Photographing a Team

Jason Spidle
December 1, 2020

A cornerstone of the Foundry employee experience is something our President, Kurt Schmidt, once said during an all-staff meeting: “We want everyone to bring their whole selves to work here.” Not only is it vital that we communicate that to every employee at Foundry, we also want to share that message with potential employees, prospective clients, and anyone else who might happen upon the about page on our website. With that in mind, we set out to redesign our about page to more fully showcase the talented and diverse team of designers, developers, and producers that compose Foundry.

To get started, our design team met with the photographer and leadership to discuss aesthetic directions and define a visual language for photography featured on the public site.  A significant component of that review was creating a mood board featuring inspiration and references collected by our design co-founder and CEO, Nils Hansen.

We noticed a preference for high contrast, polished imagery that demonstrated distinct light sources and added depth with shadows in examining photography on similarly service-oriented and customer-focused agency websites. It was a style we were attracted to because it connotes intentionality and emphasizes the subject of the photo. For process-oriented images, we leaned toward images that felt ephemeral, conceptual, and emotional. Work in progress is less defined and can change direction, but the spirit of what we do remains constant.

To validate the design direction, our photographer planned our lighting setup using the software set.a.light 3D. Though we were immensely creeped out by the uncanny valley figures depicted in the app, the tool proved useful for preparing the shoot. It helped our photographer understand our visual intentions and simplified setup with minimal equipment. It will also allow us to easily recreate the staff photos with other photographers when we inevitably hire more Foundry Folk in the future.

Our goal was to showcase the people of Foundry because ultimately, our people are Foundry. Portrait photography can be uncomfortable for some folks, and that discomfort occasionally proves detrimental to neutral, candid captures. Our photographer did a great job of collaborating with each employee and giving them clear guidance throughout the shoot. For some, this meant bringing a playlist or a prop that helped them express themselves, while others felt most natural by engaging in conversation or quickly moving through a pre-planned shot list. The variety you see is a product of our personalities, creativity, and portrays how we approach our work.

Ready to see the results of all this effort? Check out the about page and meet our whole team of makers.


This is Benke (pronounced ben•kuh). He's a one year old rescue. He's afraid of big bags and loves cuddling on the couch.

- Travis Meyer

Kuri (Maori for dog)

Kuri acts more like a dog than a cat. She once found her way into a drywall resulting in us having to cut through our wall to get her out. She has lived in several countries, and 9 different houses/apartments with me.

- Per Kvanbeck

Flynn or Flynnigan

At the first glance, he may appear a tad dopey, but once you get to know him you see that his charm is that he is a love-able lug that just wants to be a part of the pack and please his humans. Getting up there in years, you will find him asleep in whatever room the rest of his humans are in.

- Leana Stone

Lou and Winnie

This pair of energetic pups love to bark at seemingly nothing. With kids around and a constant need to eat anything that hits the floor, you will often find Lou with food somewhere in his fur or Winnie with the occasional popcorn bag on her head.

- Joe De Jarnett

Nori, Dee, and Janet

Here’s my cool, calm, and collected bunch. This is Nori (a Norfolk Island Pine – left), Dee (a Bird of Paradise – back), and Janet (a Dracaena Janet Craig – right). Despite their tropical roots, they seem to have adjusted nicely to their Minnesota home.

- Kelsey Schwalbach


Cabela enjoys long walks in the park, hunting for pheasants, grouse and crumbs off the floor. She can nap just about anywhere but she is a champion dock jumper. Flying through the air at the ol’ age of 10 just makes makes her feel like a young pup!

- Sarah Bruss


This is Groucho, my adopted stray cat (we checked for previous families.) He started following me while I was walking our dog. We fed him for a winter, a summer, and another winter, and only then he finally decided to let us bring him inside. This is a particularly glorious BLEP he gifted me that lasted several minutes.

- David Middlecamp


This is Jerry. I mean what else can I say? We love him and are glad he is faring well, even while at our Foundry office.

- Foundry Office


Hunter was found alone in the middle of a freeway when she was 8 weeks old. She’s a year and half old german shepherd/chow mix. She enjoys attention more than anything: from dogs, cats, people, you name it, she wants to be your friend. Her favorite toys are extra small...preferably cat toys.

- Mika Albornoz


Meet my dog. She makes no effort to help around the house, and gets depressed on car rides. Her Olympic level shedding is world renowned. When she’s not trying to get me to play instead of work, she sleeps. And sleeps. Her hobbies include barking at people we pass on walks, removing her toys from the bin and evenly distributing around my office, and tricking me into feeding her dinner twice.

- Robert Nelson


As much as I hate to admit it, he runs the house. He even has his own bedroom and sleeps all day on his queen-sized bed. When he’s awake, he wrestles with his brother, but it’s hard to tell whether or not he’s having fun. He also yells at his humans constantly for food when his bowl is clearly full. He won’t eat if he even sees a speck at the bottom of the bowl. You know, cats.

- Ashley Kim


Together with Io and Callisto (Europa's cat siblings) they almost complete the set of Jupiter's four Galilean moons. We Just need Ganymede...

- Nils Hansen

Rachel and Oliver

When they’re not chasing each other in circles around the apartment, Oliver enjoys sitting on laps and Rachel enjoys biting feet. Rachel uses her extra thumb to get an exceptionally good grip to scratch furniture, while Oliver prefers to serenade us in the middle of the night with a variety of his greatest hits, including “Mrreeeeww” and “Brrrrwwoowww”.

- Claudio Rivera


This is Podrick. He’s a happy, smart, and stubborn corgi with a passion for blueberries (and anything that his grandma sneaks him, really.) He prefers humans over dogs, but he’s pretty good when it comes to the ladies. In his free time, he enjoys destroying toys, harassing his brother, napping on the couch and borking at nonexistent sounds.

- Ashley Kim

Emerson and Noodle

No introduction required.

- Evan Kearney


This is Baymax. We have tried multiple times to grow our favorite herbs and have failed miserably... To our rescue is our new buddy, that helps us grow our herbs and vegetables. With Baymax’s help, we hope to have cilantro to add to our dinners!

- Andy Stone


This is Pudd’nhead. She is a #cat.
- Jason Spidle

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Jason Spidle

Director of Design Operations

A self-styled product therapist, Jason leads our talented team of product designers in uncovering digital solutions both obvious and unexpected. When he’s not sharing his latest discovery in the world of digital tools, you can find Jason working on the next theme song for Foundry with his band.

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