The Origin Story
By: Katie O'Connor
Story Gorge LLC is based in the Columbia River Gorge and focuses on amplifying worthy stories through video production, still photography and media education. We collaborate to tell compelling stories that evoke empathy and action and empower others to do the same.
Story Gorge seeks to serve the "Triple Bottom Line" This means that in everything we do, there are multiple benefits worked into the job for the client, the community, and the sustainability of our social enterprise. The client receives a high quality finished product while we work to serve worthy causes. Social, environmental and educational responsibility is at the heart of our work. Both our clients and our team can rest assured that the art we collectively create will do more than tell a good story, it will inevitably make the world a better place.
The company was founded by Sean O’Connor, who started his career as a professional photographer in 2001. The first couple of years were spent as a nomadic rock climber, traveling the country to have epic adventures and document them. Sean’s formal education included The National Outdoor Leadership School, Prescott College Adventure Education Program, and The Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Along the way, he began selling adventure-based images to magazines such as Climbing Magazine, Outside Magazine, and High Country News as well as providing services for non profit and commercial clients.
Sean established a studio in Portland, Oregon in 2005, and continued growing his company, then called “Freesolo Photography - Conservation Through Adventure Expeditions”. His publications grew to include Smithsonian and his awards included placing in a National Geographic Adventure photo contest. By 2009 Sean expanded his offerings into video and immediately began filming for clients. Sean’s film accomplishments include honored contributor to a Northwest Regional Emmy Award for his work with Oregon Public Broadcasting and credits in international adventure film festivals.
From 2013-2015 Sean served as the Outreach and Strategic Coordinator for the community programs of The ReBuilding Center in Portland,OR. In that time, Sean developed a community impact film program that worked to secure over $100,000 in grants, and in kind support to build a focus on impact storytelling within the organization. The program hosted over 20 volunteer filmmakers, photographers and other creatives all working together to build community from the neighborhood level.
In Fall 2016, Sean established a new business located in the Columbia River Gorge called “Story Gorge”. Story Gorge exists to strategically tell impact stories and provide extensive media education to youth and adults in the Columbia River Gorge. By January 2018 the business grew and Katie O’Connor joined in the family business. Together they built a company that uses story to produce high-quality films for impact and inspiration. Now in its 5th year, Story Gorge has grown to include a highly qualified staff of Story Producers and Teaching Artists dedicated Impact Storytelling and Media Education.
WHO WE ARE
We are storytellers, adventurers, lovers of the land, community conduits, family members, colleagues and friends.
Sean is an award-winning visual storyteller, passionate media educator, internationally published photographer and honored contributor to a Northwest Regional Emmy Award. Since 2002 Sean's creative work has been dedicated to creating socially responsible stories and educating students in the art of visual media production. Collaborating with dynamic nonprofits and leading industry brands, Sean works to cultivate global relationships with social and environmental impact. His credits include broadcast television with PBS and affiliates and international film festivals as well as print and web photography publications with Smithsonian Magazine, Outside Magazine, High Country News and others. Sean sits on the judging committee for the James Beard Foundation Media awards.and most recently directed and produced a short film for REI. When not shooting or producing, Sean works with youth and adult learners and creates dynamic and exciting learning environments and has served over 1,000 students. He lives in the Columbia River Gorge with his wife Katie and two children. When not shooting or producing, Sean is in pursuit of wilderness experiences, silent moments, and positive interactions with new faces.
Story Producer /Director of PhotographyTeaching Artist
Whenever we have a project, Jeff is one of the first people we call. His attention to detail and ability to complete complex tasks shines through in his work. Jeff is a fine art, professional photographer specializing in documenting recreational/adventure pursuits, portraiture in natural settings, nature, and conservation photography.
His art captures a story in time where there’s energy, excitement, passion and life, the spirit beyond a single moment, the essence of great photography. Jeff’s photographs are recognized for their mastery of perspective, composition and color. His current passion is to live a creative and adventurous lifestyle behind the camera while bringing the world new and engaging photos to encourage and inspire an active lifestyle, living life fully in the world around us. Jeff lives with his wife and son and adorable dog in Portland, Oregon.
Kyle J. Glenn
Kyle is a filmmaker, photographer, and musician, and through all of these, a storyteller. He believes in the unequivocal power of story to connect people to themselves, each other and the planet we all call home. Since receiving his BFA in Digital Media Production from The Art Institute of Portland in 2008, Kyle has spent countless hours on productions ranging from run-and-gun reality shows to full-scale hollywood films in a variety of rolls. He has worked on the productions ‘Grimm,’ ‘Portlandia,’ ‘Leverage,’ ‘Little People Big World,’ and ‘Gone,’ among others. This experience gives him the ability to see the 10,000 foot view of any story, and the technical know-how to dive in and get it done. He was co-founder and Head of Production for the boutique production company Quarter Orange, producing videos for OMSI, Lewis and Clark College and Stand for Children - Oregon. Kyle has recently returned to his childhood stomping grounds after a five year stint freelancing in San Francisco, CA. When not building community through story, Kyle likes to spend his time in nature, cooking with friends, and creating moments of mindfulness in pursuit of a slow culture.
Whit Hassett is a filmmaker and aerial videographer based in the Pacific Northwest. With a love for wild places and a passion for environmental advocacy and social consciousness, she has contributed her unique aerial and on-the-ground perspectives to a variety of brands and organizations including Patagonia, Yeti, Earthjustice, Nature Conservancy and Ocean Conservancy. With a background in ecology and conservation, she has shifted focus to communicate the human stories that tie us to our landscapes, and the power of film to ignite change.
Sean is a White Salmon, Wa. local with a true knack for safely maneuvering drones in a variety of situations. Sean is an FAA licensed drone pilot and has a keen eye for artistic composition and advanced flying skills. When not exploring the bird's eye view, Sean spends much of his time in the garden cultivating food and trees as well as extensive trips to remote and quiet locations in wild spaces.
Story ProducerDrone Operator
As Story Producer at Story Gorge, Katie is an orchestrator and story gatherer. She most recently acted as a Producer on “Winter’s Edge”, an REI film, and also wrote an accompanying blog post for them. Katie holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and a Master's degree in water Resources, Policy and Management. Katie has over 10 years
of professional experience in facilitating collaboration and developing communication strategies for technical science topics.
Who we work with
With Projects Funded By
In School Arts Integration
Film Production Credits
Other Education Partners
Awards and Judging
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Contact us with booking inquiries or give us a call at 503-839-6100!