Photo by Jessica Simons

Photo by Jessica Simons

Kristina (b. 1984) has a passion for photographing rural communities in the American west. She loves small towns and open space. 

She is a transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area currently living in Portland, Oregon and frequenting the Black Hills of western South Dakota (her home for nearly 12 years before a move to PDX).

In 2007, Kristina graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism. In Jan. 2008, she headed to the edge of the west where she served as the Rapid City Journal's the first female staff photographer until July 2012 before becoming the newspaper's first female photo editor, a role held until July 2014. 

In 2008, Kristina attended the American Diversity Project Workshop in Pikeville, Kentucky, and the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2009. Following her career at the Rapid City Journal, Kristina left the newsroom to pursue freelance and her South Dakota-based photography business.

Kristina is available for assignments throughout the west and the rest of the United States. Especially if it involves her packing a tent and a fly rod. 

Editorial and commercial clients include Google, Corning Gorilla Glass, AARP, Habitat for Humanity, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, Pacific Standard, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera America, BuzzFeed News, Reuters, Random House, Associated Press, Coca-Cola Amatil, Red Cloud Indian School and The Heritage Center, Bleacher Report, Teach for America and Rapid City Area Schools.

Commissioned work

How a State Plans to Turn Coal Country Into Coding Country - The New York Times, Aug. 2019

Grazing Like It's 1799: How Ranchers Can Bring Back Grassland Birds - Audubon Magazine, Summer 2019

‘A State of Emergency’: Native Americans Stranded for Days by Flooding - The New York Times, March 2019

K-12 Cybersecurity Lessons Learned From 'Constant Barrage of Attacks' - Education Week, March 2019

Nursing Homes Are Closing Across Rural America, Scattering Residents - The New York Times, March 2019

In South Dakota, the Two Bulls family leads an Indigenous art renaissance - High Country News, Feb. 2019

A Pedophile Doctor Drew Suspicions for 21 Years. No One Stopped Him. - The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2019

Energy Speculators Jump on Chance to Lease Public Land at Bargain Rates - The New York Times, Nov. 2018

In North Dakota, Native Americans Try to Turn an ID Law to Their Advantage - The New York Times, Oct. 2018

Driven by Trump Policy Changes, Fracking Booms on Public Lands - The New York Times, Oct. 2018

High price of precision medicine forces cancer patients to make agonizing choices - Kaiser Health News, Oct. 2018

How A Massive ICE Raid Changed Life In One Small American Town - BuzzFeed News, Oct. 2018

The latest blow to struggling family farms: Rising interest rates - The Washington Post, June 2018

In Red-State Races, Democrats Seek an Edge by Defying the N.R.A. - The New York Times, April 2018

G.O.P. Rushed to Pass Tax Overhaul. Now It May Need to Be Altered. - The New York Times, March 2018

Learning in a Corrections Facility: A Day at Wyoming Girls School – Photo Essay - Education Week, March 2018

Teaching—and Reaching—Students Behind Bars - Education Week, March 2018

Why Some Siblings Become Neighbors - The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 2017

Rural Growth Brings Better Water to the Black Hills - Municipal Sewer & Water Magazine, Nov. 2017

A Tough Calling - Corning Gorilla Glass, Oct. 2017 (still photography) 

Why Many Native American Girls Skip School When They Have Their Periods - The Huffington Post, Aug. 2017

A Star-Spangled Revue Kicks Up Its Heels in the Badlands - The New York Times, Aug. 2017

Under Trump, Coal Mining Gets New Life on U.S. Lands - The New York Times, Aug. 2017

The Real Legacy of Crazy Horse -, Aug. 2017

A Reservation, Restored -, Aug. 2017

What It's Like to Raise a Child With a Terminal Illness in America -, Aug. 2017

'People Are Dying Here': Federal Hospitals Fail Tribes - The Wall Street Journal, July 2017

Hand-Held Journalism in Harrowing Times - The New York Times, July 2017

The last clinics - VICE News, May 2017

A Red State's Arts Blues - The New York Times, April 2017

Western Coal-Mining Region Pins Hope on Trump, Amid Uncertainty - The Wall Street Journal, April 2017

The Dakota Access Pipeline Fight Fuels Battles Across the Country - Natural Resource Defense Council, March 2017

Nebraska May Stanch One Town's Flow of Beer to Its Vulnerable Neighbors - The New York Times, March 2017

Subculture: Foragers - Pacific Standard, Jan. 2017

The Tribe That's Suing the US Government To Keep Its Promises - Buzzfeed, Nov. 2016

Ranchers Tote Guns as Tribes Dig In for Long Pipeline Fight - The New York Times, Oct. 2016

As Wind Power Lifts Wyoming's Fortunes, Coal Miners Are Left in the Dust - The New York Times, June 2016

Bankrupt coal giant turns to grass in Wyoming to cut liabilities - Reuters, June 2016

Zeller's Zeal: Living on purpose in South Dakota - Intersection Journal, June 2016

For a private woman, joining a public transgender battle changed her life - Washington Post, April 2016

Miles apart, closer together - Intersection Journal, May 2016

As Bison Becomes More Popular, Two Views Emerge on How to Treat Them - The New York Times, Feb. 2016

Brining up the bodies: One woman's search for the remains in the Bakken oil fields - Al Jazeera America, July 2015

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Struggles With Suicides Among Its Young  - The New York Times, May 2015