My mother is Puerto Rican, and my father is Polish, so I came up with the term, "Polarican". As you may have guessed, from a very young age I knew I was going to have to forge my own way, because I didn't quite fit neatly into the paths that were already in existence.
I love working with the entrepreneurs, the travelers, and anyone who has something that they want to express about themselves visually. Our clients are Corporate CEO's, stage actors, small business owners, dancers, movers and shakers, big thinkers, and everyone in between. If I can help you reach your goals and dreams, whether it is a business goal or a personal celebration, then I feel that I've served my purpose.
I started my journey by getting a B.F.A. in Photography from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD), and studying abroad at Studio Art Centers International in Florence Italy. I have always been artistic, but never had the opportunity to take a photography class before being introduced to it at MIAD in 1997. This was during the time of film based photography, and when I saw those dark rooms with their mysterious chemicals and the magic of seeing images appear on paper, I was hooked.
Over the last 18 years, I've had a variety of photography jobs and experiences before opening up The Refinery Photo Studio. Past jobs have included:
Most recently, I received official recognition from the City of Milwaukee and Mayor Tom Barrett for my "trailblazing efforts as a business owner"
I've even had the tremendous opportunity to grace the cover of MKE Lifestyle Magazine when I released a photography book called The Milwaukee Beard Book.
I've always loved photographing people. I think there is something inherent about humans and our love of looking at artwork and pictures of other humans. It's just in our nature.
I love traveling because it inspires me and informs me on what is going on in other parts of the country, or even the world! I love practicing Improv, watching films at the Oriental Theater, and drinking very dry martinis.
Retoucher/Digital Ninja/ Drone Pilot
Ryan attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design for Illustration, and we are delighted to have him on board as our Digital Ninja, where he utilizes his drawing and design background during the retouching process.
He is also our Digital Tech when we work on location for portrait sessions.
For the inevitable question of "Can you make me look 20 lbs lighter", this is the guy to bribe; he likes Appleton Estate Rum and Casadores Tequila.
Office Assistant/Fashionista/Task Master
Lena is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and received her degree in Economics and French.
She loves to love to read, workout, and loves fashion/putting outfits together.
She also has an 11-year-old rat terrier named Piper, and enjoys watching "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"