People

Kasey Huber Client Services Director

From a distance, Kasey looks like any normal Portlander, athletic and fun loving, but don’t be fooled! After Foote, Cone and Belding in SF and seven years at the largest shoe company in the world, she has set her mission to help creatives get the job done. Her motto? “Fly and only touch the ground when the desire strikes.” A former client herself, she’s a natural as head of our Client Services. Need to accomplish the impossible on an impossible budget? She’ll make it happen. With Kasey, be careful what you wish for. Because it will happen.

Muffy Kruger Studio Manager

As our studio manager, Muffy has seen and heard it all. No request is too strange or out of the realm of possibility. Growling Grizzly Bear? Sure thing. Build a surf bike (whatever that is)? No problem. A live and kicking mule in the studio? Of course (ask her what happened when the strobe lights went off). The word ‘no’ is not in Muffy’s vocabulary. Except when it comes to her kids. If you need something, if we need something -- Muffy makes that something happen. End of story.

Michael Shay Co-Founder/Photographer

The first thing you should know about Polara Studio co-founder Michael is that he’s a published poet. What does this have to do with taking pictures, you ask? Everything. Imagine Walt Whitman with a Nikon in his hands. An image-maker, not an image-taker, it’s estimated Michael has taken over a million photographs and can make a glob of Crunchy Jif on a Saltine look like something Thomas Keller would overcharge for at The French Laundry. It’s downright spooky.

Steve Cherry Co-Founder/Photographer

Polara Studio co-founder Steve has a knack for capturing the beauty in little moments of the simple things we often overlook -- a crack in the sidewalk or a snow flake landing on the nose of a kitten, for example. This photographic sensibility may come from being surrounded by an eclectic menagerie of animals and pets; dogs, cats, chickens, pigeons, doves, fish and a quarter horse named Moose. You’ve got to figure a person like that looks at the world a little different from the photographer next door.

Derrin Battles Photographer

Derrin's earliest memories are of sitting in the dark watching the carefully crafted slideshows his parents would assemble. He's been telling stories with his various cameras ever since. Quick, efficient, and a problem-solving lifestyle and product photography pro, Derrin knows exactly what needs to be accomplished and how to get there. But like playing jazz, he knows how to improvise when necessary. Needless to say, Derrin’s photography is far more interesting (and faster-paced) than his parent’s slideshows ever were.

Jeremy Dunham Photographer/Videographer

Since age 16, after a computer glitch placed him in a photography class he couldn't get out of, Jeremy has known he’d be a professional photographer. Luck struck twice and Jeremy is not only a photographer here, but also Polara Studio’s principal videographer. With a fondness for lolcats and happiest shooting still lifes of garbage he finds on the sidewalk, as you can imagine, Jeremy brings an interesting perspective to all his projects.

Jay Lawrence Photographer

Jay has worked with us for most of his adult life. Photographer’s assistant, digital tech, Photoshop guru, and now full-blown photographer. Which goes to show, hard work and a good eye pay off at Polara. Jay can shoot just about anything you have in mind but he has an affinity for bikes, cycling and anything related to the sport. Jay adds a fresh perspective to the Polara team of photographers. We’re glad he’s here.

Dana Klein Photographer

Dana is a true Portland native; something almost harder to spot these days than Sasquatch. He interned at Polara and then moved to Costa Rica where he created an architectural photography business shooting resorts and multi-million dollar vacation mansions. In his spare time he started a custom furniture/woodworking shop because yes did we forget to mention, Dana is literally a man who can build anything he sees and he's seen a lot. Just like he learned to bend any tropical wood to his will, he learned to bend light in amazing ways - turning night into day and day into a beautiful tropical twilight. With that energy and vision he can answer any photographic question easily, even in Spanish.

Stephen Thaxton 1st Assistant / Digital-Tech

Stephen has been freelancing for us the past few years. After some extensive, yet gentle so as not to hurt him, arm twisting, he’s joined the Polara crew full-time. In addition to setting up the gear and lighting, keeping the studio organized and making our photographer’s lives immeasurably easier, Stephen is our 1st Assistant/Digital-Tech/Wizard. Though a career in food photography is where he’s headed, it was John Sexton’s work shooting the Space Shuttle that knocked Stephen into our world of cameras, lenses and lights. Lucky for us.