Jena Carlin, Founder and Creative Director
Jena is a Midwest-based commercial food and lifestyle photographer, videographer, prop stylist, and art director. Over the past 13 years, Jena has been known for her elevated earthy, artistic photography style focused on appetite appeal and brand storytelling. Her classical training as a fine art painter creates a unique photography style that perfectly complements both editorial and advertising campaigns. She seeks out authentic emotion in her food and lifestyle photography with a strong emphasis on narratives and blending modern and heritage styles.
Jena shoots for clients such as Ghirardelli, Martha Stewart, Kohl’s, Taste of Home, Sam’s Club, The Buckle, Press, Kerry Taste and Nutrition, and Iowa Premium Angus.
In addition to Jena’s commercial work, she prides herself on building the community and knowledge of commercial food photography through the Little Rusted Ladle blog, the Master the Art of Food Photography online summit, and her mentorship program Portfolio to Profit.
Jenn Milner, Studio Manager and Content Writer
Jenn is a writer and lifelong problem-solver. She specializes in client communication, is invaluable on set at the studio and on location, and content writing for campaigns and our Portfolio To Profit course. Ask about Jenn's acclaimed studio DJ skills.
Mercadees Schara, Graphic Designer
Mercadees is a graphic designer with an eye for detail. She excels in ad work, cohesive branding, and elevating ideas from workable to WOW! Along with poise and a great sense of style, Mercadees could be described as a stones and gems kinda girl.
Our Midwest based studio was once a country store on the Main Street of my small town. The spacious rooms and high ceilings are ideal for sets of any size, and an amazing amount of props, surfaces, and furniture to bring your brand to life. An open food styling kitchen keeps communication flowing and allows for quick changes and tweaks on the fly.
The photography studio is also ideal for remote shooting. Clients frequently ship me their products and packaging from all over the world for remote photo shoots. Our team keeps in touch with clients through email, phone, and text throughout the day so image approval is efficient and accurate. We are also set up for Zoom conferencing and live image approval through tether shooting and screen sharing.
Time at the studio is always full of creative energy, spontaneous “ah-ha” moments, and a ton of espresso. We love to chat, share ideas, and listen to music as we create premium images. We’d love to have you in person or remotely from wherever you're located!
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Let’s create something unexpected and unforgettable together!
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