Get to know us

Meet The Team

Neil Kiekhofer

Owner, co-founder

Self-denoting Chief Empowerment Officer, Neil’s true mission is to support his team in growth as professionals and individuals.

As a photographer and videographer, he is endlessly enthusiastic about storytelling. Constantly challenging himself to find new, innovative ways to tell others’ stories, whether it’s through new technology or an interviewing technique.

Dubbed by some as the ‘Papa Bear of Milwaukee’, he is a very active member of the community, most notably as a philanthropist with United Way.

He is a proud United Way P5 Winner, an award that annually highlights Southeastern Wisconsin individuals who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy.

His twin kids keep him on his toes. Along with his wife, Cheryl, you can find them enjoying an art museum trip, a Marvel movie night, cheering on the Bucks, volunteering, or picking up a dozen paczkis on Fat Tuesday.

Amanda Press

Photographer, production artist

Amanda is Front Room’s headshot master but her broad skill set makes her an incredible addition to this talented team. Her background in dance and theater gives her insight into body movement, making her exceptional at directing you into poses that look natural and make you look fabulous.

Her clients love her confidence, knowledge, and ability to make everything fun. She thrives on the high-energy experiences she often finds herself in as a photographer. She admits some of her best photos have come from the unexpected moments and raw emotion that no one could have planned, and it’s that spontaneity that she loves.

Amanda is an animal lover with a bird, two (crazy) beagles, two cats, and often a foster cat (or two) at home who keep her on her toes. She is a magnet for lost pets — we think they recognize her good heart and sunny disposition.

She loves red wine, dark beer, chocolate, and cheese. She’s a creative through and through, making lots of things in her free time including puppets, awesome up-cycled furniture, and flower arrangements. She’s mad about stories, in general. From audiobooks, to live theater performances, cinematic TV series, she loves it all.

Kelly Aunkst

Operations manager, miracle worker

Kelly is truly the lifeblood of Front Room Studios. Her background in art and photography paired with her love of process and problem solving makes her uniquely qualified to manage and oversee all the studio’s operations.

An incredibly hard worker, she thrives in managing all the logistics and complexities of booking, planning, and scheduling thousands of sessions per year. Known by many as the office mother-hen, her kindness, and warmhearted nature is evident to anyone who meets her.

Outside of work, she’s a mother of two boys, an award-winning pie baker, and always up for trying wild, new things. Fun fact — she spent many years on the Brew City Bruisers roller derby team.

She’s a sucker for a good story, both telling one and hearing one. Ask her about how she met her husband for a good one!

Lidia Sharapova


An eternal optimist, Lidia explores, plays, and laughs with gusto. Her clients love her raw excitement for photography, passion for storytelling, and the international lens through which she views life.

Her story begins in Russia where her wanderlust led her all over Europe until love finally landed her in Wisconsin. Even with an impressive travel history, we adore her enthusiasm for the beauty and inspiration she finds everywhere she goes.

Lidia is naturally curious, always ready for an adventure, and will do whatever it takes to get the shot. As she says, “I like to travel, take photos, and laugh. These three things I do very well”.

Outside of work, she is passionate about street photography. She loves being able to witness and capture incredible unexpected moments that could never have been staged.