Lydia, the Organic Farmer

Lydia is a small-scale, diversified vegetable, certified-organic farmer currently operating Second Wind CSA​ and tending the earth of New York’s Hudson Valley. This is a sampling of her story. To view it all:


Originally from a small town in southwest Missouri, Lydia moved to New York City to be near a family member for a while. Eventually she made her way to the Hudson Valley to gain more training in production farming. The fresh air and striking scenery were found benefits of life outside the city.


Second Wind CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is an independent incubator program hosted by Four Winds Farm, a certified organic farm located in Gardiner, NY and founded in 1988. Although Lydia has worked in organic farming for 4 years, this is her first year owning and operating a CSA farm.


For the first half of the growing season, Lydia co-owned the CSA – as well as shared a house – with another young woman. After protracted conflict in styles and personalities, they dissolved the partnership and Lydia took full ownership of Second Wind in the midst of peak harvest…

View her full story:


Jerusalem Farm – 3 Years

How time flies and a community grows… Three years ago this May, Jerusalem Farm was dedicated in the Historic Northeast neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. The Farm commissioned me to help celebrate this milestone and communicate their story to a broader audience. This is the first of two videos; the second will paint a more complete picture of Jerusalem Farm and will be published later this year.

“Jerusalem Farm is a Catholic Intentional community located in Kansas City, Missouri, built on the four cornerstones of Prayer, Community, Service and Simplicity. We strive to transform our lives and those around us through service retreat experiences, sustainable living and home repair.”

Académie Lafayette – Give to Grow

Académie Lafayette has reached its goal of raising $3.5 million for additions and improvements to the school. Now the students, faculty and staff have a message for all of the donors.

This wonderful little charter school in Kansas City came to me looking to produce a fun video, full of gratitude but also showcasing everything that donors to their capital campaign have made possible. The excellent Stephen Steigman at KCUR narrated while the students and faculty of Académie Lafayette supplied their enthusiastic thanks.

National Philanthropy Day Kansas City

My most recent storytelling commission was with the Mid-America Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for their 2014 National Philanthropy Day celebration and award ceremony. The chapter was in need of short videos to introduce each of the eight honorees and highlight their philanthropy story – in other words, why they are so deserving of the awards. For five of the videos I captured all new content, while the other three were comprised of footage or photographs provided by the honorees, which I then edited into original pieces. The excellent voice-overs were performed and recorded by professionals at local public radio station KCUR.

Though we had a crunched time frame (a little over a month from concept to finished presentation), I was fortunate to be working with very capable professionals who were also receptive and trusting of my creative process.

You can view all 8 videos on Vimeo:

“I am quite simply blown away! These are outstanding. I’ve watched them three times now…and will watch again!” -David Fulk, AFP Mid-America

Kansas City’s Pedicab Company

I recently collaborated on some promo videos for the only pedicab company in Kansas City. In its first three years, Tricycle Transit has added a lot to the city’s already rich and expanding culture, entertainment, and sustainable transportation.  I also just happen to drive a cab myself as a fun part-time endeavor.

Producers: Jeremy Ruzich & Braden Anderson
Director of Photography: Jeremy Ruzich
Editor: Andy Thies
Music: Dojo for Crooks – “All Because”

Photographer & Visual Storyteller

I am a photographer and a visual storyteller, and boy, do I have some stories to tell. One place I am able to share them is my (newly redesigned) website Head on over and take some time to enjoy some engrossing visual narratives.


It is a constant (and crucial) task for nonprofits and charities to communicate to their donors, prospective supporters, and greater community about the results of their work. Often the most effective and compelling mode of doing this is telling stories: true stories, stories the audience can relate to. They can be told through words (written or spoken), imagery (still or motion), music, sign language, interpretive dance… sky’s the limit! But any combination of these often lend the most impact.

I believe photography is one of the most powerful languages for telling stories, but it is one of many. My personal and professional aspiration is to help organizations use all of the resources at their fingertips to not just “talk at” people, but to draw people in, to build a community around their cause or mission.

For more helpful advice, check out 501creative’s post, 5 Ways To Tell Your Nonprofit’s Story.