With an eye for photography, Kara Battistoni searched the room, spotted a DJ and decided that would be her best bet.

But she wasn’t taking pictures at the time. In fact, she was giving a presentation and needed an extension cord.

“She asked for a cord and we had a quick conversation about photography,” Hurricane Productions co-owner and resident DJ Strato Doumanis said about their meeting at a Rutgers University entrepreneurial conference in 2010. “And in passing she handed me her business card and told me to reach out if I ever needed photos.”That interaction led to a year of freelance work for Battistoni with the Red Bank-based entertainment company in 2011.

Battistoni, 25, of Providence, RI recently joined Hurricane Productions and Innovation’s staff as its exclusive photographer and videographer.

Battistoni will document each Hurricane Productions event and help the company expand it’s ‘Innovation’ brand.

“This is a commitment that we’ve been waiting to make with the right person,” Hurricane Productions co-owner Vincent Anthony Velasquez said. “Kara understands the value of our visual product and this will not only expand that, but this will change the way our clients and our competitors view our business model.”

Hurricane’s investment into visuals should come as no surprise. The company started posting original event content on Facebook in 2007. Four years later, the addition of Battistoni helps Hurricane focus on giving each client a more complete, full-service experience.

As for Battistoni, Rutgers recruited her as a collegiate swimmer out of high school.

She initially tried business school but soon realized that she gravitated to art classes in the Mason Gross School of the Arts.

She started snapping photographs on both a medium format Mamimya and Canon35mm film camera before transitioning to DSLR cameras.

While at Mason Gross she met professional filmmaker Alrick Brown.

Brown’s piece, Kinyarwanda, won the ‘Audience Award’ at Sundance in 2011. Battistoni worked on the project and credits Brown for getting her involved in film.

Aside from event photography and video at Hurricane Innovation and Productions, her portfolio includes promotional photos, headshots and videos for local musicians.

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