STBSP, Ep, 176, Her Helm Photographer Kristin Rutkowski

by JeffreyWettig | February 20th, 2024

Her Helm Photographer Kristin Rutkowski

Welcome to Episode 176 of The Shooting The Breeze Sailing Podcast (STBSP)! This episode we chat with Photographer and Portrait Artist Kristin Rutkowski about her Chesapeake Bay Based project called Her Helm.

The Her Helm project got started during the Summer of Covid, and culminated last year with the release of the book, Her Helm Chesapeake Bay. In it, Rutkowski, showcases 51 women that make their own way on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay as captains of their own ships, whether licensed or not, large and small, sail or power. The book also contains art, poetry, and stories from invited guests.

We talk about how she came to the project, how she went out and found all those amazing women, how you set up the shots and subjects to be able to tell their story in one photographic snapshot, what it takes to wrangle everything together into a cohesive, tangible object such as a book. We also talk about how this goes on to affect the folks involved, the artist, and the culture as a whole.

You can find out more about the Her Helm project with the following links:

Her Helm:



Kristin’s portrait business:

This month, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will host a forum of women from the Her Helm project. Thursday, Feb. 29, 5:30pm Register at: (virtual and in person)

The Her Helm project is in a special exhibit at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

“Women of Oak Harbor”

The book is available from the Her Helm website (
and in local stores on the Eastern Shore: Local-ISH Art in Cape Charles, VA (

The Book Bin in Onley, VA (

Kristin’s next event will be a talk about Her Helm at Ker Place in Onancock, VA

You can listen to Episode 176 of the STBSP, by right clicking and downloading here,

You can find it on all your favorite Podcast Apps and Aggregators

or push play on the embedded link below.

Intro Music by yours truly and Greg Young, of The Incoherents, a band I managed in college. The song is called Never Tell and is available via email. Find the other songs they did at The Incoherents. The Lean Years Volume 2, on Itunes.

Break music, “Wild Winds of Misfortune” by Leo Disanto of The Vinegar Creek Constituency, and “The Wild Rover” as performed by The Ogham Stones
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