The Refinery is a photography studio unlike any other. Based in the historic Railway Exchange Building in Downtown Milwaukee and run by award-winning photographer Jessica Kaminski, the core goal/mission of the studio is simple: Rethink Portraiture. The Refinery was created to be a unique creative environment curated to meet clients’ varying photographic needs. Whether it is headshots for career advancement, highlighting the power of your team, celebrating an important milestone or creating a fantasy persona to inhabit - The Refinery will work with you to create not only a portrait to love, but one that is a timeless representation of your best self.
Working with Jessica, clients are encouraged to think outside the box with their sessions and with the help of The Refinery team, take ideas up a notch to create professional and original images.
"A portrait is not made in the camera, but on either side of it" - Edward Steichen
Photographer Jessica Kaminski
Award-winning photographer Jessica Kaminski is someone who believes, quite literally, in the big picture. When she isn’t busy helping put Milwaukee in the national spotlight with her narrative yet noir infused imagery used in the marketing campaign for the Milwaukee Ballet, directing a team of photographers to document the rise of the Milwaukee Film Festival, or working as art director on the film, The Surface highlighting why living in the Midwest is indeed best - she is dedicating herself to portraiture. She is at heart an adventurer and uses her love of photography to take her all over the world.
Through her lens and unwavering dedication to creating innovative lighting technique, Jessica is able to bring out the best in her clients and has over the past fifteen years photographed everyone from NBA players, actors, principal dancers, to pilots and entrepreneurs. Her work has taken her on shoots from music festival Bonnaroo to all the best Southern food joints in Chicago. This is only the beginning, as Jessica has set her sights on curating international portraiture.
These days you can find Jessica shooting portraits, honing her trademark lighting, creating impactful headshots for actors and growing corporations, and developing her latest portrait project, Alter Egos. The men featured in these portraits are given the opportunity to explore masculinity and male identity in dramatic environments which ultimately capture their inner heroes.
Producer Kate Foster
Kate Foster knows how to adapt to any situation. Born in Milwaukee, WI she jumped to Frankfurt, Germany her senior year in high school, and driven by a passion for story and a thirst for adventure, found herself living in Europe for the next ten years. Kate attended the Richmond International University in London to pursue a BA in Comparative Literature & Theater, travelling as much as possible between courses. Then as her family began to grow, she and her German-British hubby packed up and came home to Wisconsin to raise their two rockstar daughters. Kate has inhabited many roles with grace and precision: She is an actor, writer & our producer.
Besides her breadth of worldly experience and her love of storytelling and travel, she is a huge fan of stand-up comedy (and tequila;), making Kate a natural coordinator for Jessica Kaminski. Any juggling of schedule, client request, questions, assistance during shoots, last minute prop creation or changes needed- Kate handles every situation without missing a beat or breaking a sweat, so the client and Jessica can focus on their session uninterrupted. Have any questions? Kate is your go-to-person when at The Refinery and is up to the task.