College for Creative Studies: Photography


Kristen Turick


When Kristen Turick and her husband, Jeff, started their wedding film/documentary business in 2005, they never imagined they’d soon become internationally-recognized filmmakers.

Since then, they’ve collaborated with some of the most refined filmmakers in the industry through a contest sponsored by Canon and premiered their work at one of the hottest film festivals in the world.

“My filmmaking career began totally by accident when I started producing finely-crafted Super 8 wedding films/documentaries,” explained Turick. “Over the past five years, my career has culminated in recognition by my industry as an international leader and allowed me to change direction, broadening my focus and opening the door to tell a wider variety of stories. I helped my husband produce a narrative short for Canon USA's Story Beyond the Still that later premiered during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and I’m co-directing our current project, Growing My Brave.”

As co-owner of Artifact Documentaries, Turick helps run the business as well as assist with production. Turick shoots on Super 8 mm film and Canon DSLRs and edits using Final Cut Pro. She and her husband work as a team—bouncing ideas off each other so they can consider as many creative angles as possible.

Turick is currently working on a documentary, Growing My Brave, about transformational bodywork and its affect on a woman living with terminal cancer. They plan to release the film in the fall of 2012.  

“The project began as a work for hire job for my husband,” said Turick. “He went out to California to shoot some footage with Sonya Bavaii, a woman who had a pretty incredible story of survival and was transforming into a thriving woman living with the diagnosis of terminal cancer. He was shooting with the intent that somewhere down the line his footage would be used by the client, Fred Mitouer, for a documentary about ‘transformational bodywork.’

“We developed a unique bond with Sonya during the process, and it became apparent that we were the right fit to produce the documentary. Fred agreed. We were eager to tell this amazing story of healing through alternative methods. As much as it had been a transformational experience for the subjects involved, it had also been for us. We’ve grown in so many ways; this has been such an enormous learning experience both technically and personally.

“Our goal is to return to Sundance with a film in competition, and maybe even win. We want to get this story out to the world because we think there's a lot of good that can come from it. We can't always help in the ways we may want, but this is one way that we can.”

In addition to Growing My Brave, the Turicks are also at work on another documentary about the evolution of photography.

“Thanks to one of my CCS professors, Joe Bernard, and contemporary art history, I was familiar with photographer Nancy Rexroth, who’s most known for her work with the Diana camera,” said Turick. “We’re currently in pre-production on a documentary that may include her as one of the subjects on an in-depth study of photography.”

Although Turick always knew she wanted to be an artist, it was her experience at CCS that prompted her to pursue a career in photography. 

“At CCS, you’re encouraged to try everything.”

“I entered as a graphic design student, but through my studies I quickly realized that photography was my passion. Studying the many aspects of art opened me up to new experiences and, ultimately, to the gratifying work that I am fortunate to do today.

“It’s important to absorb as much as you can in all aspects of your studies and explore outside of your area of expertise. As a photo major, I never had any aspirations of moving into the realm of motion pictures. But the winding paths we take may sometimes lead us on unexpected journeys that can be fulfilling in a multitude of ways. For me, that has been making documentaries.”