NO RETURN: The final voyage of the Destination

The Seattle-based Destination went down without a mayday call on February 11, 2017, stunning a Bering Sea crabbing industry that appeared to have left its deadly legacy behind. A former crewman is haunted by what may have gone wrong in the sinking that killed his brother and five others.

I worked with intrepid reporter Hal Bernton on this story to create a dynamic visual presentation using archive video and images and directed, filmed and edited a short doc about Dylan Hatfield and the Destination crew.

The Destination took a lot from Dylan Hatfield when it sank in the Bering Sea two years ago — his brother, his best friend, and his mentor. “Everything has changed. It’s a whole different job now,” he says. (Lauren Frohne / The Seattle Times)

Hostile Waters: To catch an orca | The Seattle Times

As part of our ongoing coverage of the struggling southern resident killer whales (orcas) who live in the waters of Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest, I created a short documentary, using present-day and archive footage, that dives into how the capture of orcas in Washington ended and the struggle for their lives that continues today.

Live killer whale captures in the Pacific Northwest during the 1960s and ’70s fueled a worldwide orca craze. Puget Sound was the primary source of supply. But a 1976 hunt for SeaWorld in Budd Inlet was a turning point, leading to the end of an era. Just one killer whale taken from Puget Sound survives today.

Design director Frank Mina and news artist Emily M. Eng created this online experience for viewing the film.

Editing: Lauren Frohne
Interviews: Lynda Mapes
Cinematography: Steve Ringman, Ramon Dompor
Photo Research: Colin Diltz

Archival Footage Courtesy of Ted Griffin, Michael Harris and Baby Wild Films
Archival Photos Courtesy of Game Department, Ralph Munro Papers, Washington State Archives
Additional Footage Courtesy of NOAA

Family always comes first | The Seattle Times

A recent collaboration with photo/video journalist Erika Schultz. Searching for a prom-related story at the end of the school year, Erika came across this heartfelt relationship between Juan Betancourt and his great grandmother.

My role:

  • Lead videographer
  • Video editor

Recent Chief Sealth graduate Juan Old Chief Betancourt has learned a lot from his great grandmother. He wanted to honor her the best way he knew how, by taking her to his high school prom. (Lauren Frohne & Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Another shot at life | The Seattle Times

I worked with our grant-funded Project Homeless team to make this first-person profile about Fawn Batten, a downtown ambassador for the Metropolitan Improvement District. Her day job is waking up people who have been sleeping on the streets in downtown Seattle. But her story is so much deeper than that.

Fawn Batten is a survivor of domestic violence and used to sleep in a tent. Now, she builds relationships with people on the street as an ambassador for the Metropolitan Improvement District. (Lauren Frohne / The Seattle Times)

My role:

  • Reporting
  • Cinematography
  • Video editing

See the story on I used to live on the street. Now I try to help people who still do.

Emily & Pat | Springdale Station | Austin, Texas Wedding

Jessey and I have never in our lives photographed a wedding. We are also not really photographers these days (we make video stories and documentaries). But I knew how much it would mean to my dear, sweet friend Emily if we were the ones to document her wedding day. It was a ton of work, it was exhausting, and we put our documentary photojournalism skills to work. But it was also so amazing to be with my friend through every step of the day. And I’m even happy with the outcome.

Their wedding was held at Springdale Station in Austin, Texas on February 10, 2018.

Here’s a very small edit of my favorite images from the day….



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Three women marching

Back in January, my colleague Corinne Chin and I were brainstorming interesting and engaging ways to cover this year’s Women’s March in Seattle and somehow address the myriad issues that were bringing women into the streets for the second year in a row.

We ended up finding three amazing and brave women who shared their stories with us in advance of the march and, along with our colleague Bettina Hansen, we documented their experience during the march. Somehow, by collaboratively editing, we published this later that evening.

For indigenous women, for city workers to be free of harassment, for opportunities for fellow refugees and immigrants — three women share their stories and reasons for marching. (Corinne Chin, Lauren Frohne, Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

Story on Follow three women through Saturday’s Women’s March

How Seattle’s Navigation Team works

Homelessness is a growing, complex, and very visible issue in Seattle. Many housed residents complain of the eyesore and trash caused by tent encampments and put a lot of pressure on the city to clean it up. The city is struggling to figure out ways to address the complexities of each individual’s situation while also humanely dealing with tent encampments.

The newly formed Navigation Team’s job is to help residents who live outside keep their spaces clean and orderly, address their problems and connect them with housing. They also have the difficult job of dismantling the encampments when deemed necessary.

We got a first-hand look at how the process unfolds and joined the team while they performed outreach and closed a camp. And I made a video story documenting it.

Formed in February after a series of camp sweeps drew sharp criticism, the Navigation Team urges people into shelters while removing camps like this one along the I-90 sound barrier wall. Contains strong language. (Lauren Frohne / The Seattle Times)

My role:

  • Cinematography
  • Video editing

See the story on Before homeless camps are cleared, a Seattle team coaxes people to shelter

VIDEO: Honoring Olga & The Pioneers of PNW Ski Culture

I first encountered Lowell Skoog at a Northwest Avalanche Center storytelling fundraiser event. In addition to speaking about his own life, family and horrific losses while exploring the wilderness, he also mentioned that he planned to put on a makeshift ski-jump tournament to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first one held at Mount Rainier in 1917. He has dedicated much of his life to documenting the history of ski culture in the Northwest, so it makes perfect sense. I convinced reporter Evan Bush to do a story about him and we joined him on the Mountain for this ridiculously fun day.

VIDEO: Preview of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors at SAM

Yayoi Kusama has been one of my favorite artists since I was a freshman in college (15 years ago!). So it was awesome to learn that her signature Infinity Mirrors exhibition would be coming to the Seattle Art Museum. Even more awesome was getting to go to the press preview and making a short preview video to share with our community. I filmed and edit this the same day. Totally worth it.

The long road to Lola | The Seattle Times

Faced with a painful medical condition that threatened her fertility, Gloria Chueca Puerto-Mendoza didn’t have the luxury of time. Would you spend four years, and all your savings, without a partner to help?

Photographer/videographer Erika Schultz and I followed Gloria and Lola’s story over five months, filming their journey from the NICU to their home in Bremerton. And I wrote the text story for print to go with our video story and images.

Full story: How far would you go to be a mother? This young woman had to make a sudden decision.

My role:

  • Cinematographer
  • Reporter
  • Writer
  • Video Editor

Portraits of Homelessness | The Seattle Times Pacific NW Magazine

Pacific NW magazine invited residents of several homeless encampments in Seattle to share their personal stories, life lessons, frustrations and dreams based on their experiences living without permanent shelter. The resulting journal features their handwritten remarks, accompanied by black-and-white portraits that each person helped create. We produced a short video in which several participants read segments of their entries and use slow-motion video portraits to help viewers connect with community members we often turn away from.

View the whole project, with interactive journal: Portraits of Homelessness

Lauren Frohne
Corinne Chin
Erika Schultz

Lauren Frohne

VIDEO: Seattle Womxn’s March

In the course of our reporting leading up to the Womxn’s March in Seattle, we found so many people marching and protesting for the first time in their lives. We wanted to capture that spirit, what was bringing people out into the streets to be heard in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election win. We decided on “active interviews” with women who planned to be out marching for the first time. This was filmed by me, Corinne Chin and Erika Schultz, and edited by Corinne. We also co-wrote the text story: ‘Stirred out of our complacency’: Women ready for march after Trump inauguration, and newfound political activism

Additionally, I was out on the streets the day of the Seattle Womxn’s March, filming the massive crowd of people as they filled the entire 5-mile route from Judkins Park to Seattle Center. Danny Gawlowski did the edit: