Reel / Return

I used to update this blog frequently when I was splitting my time between photography and filmmaking. I was just starting to really enjoy taking photos and then before I knew it, I was only doing photography work- mix in the occasional overhead stop motion video for social media from time to time. Earlier this year I decided to get back to my roots and start focusing on filmmaking again. Not that I don't ever want to do photography anymore, I just needed to shift my focus and work on projects that remind me of why I got into this in the first place. 

I haven't made a reel in probably 3 years but seeing what's changed in the past 3 years has me even more excited to see what the future has in store. I'm going to (try to) update this blog more often with frames of films I'm working on and maybe some BTS process posts. We'll see. 


Some Portraits

Working full time in Chicago and taking on freelance has given me less and less time to shoot for personal reasons, but I haven't let it completely stop me. With the help of Instagram its become easier to find something to do on a whim. Being able to see what other Chicagoans have been up to, the places they go and the sites they see have been inspiring me as of late. I've been lucky to connect with people whose work pushes me to do better and to tell better stories through images, wether still or in motion. Storytelling has always been on the forefront of what I've wanted my work to portray, but I realized I was slowly moving further and further away from it. I can make tons of excuses- I have no time, client work has been more product and marketing focused, etc etc. Maybe I haven't been crafting projects into stories the way I used to and have been more focused on creating more quality images themselves, but now  

A collection of photos from recent adventures in and around Chicago with new and old friends. More always on Instagram and VSCO Grid.

2015 So Far

Sometimes it gets hard for me to share photos I've taken on here with so many other social network platforms to share on. It's a bit chaotic at times. But full images excite me so much more than squares on Instagram. Here's a few selects from this year so far.

Flowers For Dreams

It finally happened... I finally made the move to Chicago.  Shortly after getting settled in I got to meet the incredible people of Flowers For Dreams. If you aren't familiar, Flowers For Dreams is a floral studio based in Chicago that delivers beautifully designed arrangements and part of the profits from each purchase goes towards a charity that they sponsor for the month. For the month of February, Flowers for Dreams is partnering with One Tail at a Time, an all-breed dog rescue committed to lowering euthanasia rates in the greater Chicagoland area through the rescue and adoption of dogs in need.  On top of meeting them, they gifted me this beautiful bouquet of roses from their Valentine's day collection. The collection is now fully available on their site so if you're searching for a gift for someone this Valentine's day, Flowers For Dreams is the way to go.


After weeks of grey in Columbus, I finally got to see the sun again in California. A refreshing week before heading back to start a move to an even colder city (Chicago). I often forget how beautiful the sites are, or what the roar of crashing waves against the rocks sound like, and how different the ocean air smells. I attribute California to where everything started for my journey in life. Moving here on a whim almost 5 years ago with no plan and stumbling into doing corny youtube videos (which you can find floating on the internet somewhere). I never could have imagined being able to document life for a living and it all started here- with a little Flip video camera and some friends who agreed to my ridiculous antics. This place will always hold a good chunk of nostalgia in my heart. Cheers to you, oh California.

You can view more snapshots of this trip on my Instagram and VSCO Grid.

Chicago Pt. 2: The Land of Nod

Following my previous post, what really brought me out to Chicago for a few days was to shoot a commercial for The Land of Nod. A promotional web video to live online featuring their featured holiday item, the carry home dollhouse. Working with an incredible team of creatives and a wonderful little girl as our talent, we had a successful day of production. The day couldn't have been more perfect, from the weather to the natural light that poured into the dreamy loft we shot in. A huge thanks to Rachel Baransi for being a wonderful on set assistant and capturing these great BTS shots. 

Creative Direction- Danielle Kurtz
DP/ Editor- Richard Original
Styling- Sage Reed
A.D./ BTS- Rachel Joy Baransi

Typography- Danielle Williams
Motion- Jonathan Yurek

Chicago Pt. 1: Instameet

I spent a few days in Chicago recently for a commercial shoot. In my free time I got to hang out with a lot of friends and make new ones at a Chicago Instameet. This was my first time attending an Instameet and it was a lot of fun getting to meet people who are in my dream city. Hoping to be back in the city sooner than later. Chicago, you're starting to steal my heart. You can view more photos on Instagram and VSCO Grid.

Art Camp

There's few places I love being more than Camp Wandawega. So when I was asked to come back to shoot at the 8th annual Art Camp, there was no way I could say no the the opportunity. I never grew up going to summer camp, but going as an adult I felt like I could appreciate the experience much more than I would be able to as a child. David and Tereasa brought together an incredibly talented group of creatives for a weekend get away. We learned how to weave, create jewelry, and roll sushi. We drank pour overs and cocktails all weekend and ate the most amazing food from some of the best chefs and food stylists in the world. More info on the weekend and the talented folks who attended can be found here. More photos can be found on my Instagram and VSCO Grid and be sure to watch the video below.

Super Powers 2014

I didn't know Daniel and Mikelle too well when they asked me to shoot their wedding, but I'm so glad they did. The ceremony and reception were held at the Rivercrest Farm, a few hours away from Columbus which gave it the perfect local 'destination' wedding feel. The rain couldn't stop us from all having a good time and celebrating this magical love. The farm had some amazing views and scenic spots for photos, animals ran around the whole place, and perfect company that made my job run as smooth as can be. Press play on the music and enjoy the love of Mr. + Mrs. Powers

Meg + Caleb

The first day I met Meg she asked me to shoot her wedding and at the time I had no idea it was going to be one of the most beautiful days that I get to document. Since that first conversation a few months ago, I've been fortunate to call myself friends with this couple. Meg and I get to work side by side as filmmakers at Vineyard Columbus and Caleb works as a web designer at a local agency in Columbus. Two rad creatives getting married makes for a beautiful end result. Press play on the video below and enjoy.

Studio III - Laurel, Sharon, Libby

I've been loving having creative friends over at the studio to collaborate. Laurel doubles as a fellow filmmaker and also a talented singer/ songwriter who came over to play some tunes that I got the privilege to capture on camera. That's still being worked on but you can view our last collaboration a little bit back on my blog. Sharon is a painter and creative guru at Pistachia Vera who came over to get some shots of her newest painting before she ships it off to its new home in Florida. Finally, Libby is one of my favorite of friends whose style continually impresses me and she has a lovely voice to boot. Thanks friends for being such a creative inspiration in my life. Also, why haven't any of my guy friends come over to shoot? That needs to change.

Studio III - Krista

Krista is talented fashion designer and a great friend of mine who just left on her big move to L.A. We've traveled cross country together, eaten each other's family's Filipino food, and she has brought many pairs of my denim back to life after one crotch blowout to the next. A true talent and another reason for me to visit the west coast again.

Studio III - Jen

Jen - I'm gonna miss this wonderful human as she goes off to Israel then to Baltimore for grad school. The past few months we had the chance to work closely together for some shoots and I don't know if I have worked with a person as joyful and positive as her. May all of your future endeavors be filled with joy! Below is an image we were able to collaborate her directing with my photography for a future project.

Testing, testing

I recently built a natural light studio in my home and have been very pleased with the results. Running some tests for future endeavors. 


I've known Laurel for a couple years, but it wasn't until this year that we really became close friends. This year we started working at the same job together, and were also pushed to our limits as directors of separate projects for a collaborative class we were in. We've done so much bonding in the past year that it was only right we collaborate on a project together. Laurel is talented as both a filmmaker and a musician so coming together for this project ran as smooth as possible. We shot it all within a couple hours and had the finished edit within the next week. A huge thanks to our friends at the Iuka House for letting us use their beautiful space. Enjoy. 


My best friend, Jonathan, created a room for light therapy for his thesis this year and after sitting in the room for 10 seconds I was inspired to make a film inside of it. It was something you really had to experience- the giant light box in front of you, the looping songs about light, and all around good vibes and ambiance. This film can't make you feel the same way it felt actually going inside, but I hoped to capture its beauty at the least.