TechsmARTs: Digital Documentation and Storytelling

On August 5, 2017, C4 Atlanta hosted a TechsmARTs Conversation on Digital Documentation and Storytelling.  Our friends at MOCA GA graciously hosted this conversation. Speakers Kimberly Binns and Reis Birdwhistell lead presentations for artists who don’t work in documentation mediums such as film and photography on the basics of documenting work. Both artists document work for other artists in the community, including photographing performance and visual art and documentary filmaking.


Reis talked about the basic needs for photographing work or performance. In particular, he emphasized that in order to get the shot you really want, taking time to experiment with different filters, light placement and effects while shooting can help eliminate time spent editing. Including a grey card or industry standard color card in the periphery of the shot (to be edited out later) can help a printer to find the proper color for accurate reproductions. For performance, preparation is key to getting quality images. Seeing a dress rehearsal beforehand can help with informing camera placement and which scenes have the best lighting for photography. Some scenes can also be staged out for the photographer as tableaus so that you can achieve the proper look and feel in a more controlled environment outside of the performance.


Kimberly’s presentation focused primarily on representing yourself through the story you’d like to tell about your art.  As an example, Kimberly showed a clip from her series Maker_ in which she documents the work of Atlanta makers and creatives. Kimberly works with the individual artist to craft the perfect narrative for their artwork and business. Watch Kim’s film of Cord Shoes and Boots artist Sarah Green. Above all, Kimberly stressed beginning with what you have and working up to larger resources as you have access to them. You can begin with your cell phone camera or rent nicer equipment from a film rental company to stay economical. Some editing software is free but is limited in its usage. Some more expensive industry standard products like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro have free trials and online tutorials to help users learn to use software.


You can download a PDF copy of the slide decks presented below:


You can follow each of our presenters on their Social Media platforms here:
Kimberley Binns: @binnski (Instagram) | @kimberlybinns (Twitter) | Kim Binns (Vimeo)
Reis Birdwhistell: Reis Birdwhistell Photography (Facebook)


An archive of the conversation is available on Periscope here:


Resources Referenced in this Conversation:
Adobe Creative Cloud Editing Software (Modules available include Premiere Pro for Film and Lightroom, Illustrator, and Photoshop for image editing. Free 30 day trials available.)
Final Cut Pro (Software for Mac for editing film. Also has free trial versions available)


One last announcement: C4 Atlanta is launching a TechsmARTs podcast! Look for our launch this Summer 2017. Upcoming topics include net neutrality, working in virtual reality, submissions for film and TV and much more. Have a topic you’d like to see us explore in a future TechsmARTs? Submit it here.

Meet the Presenters for TechsmARTs: Digital Documentation and Storytelling

Join us on Monday, June 5, 2017  from 10:30am – 12:00pm at MOCA GA for a free conversation on Digital Documentation and Storytelling. 

This presentation and discussion for artists who don’t work in traditional documentation formats. What concerns should professional artists address when photographing and presenting their work and telling the story of their arts business through their documentation? RSVP HERE.


Filmmaker and Photographer Kimberly Binns
Filmmaker and Photographer Kimberly Binns.

Kimberly Binns is a multi-disciplinary creative currently
living and working in Atlanta, Ga. She holds a BFA from
Georgia State University and has a background in
architectural design and video production. Her most
recent exhibition of works on paper included
compositions from her “He and Me Then We, but She”
series at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia
(MOCAGa) and she has also been recognized for her
photographic works. Kimberly is heavily involved in the
arts and creative community and is currently producing
an ongoing artist documentary series titled “MAKER_”.

“As an artist, I hold a personal tenet that whatever art I create is always deeply personal. It is in the sharing of this art, and my creativity, however, that I give much of myself. I believe that my work should encourage the viewer to appreciate and synthesize what they see in a manner that’s befitting to their own sensibilities.”


Photographer Reis Birdwhistell
Photographer Reis Birdwhistell.

Reis Birdwhistell is a freelance photographer living in Atlanta, GA. His interest in photography began in high school, where he began photographing for the school newspaper and yearbook. Prior to his work as a freelancer, Reis formally worked for a Photographic Services of Atlanta.  He holds an Associate’s Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in Photography. Subjects of his photography are incredibly varied and diverse, including past presidents, neighbors’ children, jewelry, architecture and more. Reis uses a variety of equipment and techniques to create his work in both digital and film formats. Reis shares his life with his beloved wife, to whom has been married since college.

We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends

As the year comes to a close, we are all to happy to thank everyone who has helped to make this year at C4 Atlanta such a success! Looking back, there have been many tremendous milestones for our organization, and we are so happy to be able to have the resources and support to continue our work in the Atlanta arts community. We’d like to take a moment and highlight some of these amazing people and organizations who have helped us get to where we are:


This year we launched a brand new class initiative called Hatch. The focus of this program is learning the “soft” skills to work in community and public art. C4 Atlanta would be remissed if we did not first thank the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation who has financially supported and mentored this program from just a small idea into an important next step for our organization and the artist we work with. We also owe a lot of the success of our initial pilot program to our content contributors: McKenzie Wren from Clarkston Community Center, Emily Hopkins from Side Street Projects and Heather Alhadeff from Center Forward. In the new year, we are looking forward to the contributions of Jim Grace from the Arts & Business Council Greater Boston and documentary filmmaker Katina Parker. Our program quality would not have have been the same without the input of these wonderful arts leaders. In addition, we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our pilot program artists for their participation in the process. These artists have graciously volunteered their time and energy to be a part of this initial education process, and we are grateful for their dedication, contributions and feedback as we continue to develop our curriculum. Our initial pilot program artists are: Jessica Caldas, Nick Madden, Michael Jones, Hez Stalcup, Angela Davis Johnson, Lauren Pallotta, Charmaine Minniefield, William Massey III, Scottie Rowell, Danielle Deadwyler, Kris Pilcher, Orion Crook, and Shannon Willow. Thanks for being such wonderful artists and individuals! – Audrey Gámez, Education Manager

Photo by William Massey III of Hatch artists in discussion regarding community and identity.
Photo by William Massey III of Hatch artists in discussion regarding community and identity.



Back in August of this year, C4 Atlanta moved into it’s 6th year of incorporation. An achievement of this kind only happens with the help and support of many different people, specifically the individual artists who have taken our classes and advocated for C4 Atlanta’s mission since our inception. It seemed only fitting that C4 Atlanta host a celebration in honor of our 5th birthday for the people who helped to get us here. In October C4 Atlanta hosted an inaugural event, Artoberfest, to do just that. With plans already in place for a second annual event in 2016, C4 Atlanta wants to thanks all the people and artists who brought this event to life.

Wild Heaven Craft Beers was our host sponsor for the event, and thanks to their kind staff and fantastic beer everyone who showed left that evening filled the brim with joy.  Our Host Committee provided the funding, people, and manpower to bring this event to fruition. Without them it would have just been the C4 Atlanta staff standing around drinking beer, so special thanks goes to every individual that moved a table, donated money, or provided their expertise to make this event happen. And last but certainly not least, C4 Atlanta wants to thank each artists that came out and shared a glass with us, especially our entertainment for the night. Without the talents of Bad Sausage, The Marvels of Justice, and Gold Griffith Artoberfest would have been just another evening. Their music lightened our spirits and inspired us to dance into the night. – Chelsea Steverson, Operations Manager

Some of the many happy faces enjoying good music, great beer, and even better company.
Some of the many happy faces enjoying good music, great beer, and even better company at Artoberfest.


Friends, Mentors, Advisers, All-Around-Kick-A-People

I have so many people to thank this year. 2015 has been a tremendous period of growth for me personally and professionally. The first person I think of is Margaret Kargbo. I wish she were still around to see and share C4’s accomplishments. I have so much to say about Margaret but I might start crying at my desk. She is missed.

I also have to thank my staff. I really care about them. They are hard-working, smart people whom I am proud to know. They are also pretty funny–which face it, it is people who make the difference between a job and a passion. I also would be remiss if I didn’t mention my co-founder and friend, Joe Winter. He is my sounding post. He is a fantastic board member.

Speaking of board… C4 has a great board. People who really care about not just the arts but Atlanta as a whole city. They represent different perspectives and background, yet they share passion for our community.

I am thankful for two new partnerships this year with the College of the Arts at GA Tech and MOCA GA. We have so many partners in the arts but these are our newest program partners.

I want to give a special shout out to Georgia Lawyers for the Arts. Seriously. This is a great resource.

I also want to thank the people who take my phone calls or sit with me over a cup of coffee.  Or they have supported me in ways that I can’t repay. These people go the extra step because they believe that the arts make a difference and they believe in me–which is humbling to say the least (in no particular order): Kurt Ronn, Heather Pontonio, Beverly & Jeff Winter, Jennifer Kimball, Heather Alhadeff, the M Rich Staff, Melonie Tharpe, Lisa Neidermyer, Bill Gignilliat, Alexander Acosta, City of Atlanta Council member Kwanza Hall, Jay Tribby, Debbie & John Holland, Jim Tolbert, my family, Shelly Elman,  Jessica Caldas, and to my husband, Spencer Holland (the silent C4 partner).

To our donors, funders and sponsors: we can’t do this with out you. That’s the truth. Thank you.

And lastly but not least: thank you artists and arts administrators who choose to call the greater Atlanta region your home. We are better for it. You inspire me. Everyday. – Jessyca Holland, Executive Director

C4 Atlanta team with Kwanza Hall