I consider myself lucky. From a very early age I had an innate interest in photography, a belief that there is beauty in all things, and a natural ability to tell stories with my images. Being self motivated an a problem-solver is hard-wired in my DNA so my five-year-old self figured the best way to get access to equipment was to ask Santa Claus for a Polaroid camera. He obliged, and I was on my way. Some years after that, I got a job at a photography studio to work my way through a college degree in photography.
All the while, I realized that my talent wasn’t just in capturing an image, but in having the ability to connect that image to a bigger story for the individual or organization I was photographing for. I honed that ability to connect image to brand in the years I worked as Director of photography at the University of Denver. My clients at the University valued me not only for the quality of my work, but for my ability to advance the story of the University’s growing prominence in the higher education arena.
I left DU having contributed to creating a stronger brand image for the University and with an MFA in photography. I found that it was time to take my talents further. My amazing family had taught me that taking calculated risk is a good thing and to have a strong business acumen. So starting my own business seemed like a natural sequel to my job at DU. I went on to create award-winning photography and video for Fortune 500 companies and Universities.
I noticed that throughout my career some of the same challenges kept cropping up; the units in the organizations I worked with were not consistently communicating the brand. Everyone wasn’t on the “same page,” and brand buy-in across units was not always a foregone conclusion. So in the latest chapter of my journey, I co-founded a software company called BrandTruth, which has democratized the brand discovery process. It helps solve the fundamental challenge that all companies and institutions face — getting everyone on the same “brand” page and understanding the authentic story of their brand.
BrandTruth has been launched and has Fortune 500 companies using it successfully to move their brands forward.
How I work
I’ve learned that the best ideas almost always come from a team approach. It’s how I operate. Even in my years as a sole proprieter, I never worked alone. I always pulled together people who were smarter than me in their areas of expertise. My motto: you need to set your ego aside and focus on the best ideas — no matter who comes up with it.
I also strongly believe in building structure around the creative process. Planning, communication, and deadlines are critical to any creative success. If the team feels like all they do is put out daily fires, then it becomes difficult to be productive.
Speaking of fires, as a Creative Director it is important to evaluate and make sure that there are no arsonists on the team or as clients. The quickest way to lose good people is to let the arsonists have their way.
Lastly, in order to produce successful branding you have to have some fun—most creative people don’t work hard for the money alone. As Creative Director you have to build a culture that people enjoy working in and this is perhaps my greatest strength.
What I bring to the table
I approach challenges with a sense of excitement and curiosity. Instead of seeing obstacles as roadblocks, I view them as opportunities to learn and grow. I’m always looking for ways to improve, innovate, and create something new.Entrepreneurial Mindset
I have a talent for connecting with people through compelling narratives. To me brand is more than just a product or service—it’s a story that resonates with customers on a deeper level.Brand Storytelling
I see the world in a different way. I’m constantly imagining new possibilities and envisioning a better future. I find inspiration in the world around me, and I’m always looking for ways to express my ideas and bring them to life.Creative Vision