Past Work


Sylvia – Trailer

Leaning against the railing at a fishing competition for the visually impaired, Sylvia waits patiently as someone bates her hook, just like her father used to when she was child. She is a fiercely independent 70-year-old who raised her children in a sleepy, North Carolina town and happily lived on her own until one day the unthinkable happened. When Bob and Mitch first heard about the incident they couldn’t believe it: “It was a shock that went over the whole town.” For Sylvia, the hardest thing to overcome was the complete loss of her eyesight, and with it her independence. Eleven years later, Sylvia’s determination and unstoppable spirit inspires everyone she meets.

This is a trailer for a short documentary StoryMineMedia independent project. We’re excited to share the story of this extraordinary woman, and will keep you posted about when and where you can screen it.


The Council

The Council is a short film that follows three eighth-graders as they navigate their way through the challenging landscape of middle school politics. The tension is high as Leah, Cara, and Ryan compete to represent their school.

The Council was originally released as a short web series as part of the StoryMineMedia launch. The series was written up in


For Mama

This video is the result of a creative idea hatched by bride Casey Wilson as a surprise gift for her mom. Casey contacted me last winter after seeing my Surviving Siblings personal documentary project. She hired me to do a documentary wedding video and asked if I’d be willing to also do a short family documentary video about her relationship with her mom, a stage-four breast cancer survivor who also happens to be her best friend. The deal was we’d keep it a secret for months and then Casey would give the final video to her mom the day before her wedding. We had to be pretty crafty about the whole thing, sneaking away home videos and convincing Casey’s parents that the early shoots I did were all part of her wedding video, but I think we’d both agree it was worth it.

I don’t think I can ever thank Casey enough for trusting me with this story, and for giving me such creative freedom to capture the beautiful relationship she has with her mom.


Born Into Coal

Coal queen pageant contestant Arianna Bailey competes for a crown to represent her family’s way of life. Former miner Goose Stewart lives with the memories of a mine explosion. One thing binds both families: coal.

I co-produced “Born into Coal” with Cath Spangler as part of Coal: A Love Story, an interactive film that uses short documentary videos, motion graphics and interactives to tell the stories of coal miners, protesters and even beauty queens that make up the surprising complexities of coal.

We have been blown away by the response to this short documentary and to the Coal: A Love Story interactive film as a whole. Most recently, “Born into Coal,” was shortlisted for the 2012 Vimeo Awards in the documentary category, and Coal: A Love Story won the SXSW 2012 Interactive Awards student category. Here’s a list of some of the other awards and recognition this project has received.


Dreams Delayed

Dreams Delayed is a multimedia documentary web project I produced for my masters thesis.

I wanted to tell the overarching story of access to higher education for undocumented students using three different stories: The story of a brother and sister, both were raised in the United States, one of them is undocumented. The story of a teacher who sees the daily trials of her students who are undocumented. And the story of young man who has made the decision to be vocal about being undocumented and unafraid.


Alice was born in the United States. Her brother Daniel was not. Alice watched her older brother excel in high school. She saw him faced with the reality that as an undocumented student many doors are closed to him. Now they are fighting together to get him the opportunities that she was given at birth.

In “Born & Raised” it was important to conceal the identity of the two main subjects in order to protect Daniel. I decided to shoot Alice and Daniel’s story primarily in tightly composed details. Details are a powerful tool for intimate storytelling, and one that does not require a full shot of a person’s face.

This approach pushed my technical as well as emotional boundaries. Because I had to shoot differently, I had to see differently. I would crouch down, look for new angles, and focus on visually compelling details that did not rely on two eyes, a nose and a mouth. It pushed me emotionally by making me get passed the “intruder nerves” very quickly. Not only did these young people have to be willing to let me into their lives, they had to be willing to let me into their personal space.

This film received an award of excellence in the 66th College Photographer of the Year Awards in the 2011 individual multimedia essay project.



Like many good teachers, Kat Rangel, is constantly looking for ways to motivate her students. In her 10-year tenure she has watched talented undocumented students “deflate” as they learn about the barriers they face to going to college. She has put her hope in the DREAM Act.



Jose Rico was brought to the United States when he was 13 years old. He excelled in middle and high school and was accepted into six universities, but he could not afford to go. As an undocumented student in North Carolina, he would have to pay out of state tuition and could not apply for financial aid.

Last spring, Rico was arrested during a sit-in in Atlanta, GA. He is among the growing population of undocumented youth declaring their immigration status in an effort to raise awareness about college access for undocumented students.

This story is based on an interactive Q&A with Jose that was part of my three-part multimedia thesis project.


Surviving Siblings

My brother Ben died of cancer when he was 27, and I was 23. Several years later, I came to this project with an interest in telling a story of the grief felt by young people who have suffered the loss of another young person.

Initially, I was hesitant to take a first-person narrative approach and make this a personal documentary, but my adviser, Chad Stevens, encouraged me to tell my own story. Rarely, he said, are you in a position where you understand some level of your subjects’ pain and process. I took his advice and used my own story to weave together a short documentary of three young women who have lost a brother or sister to cancer, suicide, and an automobile accident. In this short film, Kim, Amy, and I reflect on our personal experiences, and how we carry them with us as we move forward.

This shared experience, both the grief of losing a sibling and the vulnerability of putting that grief in front of a camera, was an important lesson for me as a storyteller. I’ve always been hyper aware of the responsibility you take on when you ask someone to entrust you with sharing a piece of his or her life. But nothing could heighten this awareness more than editing a story about one of the most important people in my life, and the influence that person’s life and death has had on me.

I am incredibly grateful to Kim and Amy for allowing me to share their stories. To Elena Rue who conducted my interview, asking just the right questions in just the right way. To Graham who made it possible to film a race I was running in, and as always, patiently watched more edits and versions of my work than anyone should ever have to see.

And though it goes without saying, to my parents whose unending love and ability to keep moving inspires their daughters and everyone who knows them, to Alli, who understands my love and loss like no one else possibly can.

And to Ben, for teaching me how to be tough and to keep going.