Meet Our Team


Clint Thayer 

Lead Photographer

Clint Thayer is a professional photographer in Madison, Wisconsin. He was raised on the coast of Lake Erie in the small town of Lakeside, Ohio, surrounded by rocky shorelines and powerful storms. It was in this setting that he first honed his observation of motion, light, and human form.

Clint balances technical aspects of digital photography with a keen sense of composition. Majoring in computer science, Clint studied photography at The College of Wooster in Ohio. He also studied under Richard Clarkson in the Summit Series of Sports Photography at the U.S. Olympic National Training Center in Colorado Springs. Clint is a Pro-level member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and the Center for Photography at Madison.  In addition to his photography work, he is a staff photographer at the UW Department of Medicine.  A member of the Mad City Velo bike club, he enjoys biking and spending time with his family - writer and co-founder Robyn Perrin, and their two children. 


Robyn M. Perrin

Lead Writer

Born and raised in Ohio, Robyn fell in love with the clear skies and cold winters of Wisconsin the first time she visited Madison. Her professional experience is eclectic, ranging from life science research to technical writing and marketing. She believes in the power of storytelling about down-to-earth people, and feels that blurring the lines between art, business, and language is where the magic happens.

Robyn is a behind the scenes force for marketing and business development for Focal Flame Photography, focusing on "all-around idea generation." She also helped spark the creation of Focal Flame; noticing the passion that Clint had for action photography and the drama portrayed in his images, she said, "People come alive through your lens. The world needs to see more of that."  

Robyn met Clint Thayer, co-owner of Focal Flame Photography, on the first day of college. They’ve been together ever since. Racing together as a cycling tandem team required a lot of coordination, which is paying dividends as they raise their daughters.


Josh Zytkiewicz

Operations Manager

An Illinois native, Josh acquired his first camera as a senior in high school.  Josh's superpower is planning. How else do you process over 40,000 pictures in 12 hours?

Josh has a Business Management degree from Madison College. He is also an accomplished actor and has written several screenplays.


Mercedes Brandt

Assoc. Photographer

Mercedes, an Iowan transplant fell in love with Madison during her first summer visit in 2017. Since then, she and her wife moved and settled into the Madison community. With a BA in Graphic Technologies from the University of Northern Iowa and a Professional Photography degree from the Portrait Photography Program at Hawkeye Community College, Mercedes has a myriad of abilities and experience. She has been a professional photographer for four years and an artist since she could operate a crayon. Her favorite things to do are sip coffee in a café surround by strangers and traveling on two wheels.

Ellie Thayer

Assistant Photographer

Ellie’s passion for helping people share their story led her to finding her love of the lens at a young age. When she’s not working, you can find her racing the beautiful and numerous running trails around Madison, or enjoying the company of her friends and family.

Dave Kunstman

Assistant Photographer

Whether running alongside you, capturing images of you, or seeing you for injuries and illnesses, Dave thoroughly enjoys the competitive spirit. With nearly 40 years experience in the darkroom and behind the lens, this native of Appleton has been working with Focal Flame since 2016. He considers it a great honor to capture you striving to be your best.

Dave earned his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Laura Kwait Glazer

Photo Editor

Laura has been taking photos as far back as she can remember, chronicling friends and family memories as both a hobbyist and pro. She is currently raising three teenage sons while serving by day as a REACH teacher at Stephens Elementary School. In her spare time, she can be spotted around town practicing yoga, enjoying the outdoors on foot or bike, and playing board games with friends and family.

Brett Stepanik

Assoc. Photographer

Brett is a dedicated, passionate and loving father to his son Angus as well as being an accomplished world record holding bikepacking cyclist. From near death guacamole inhalation at 12,200 feet to sleeping 9 hours and 45 minutes in an entire week he has plenty of outlandish stories of his journeys and will kindly and excitedly ask you for yours as well.

Will Hughes

Assoc. Photographer

A Madison native Will has been with Focal Flame since 2015. He loves music and has been involved in several festivals around the state.
He is a graduate of Carroll University and lives in Milwaukee with his cat, Gunter.

Tom Harcarik

Assistant Photographer

If your streets are free of snow you might have Tom to thank, his day job is with the City of Madison - Streets Division. Tom is also the Chief Pilot at Focal Flame. He’s always been creative and is happy to share stories of his rock band days.
When he’s not fighting snow or flying you can find him at home with his wife Mary and children, Olivia and Harper.

Marc DeCarli

Assistant Photographer

Marc has always been a naturally curious and visual person. He first picked up the camera when he was living in Washington in the early 2000’s. It wasn't until his son was born in 2011 that he started doing portrait photography. Where his son went, Marc went, camera in hand. He's made a career in learning and development and enabling sales organizations in education technology, but when asked what he’d do if money were no object, he says “shooting people, places and things, but mostly people.”  

Rob San Juan

Assistant Photographer

“Dr. Rob” earned a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the UW-Madison, and spent 20 years working as an early childhood development professional. During that time, he discovered his passion for photography. This evolved into a career pivot towards work as a portrait, event, and commercial photographer in the Madison area. Rob’s other important “hats” include road cycling enthusiast, partner to an Aerial Circus Artist, who trains and performs at the Madison Circus Space, and finally proud papa to an amazing Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named “Charlie”.

Alicia Shoberg

Assoc. Videographer

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Alicia graduated from UW-Madison in spring 2018. Armed with a degree in film, but not attracted to the idea of moving to California, she has settled down in Madison and begun to build a career. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, painting, and having long chats with friends over coffee (or, more realistically, chai lattes).

Suellen Adams

Photo Editor

Suellen’s background is long and diverse. She has possessed business cards with such titles as Librarian, Business Coordinator, Renaissance Woman, Business Mom and Assistant Professor.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts, a master’s in Library and Information Studies and a doctorate in Information Studies. She still teaches occasionally. 

Hobbies include running and triathlon…and creating the crazy, but runnable, costumes that she and Glenda are often spotted racing in.  Her superpower is play…a topic that she has explored both personally and academically.

Glenda Adams

Photo Editor

Glenda is a lifelong nerd, and programmed video games for 15 years before moving into iPhone app development.  Her eye for user interface and attention to detail has helped her contribute to Focal Flame both in event photo editing and writing tools used to speed the editing process.  She’s an avid runner and triathlete, has run the Boston Marathon four times and loves running both competitively and in crazy costumes.

Allie Christensen

Photo Editor

Allie is an award-winning graphic designer who placed first in Advertising Design at the 2017 SkillsUSA State and National competitions. She has also won numerous awards for work at the Madison College student newspaper and has completed a 4-month graphic design internship with Edge Consulting Engineers. In her free time, Allie likes to read, crochet, and learn new things about her field.

Jackson Vaughn

Assistant Photographer

Jack spent several years living and traveling internationally before moving to Madison. In his spare time, he is an avid rock climber and skateboarder.

Locations (By appointment only)

West Side Studio / Office


2145 University Ave, Madison WI 53726

(Parking in rear of building)