Kris Butler

Director of Operations and creator of Reel Rescue

My journey with Reel Rescue began with my curiosity at a young age with the camera. I have always had a creative eye for angles, lighting, and capturing the human spirit on film.  My personality, commitment, and passion, has driven me to pursue the steps in order to make my dreams of photography and film a success.  Someone once told me, it is not the goal that gives you the experience, but it’s the journey along the way. Keeping my eye on the goal for so many years, I finally looked back and realized the accomplishments I have already made and strive to continue.

I worked my way through junior college to study photography, maintaining my housekeeping business and learning ways to strive for grants and scholarships so I could reach my goals.  I attended San Francisco State for film, but realized I wanted to create my own path and incorporate film, photography, and traveling.  By that point, I had networked with San Francisco Bay Area production crews and had worked on feature films in between cleaning houses and taking classes.  In order for me to pursue my education in a way I had designed, I had to put the movie industry on hold, and go to Washington State.  I attended The Evergreen State College where I majored in photography, film, and Latin American Studies.  I pursued and accomplished winning a scholarship in order to travel abroad to Costa Rica for a photojournalism assignment I designed.  There I went to Jaco to a surfing Spanish school called, La Escuela Del Mundo and photographed the locals for my journals.  I ventured off into churches in order to overcome my fear of photographing people in sacred environments and breaking the language barrier that would otherwise keep the culture separated in their domains.  I learned to say in Spanish, I was a photographer with National Geographic so I could get my shot without people rejecting my presence with a camera.  I soon learned I didn’t have to say anything to be accepted as a photographer in a different country.  I was welcomed because I cared enough to be photographing people in their safe environment, capturing their emotions on film.  I entered these churches during the sacred holy week, which made my assignment more challenging.  This photojournalism assignment taught me how to overcome my fears of surfing in the ocean.  Challenging me by something much more powerful in strength, and to be able to surf right through it.  It also helped me to face my fears of going into a culture alone in order to photograph people in a sacred environment.  My experiences taught me to be a more compassionate and versatile photographer.  I graduated that year with honors and established an amazing portfolio.  What I wasn’t prepared for was graduating into a bad economy and having to search for an income trying in corporate my passion of photography and film.  Coming from a family of firefighters, I was told I should pursue being a firefighter of a way for financial support while I worked as a photographer.  As I took firefighting classes, I took the initiative to find out who the team’s photographer was in my hometown.  I had left a note on the archival manager’s desk asking her how she got her start in baseball as a photographer.  A week later I was brought in for an interview.  It was my photographs from Costa Rica and my compassion for photography that soon got me hired with the San Francisco Giants.  There I learned how to shoot with speed and accuracy, capturing the passion of the players.  I had gone into Major League Baseball not knowing what an inning meant, and with my drive and passion for shooting, was the only photographer to capture Barry Bonds breaking the historical record of Babe Ruth at #715 with bat on ball.  These photographs are preserved in the Hall of Fame and are featured in The Giants Magazine with other various shots over the years.  I learned how to master my skills in even greater detail from working on the field, and in the Executive Front Office.

I had also worked as a seasonal firefighter and realized I wanted to take my education and knowledge of running a business to create Reel Rescue.  My love for film and photography has always been a passion and I can’t imagine not having it in my life.  My skills, training, and ability to react quickly in a situation have led me to be an impressive emergency standby medic.  As a photographer and medic I have realized both professions have a connection to the human spirit.  I have captured the best of both worlds.