Posts in Category: branding

Brand Update: photography, website and graphics

Julie was approaching her 10-year anniversary and wanted her visuals to reflect the modern, tech-savvy clientele she’s recruiting. It’s not often that I get to create/update a brand identity with design and visuals, so I jumped at the opportunity.

We systematically upgraded her logo, website, social media channels and print materials to reflect her bold, clean, professional but personalized style. We blocked out a day to shoot 5 different setups as well as city backplates to incorporate quotes for a cohesive, bold look.


  • BES Website by Jen Serena
    BES Website by Jen Serena
  • BES Website by Jen Serena
    BES Website by Jen Serena
  • BES Design by Jen Serena
    BES Design by Jen Serena





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  • Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena
    Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena
  • Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena
    Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena
  • Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena
    Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena



MANMADE: craftsmen on Esquire

I’m not gonna lie… my husband is a REALLY talented guy.
His lifestyle pieces go beyond honest and thoughtful; they make you want to be there.
It probably stems from from the fact that he truly cares about his subjects (whether it’s a person, a product or a place) and will spend countless hours figuring out the best ways to tell their story (on budget and in time) in a unique way.

That’s why I was thrilled (and thought him the obvious choice) to be tapped as Director for Esquire Network’s MANMADE pieces.

Sharing other artisans’ stories… it’s obviously his passion as he’s created several award-winning shorts as personal projects. Check out his Ahrtuh-zen pieces: Dave Lefner and Jeremy Thomas where he explores the process behind their art and CZAPPA: a discussion about what it takes for one man to be an artist. In each of these pieces, like in MANMADE, the artist and their work helps dictate the story. Layering stills to show linocut in Lefner, using the deliberate pacing of the artisan and his craft in Thomas, and building stop motion segments to honor the builder in CZAPPA.

True, the MANMADE spots were different as each piece had to meet client needs as well as tell the story, but that’s also what makes them so great. To create compelling, creative stories in a quick, commercial environment, now that’s special. Ric is able to help these artisans share their craft and present them all in unique ways – just like the artists they’re portraying.

I know I’m biased. I not only get to see the beautiful end product, but also all the time, care and expertise Ric puts into each project – for the client, the subjects, and the creative team working with him.

…and maybe it’s just me, but I think it shows.

MANMADE: RISING SUN: Brought to you by Esquire Network & Samuel Adams, this sixty second on-air spot features Mike Hodis, owner and designer of Rising Sun & Co, as he discusses the importance of craftsmanship.


MANMADE: DEUS: Brought to you by Esquire Network & Samuel Adams, this sixty second on-air spot features Michael Woolaway, Design Director at Deus Ex Machina, as he discusses the importance of craftsmanship.


MANMADE: WHYRHYMER: Brought to you by Esquire Network & Samuel Adams, this sixty second on-air spot features designer & woodworker, Brandon Morrison, as he discusses the importance of craftsmanship.



Presented by Sam Adams & Esquire Network, these sixty second on-air spots features Michael Woolaway, Design Director at Deus Ex Machina, Mike Hodis, Owner and Designer at Rising Sun Denim and Brandon Morrison, Owner and Craftsman at Whyhymer Furniture, as they discuss the importance of craftsmanship.
Directed by Ric Serena
Creative Director/Writer – Patrick Condo
Produced by Moving Parts, Inc.
Producer: Brett Marx
Director of Photography: Chuck Ozeas
Edited by Jack Douglas (Rising Sun & Wyhymer) & Ric Serena (Deus)
Post Production Sound Mix by John Kelly
Titles by Chris Arens
Location Sound: Durand Trench



I SCREAM for ice cream: photography campaign


“I SCREAM” was created for a Quenelle, a boutique ice cream shop that has been expanding their presence with new locations – and thanks to the quality of their product – has limited marketing efforts.

This creative commercial photography campaign would give them a high-end polished look worthy of their product, infused with the delight that ice cream brings. We were ultimately able to create a campaign over many different mediums from one half-day shoot. A delicious success!


THE SHOOT: We invited Quenelle customers (and brought in a few select models to round out the diversity) to join us for a day of screams and smiles in front of the camera. It was an infectious day of fun – and we added the element of animated GIFs to the setups to 1) expand the marketing usage and 2) increase the “fun” of the piece. The great side effect was that it helped the non-models feel instantly more comfortable as they had an action to complete.

2-girls 2Thumbs-up Updown Spin2




{click on the images to animate them}







We felt the GIFs captured the energy so well, that we used them to animate the main tiled images, which was an added benefit as so many of the shots were worthy of publishing, we needed 3 groupings to accomplish it.









ON THE TECH SIDE: In order to quickly accommodate 32 people of varying ages and group sizes, we shot on white sic – enabling me to manipulate the color schemes more quickly in post for each setup.

THANKS: Huge props to Producer Pam Elliott for seamlessly scheduling model and non-model alike, and keeping the atmosphere fun and friendly. Thanks also to our intern Trevor Dalton and to Ric Serena who assisted on set, ran B camera grabbing some video footage of the fun, and were both forced to eat a few servings of ice cream as well. Kudos to Bobby Lory who quickly drew the Quenelle logo so that all participants could leave their mark .

And it couldn’t have been possible without Quenelle, the models and John, who hand-scooped each artistic serving.

A delicious day!

At the Barbershop

On a recent shoot I directed for Esquire Network and Schick, it became very clear to me during the location scout that the concept presented to our production team at Moving Parts, Inc. was one that required a highly stylized approach on a limited budget.  Part of accomplishing that goal meant communicating, as clearly as possible, what we were trying to accomplish so the entire team was on board before we ever hit record on the cameras.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any money in the budget to hire a storyboard artist, so I took on the task of drawing boards and constructing an animatic of the spot to present to everyone during our tech scout.

The other big challenge was creating a specific look for the barbershop beyond what the practical location had to offer.  Producer James Uribe did a wonderful job of bringing together a top notch team for the job.  Hats off to Keith Mitchell and his team for dressing the space beyond recognition and to to DP Byron Shah and his team for lighting us the perfect mood.  On top of that, we had to create the bathroom set in the existing barbershop, against the existing mirror, which require a few flats and a dramatic lighting shift.

Combine those elements with an excellent cast curated by Esquire creatives, Omeed Boghraty and Jedd Scher, and we were able to shoot every frame I boarded on schedule (on a hot day, in a space with no AC and all windows blacked out). Not every frame made the final cut as the script changed a bit, but the animatic process helped the shoot move efficiently.

On a side note, Generation Gap, the barbershop quartet, was a fun addition on and off camera, providing entertainment to the crew in between takes.

  • setlife
  • Ric working with lead actor
  • Ric with Cast
  • Producer James Uribe standing in
  • Omeed Bogharty
  • BQ Singing to crew

Images that MOVE

Audrey K Boutique was chosen to be one of the vendors for the Disneyland Dapper Day Expo… quite an honor! And one that she needed to capitalize on.

We had a very short timeframe to create an image that would stand out amongst the competition to showcase her beautiful, retro, but somewhat edgy style. She chose a model that could pull off a retro look and her original clothing designs, and I suggested instead of making a single static image, that we create an animated GIF to pull the viewers’ eye.


(click on the image to start animation.) 


Plus, we got a few awesome stills while we were at it.


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BEHIND THE SCENES NOTE: With our quick turn-around and limited pre-pro, we opted to shoot on white so we could decide the best dress & action on set and add background color and logo in post. Definitely a good choice!

MODEL: Winter Fate
WARDROBE: Audrey K Boutique


Contact Jen (  818.568.4976) for ideas on how to creatively tell your photography story within your budget

See more of Jen’s creative commercial work

HoMEGRoWN: KleanSpa

We’ve been pretty busy around here, but there are still more businesses to share from our HoMEGRoWN photo series! So, in honor of National Small Business Week, here’s the latest… this time on Jennifer Hardaway at KleanSpa.

First, I have to admit, I’ve been dying to make my own scent ever since I stepped into the shop. That DIY attitude, helped by a scent mixologist (I think I just invented a title) could only mean great things.

Jenn is an incredible salesperson. Not because she’s big on sales, but because she obviously LOVES her products. And they actually hold up to all of the excitement! From innovative scents in perfumes, colognes, soaps and lotions, KleanSpa puts you in the scentual driver’s seat.

I asked her for a word of advice on starting your own business, and here’s what she said:


Our conceptual image features a blending of Orange Blossom and Sandalwood.  Makeup artists had fun gluing on earthy materials onto our model, and the finished product is full of tiny details that beg to be found.

In her tiny workroom, it was a great challenge to keep everything as light, airy and colorful as she, and her business are. I think we absolutely got it! all the way down to incorporating her orange & green colors in the concept image.




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PHOTOGRAPHER:  Jen Serena, Serena Creative

MODELS:  Elle Jane Hounsell &  Chris Pavlik

HAIR & MAKEUP:  Alexandria Storm & Miss Cassanova

WARDROBE STYLING:  Drelyn, Beyond Image


Learn more about the HoMEGRoWN project here.

In Print

It’s always exciting to see your work in a new light, and there’s something magical about seeing your work come alive in print.

Images and visuals we created for The Muir Project and our documentary, Mile, Mile & a Half, are now being reborn as canvas prints are being made, and promotional DVDs and packages.

Check out:

the first 20×60″ print for one of the images from the trail (to be used in our upcoming A16 exhibit on 7.6. It was on one of the rare rainy days, but has such a lovely dream-like quality.:


and the temp logo, DVDs for the rough cut & business cards:


When you’re able to see your work in a new way, it keeps it all fresh.

So here’s to new beginnings and coming to life IN PRINT!



It Was A very Good Year

File it under the category “Better Late Than Never.”  Just barely mailing before the end of February (thank goodness it was a Leap Year) we sent out our New Year’s cards.

It’s always fun to reflect on the creative and personal projects we were able to produce throughout the year, and these cards allow us to do that, while we start to think about where we want to go in the year ahead. It’s also time-consuming… hence the oh-so-late mailing.

Ric has been directing for new clients and we’ve had the opportunity to work together on a few more assignments. OurJMT: The Muir Project was a big undertaking in 2011 and will continue to be a focus for us this year. The delightful Iz continues to amaze and enchant us, and inspires us to explore more, try new ideas and just be better people. Hopefully, we are up to the challenge.



TY 2011

Mile… Mile & A Half

We did not leave adventure on the John Muir Trail.  Today, one year after we secured the permits for our amazing adventure last July, we’re releasing the first official trailer for our documentary, MILE…MILE & A HALF.


Another Step Closer


We’ve officially begun editing the full-length documentary “Mile… Mile & A Half” about our journey along the John Muir Trail.

To keep the excitement building, and give more insight for potential sponsors, we released a Behind the Scenes featurette this week. It’s really quite a thrill to see the great response we’ve already received.

May it continue to inspire people to get out there!

Edited by: Jason FItzpatrick

Music Accreditation

Music: Emoto Music

Composer: Paul Bessenbacher

Executive Producer: Paul Schultz

Music Supervisor: Lindsay Froemke