Emmy Award and was a finalist for the Stanford Knight Journalism Fellowship.
However, the biggest award so far are the experiences and lasting relationships I've gained from doing this work.