housing for a community

the organization i work for provides alot of cheap, affordable necessities to a small community of people in Cambodia who live near or on a trash heap in Phnom Penh. one of the things we offer is extremely affordable housing. they have teamed up with World Housing a non-profit based out of Canada to build almost 200 homes this year. they asked me to shoot a few houses, in the process of being built. 

Images In Infographics

I've been working on this technique where the photojournalist in me slaps the designer in me. As a photographer, I know the power of images but as a designer I neglect images because of how jarring a photo can feel in a graphic design, especially when it comes to infographics.

Designing with images is all or nothing. I used to either let them tell the whole story, simply, or not use them. Throwing a border on a photo or cutting it out as a circle feels cheap, leaving the designer in me feeling cheated.

So, this is my challenge - use storytelling images in a powerful but not forceful way in conjunction with my designs. Here are a few examples of how I've been trying to make this happen...does my use of images in my designs work for you?

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Apple Exploits Nepali Migrant Workers

I worked on this story for Bloomberg News while I was in Kathmandu last year. The topic needs much more coverage and so much more action. I have heard reports of at least one Nepali corpse coming into the airport per day from Qatar. It's slavery. And it's worldwide. I'm quite clueless when it comes to international law, but it's obvious that some type of international regulation needs to be in place for migrant workers around the world.

I use an iPhone; I'm writing this on one of my two Mac laptops. It's obvious Apple holds their product design to an incredible high standard. That standard should be reflected in their international labor regulations.

Bibek is just one of millions who are abused and enslaved daily so that we can use our iPhones, computers and other gadgets.

Here in Cambodia, It's not just labor that is being sold. It's women, children and it's horrific. When will this become a major issue for governments around the world? When will international standards be implemented?

Here are some ways to help and become aware.

  • http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/
  • http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2013/12/world/cambodia-child-sex-trade/index.html
  • http://www.halftheskymovement.org/?gclid=CL7_4oqlnbwCFZRr7Aod4EQAtQ
  • http://www.endslaverynow.com/
  • http://www.iloartworks.org/forced-labour/end-slavery-now/
  • https://www.freetheslaves.net/sslpage.aspx?pid=328

cambodia and a new life

so, we moved to cambodia. got a sweet job with a fantastic organization and a swanky, brand new apartment and we're doing great.

getting these (below) printed and they're going over our bed. i'll have lots to show off as my new position is graphic designer/photographer/videographer/web designer. yay.

life is good. but gotta remember where my roots are.


Book Design and Layout

I've been working with SPRINT Initiative out of Malaysia for the past few months on a Facilitator's Manual. In the beginning, I created a concept-design for a book or manual that would help the facilitator's focus more on teaching. SPRINT has printed the first draft of this 400-page book and I am hoping to attend the next facilitator training in the Philippines so that I can make changes to the manual that will drastically improve the design. Below are the proposed cover, beginning chapter pages and an example of a content page. All of the content is from a previous design.

In order to make this design easier for the facilitator's to understand and use, I created a set of icons that correspond to the different activities that will be used during the training. I also added a time and date indicator to the header of each page to inform the facilitator's of where they are (or should be) in the training.

Cover for SPRINT Facilitator's manual.

Cover for SPRINT Facilitator's manual.

Chapter opening pages

Chapter opening pages

Content example

Content example

Film Southasia Designs

I've been working hard with FSA [filmsouthasia.org] for the past few weeks to get ready for the documentary film festival. We're doing standies, flex prints, schedules, invitations, web stuff...everything design. The best part of this experience has been seeing my designs in very large quantities. The schedule (below) was printed 3,000 thick and the 60-page catalog had 500 copies. It's been fun, hard, and challenging. I will post official designs once everything is printed.


KTM street art

finished a video for Katie Green yesterday (katiegreenartist.com.) she's an incredible artist, one i am proud to have worked with. i challenged myself to think outside of the box on this video. i wanted something more edgy and a bit less-traditional in the storytelling arena. in the end, i think we came out with somethink Katie likes and i was proud to publish. what do you think?


Finished this a while back, but needed to add it to the blog. Here is the front page and below are a couple of details. It's still being coded, but I really enjoyed this job. It went through many drafts and I was told from the first draft that it was too, "French" looking. I listened to my clients and really tried to make it less French. They liked this in the end.

Hotel search results page.

Pretty gold search engine detail.

Fashion: The Buddha Does Not Approve

An artist and costume designer asked me to shoot a few of her in a dress she  made. Sounded kinda exciting. She sent me a zipped file of all her previous dresses and they are quite stunning reflections of nature melded into wearable art. In one shot she looks like a piece of forest with moss on her head. 


The piece she wanted me to shoot was a dress made entirely of Buddhist prayer flags. At the Monkey Temple in Swoyambhu, we were instantly greeted with dirty looks and a comment from a woman who said, "She can't do that." I started to get a tad bit nervous as we are in a developing country where religion is taken very seriously. I've seen placid situations escalate into mass maiming in a nano second in Kathmandu and I was sure we didn't want to see that.

I told her we should shoot what we can and get out quickly. Seems like this won't fly for too long. So we shot about two scenes and a monk appeared at her side. "No no no no no," was all he snarled at her as he ripped off some of her flags. He was very angry. So I shuttled our human prayer flag into a bathroom and she changed quickly while the masses got riled up behind us on the stupa.

I'm caught in the middle on this one. Because I get it. I really do. And I'm not in love with fashion, ever. But those prayer flags are made in a factory by common men and women with common tools. 

Yet feet are very unholy and truly the dirtiest, at times, in Nepal. Even to point a foot at someone is considered disrespectful. So I understand how blasphemous walking on flags that signify prayers to god sounds.

It was an interesting experience either way.  

The Rise of RS MOTO

So, my husband builds bikes. He takes old machines and breathes life into them. It's not usual for KTM. I'd say he's one of the only people doing it in town, really doing it. He's on his third bike with 3 more orders on the way. We're hoping he can continue this work in Sri Lanka were we've found an abundance of classic bikes and cars.

These are a few of my favorite images from our recent photo shoot. You can see most of the take here on my [Facebook Page.]

Stay tuned, RS MOTO is on it's way up. Video and more coverage to come soon.