The 10 Best Commercial Photographers in Milwaukee
While looking through the pool of Milwaukee commercial photographers, we were impressed by a number of things, not least of which was the quality, depth, and variety of professional photographic talent the city had to offer. And very experienced talent at that! We don’t really know why that’s the case, but nevertheless, for anyone needing their services, choosing among them will probably be more difficult than finding someone really good. Here’s a collection of some of the best of the lot to help you get started.
1. Neil Keikhofer of Front Room Studios
There’s no doubt Neil Keikhofer knows commercial photography. He owns and runs Milwaukee’s Front Room Studios after all, a commercial, wedding, and portrait photography business he founded over two decades ago and which now employs a few other photographers and office staffers as well.
So he must have shot everything, and from his portfolios, he still does—portraits, headshots, events, architecture and interiors, products and food, and more—but now he also gets to play with drones for cool aerials as well. We can’t obviously scrutinize each subgenre Keikhofer photographs in detail, so let’s sum it up accurately this way: his work is the visual definition of professionally slick.
A veteran wedding, baby, and family photographer, Miranda Zynda-Kneeland puts her skills to work for commercial clients through Noun Commercial Photography, the “sister” brand of the studio she shares with her husband. Although her commercial projects are varied—event coverage, headshots, products, food, architecture and interiors, etc.—they’re all wonderfully executed, we wouldn’t exactly call her work crisp.
There’s a discernible very smooth quality to Zynda-Kneeland’s pictures, no edginess or harshness. The effect is more personable, gentler, maybe even kinder, and that she manages to do that so subtly is impressive.
Like many other Milwaukee commercial photographers, Laura Hesselberg works different subgenres. It’s her product shots that caught and held our attention. With a very clean, minimalist style apparent in all her commercial photography, Hesselberg shoots products in the studio, on solid, usually white, backgrounds.
There’s a definite Scandinavian look-and-feel to them, with a generous amount of clean, airy space, and an abundant flow of light. With her ability to “pose” products in just the right way that perfectly complements her compositions, her work is understatedly magnetic, drawing you in to look at and study the product further. It’s simple, but with Hesselberg’s touch, it works well.
4. Tom Krueger
A commercial photographer going on twenty years, Tom Krueger remembers how he “once dented the top of his car just to get the perfect angle for a killer shot.” That’s dedication, although we don’t really need that anecdote to know that Krueger does what it takes to get the shot—we can see it for ourselves through his portfolios.
Whatever he’s tasked to capture—industrial images, headshots/portraits, events, food, products, homes and interiors—Krueger delivers undeniably professional, if not spectacular, results. No image softening, airy atmosphere effects for Krueger; his shots are crystal clear sharp, somewhat contrasty, dramatic even. using the slightly darker and warmer tones he seems to prefer. A modernized classic look, if you will, and Krueger mails it.
Advertising photographer John Sibilski loves to capture the midwestern work ethic in action. Judging from the images in his portfolio, Sibilski’s no stranger to the industrial space, and his images of people hard at work are visually compelling.
That’s not because of his technical mastery of his tools—Sibilski instinctively crafts intimate glimpses into these workers’ regular tasks, giving viewers a powerful feel for the moment. It’s a sensibility that you really can’t teach. It’s a talent that lends itself well, of course, to any other industries he visually documents, as we can see through his impressive work.
Less a photographer and more of an image creator, C.J. Foeckler uses his photography to realize his creative concepts for his clients. If that conjures visions of wild, exuberant, insanely colorful pictures, on the contrary, Foeckler’s sensibilities are on the simpler, minimalistic side, as we can see from his studio-captured product shots.
Many are even dark and moody, revealing Foeckler’s affinity for playing and experimenting with light. This style extends to his other commercial projects as well, like his portraits and personal branding work. With all the big name clients he’s worked with, it’s safe to say that Foeckler’s vision sells.
7. Sara Stathas
Sara Stathas has an editorial sense at her core, it seems—she tells stories with her images. It manifests itself throughout the various commercial subgenres she photographs. Like her portraits, where the backgrounds and environments, even posture and expressions, tell us a lot about the person in the picture and what they do.
Same goes for her food photography—we get a hint of real life going on around the beautifully prepared and captured dishes. Her workplace photos put Stathas squirrely in her element, telling us visual tales of all the activity in front of her camera. It shouldn’t be surprising to us at all that she lists many big media newspapers like The Washington Post and The New York Times among her huge list of clients.
Unique among the Milwaukee commercial photographers we’ve seen, Adam Ryan Morris highlights his photographic services and projects for the agriculture industry. Applying his editorial, documentary, and storytelling photography to produce a visually compelling collection of the sector behind the scenes, this is powerful stuff, great for marketing, and very well suited for a whole lot more. Think National Geographic. We can see from his portfolios that he performs this service, and his images for them are just as intriguing and impactful.
9. Katie Soyka
Light, upbeat, fresh, even perky, personal branding photographer Katie Soyka’s images are undeniably positive, friendly, and most importantly, appealing. Technically, her shots are bright with a naturally-lit look, with a touch of overexposure, and softened a tad throughout with what looks like a bit of diffusement.
However, what really impresses is the demeanor of the ladies she photographs, each relaxed and at ease, genuinely smiling, and enjoying the experience. It’s a quality that really shows through and projects from Soyka’s work, and no doubt to the benefit of her clients’ image and brand.
10. Matt Haas
Like the work of other Milwaukee commercial photographers who specialize in food and drink, the dishes in Matt Haas’s photographs are presented impeccably, in bright sharp colors, very well laid out servings, and often shot from an overhead view.
Unlike many of the others, Haas appears to like purposely adding a dash of realism to his compositions, often adding human elements to the pictures, like the hands of diners, food preparers, and servers. It may be a little thing, but we think Haas is on to something, effectively communicating a sense of authenticity and accessibility to the wonderful, appetizing cuisine he captures.
Business is booming for Milwaukee’s creatives!
Milwaukee is one of the most exciting cities in the northern United States, and that’s definitely true for its arts scene and creative community. The best commercial photographers in Milwaukee combine a strong technical understanding of photography with a keen sense of visual style and understanding of how brands operate. We hope you enjoy checking out these photographers’ portfolios as much as we loved perusing them.