Get To Know Duluth Photographer: Mad Chicken Studio

Mad Chicken Studio
You know when you’re scrolling through Facebook and are taken aback by an adorable baby or wedding photo captured at just the right moment? You might have Jes Hayes of Mad Chicken Studio to thank for that.

Jes has been capturing such moments for 8 years under the Mad Chicken Studio name, and is also the photographer for our Duluth Loves Local shoots.

Let’s hear more about her.
How did you get started?

“When my husband and I started dating, I lived in the Twin Cities and only saw him on the weekends. Photography is what is what we did when we were together. We both had Minolta film cameras. It was something fun that we really bonded over.”

Why did you choose Duluth?

“Even though I grew up in the cities, the first time I had ever been to Duluth was when I was 22. It was an accident. My mom and I were heading to the cabin, and she missed the turn. I remember her yelling (she doesn’t do well with getting lost), and all I could say was, ‘Is that Lake Superior?’  I was in awe.”

“I met my husband that night. He grew up in Hermantown, so on our first official date, he took me flying over the lake. I was hooked. After about a year of dating, we finally had the talk about moving in together, and it was a no brainer for me. I wanted to live here.”
What is one thing your business is primarily known for?
“Besides having a unique name? I’m known for providing a full service to my clients. We help with everything from what to wear, to directing them during a session, to deciding what images to hang where, to finally receiving a final product ready to hang or display in your home.”
What is your favorite thing about Duluth?
“Being that I am from a suburb in the cities, one thing that drew me in to Duluth was the small town feel in a bigger city. You can be right in the heart of the city, and thirty minutes later, you can be in the middle of the woods, or two minutes away from the biggest lake in the world.”
What do you think about the current Duluth economy?
“One thing that I have noticed recently are all of the small businesses popping up and succeeding.  Between all the breweries, restaurants, coffee and teashops, it is really great to see the support that all of the businesses are getting from the Duluth community.  I am honored to be a part of that.”
What would be your advice to someone thinking about opening a new business in Duluth?
“Get involved with the community. Join organizations like the Duluth Chamber or a local BNI chapter. I’ve discovered that the Duluth community wants to see you. They want to meet who they are working with in some way or another.”
Favorite place to eat in Duluth?
“I recently had Va Bene for the first time (I know, I know). Their food is amazing!”

Favorite local business in Duluth: 

“I may be a little biased because I share an entry way with them, but I promise you that the ladies at Saffron and Grey are the best. They are the best florists I’ve ever seen, and they come from a really wonderful family. You always feel welcome when you walk in there.”

Favorite Duluth “hidden gem”?
“My husband and I have started hiking small portions of the Superior Hiking Trail. I know he really enjoys it and it is time that we can spend together with our dogs. I usually find that I am the most inspired when we are all together hiking. Even though I have ended up with some really gnarly bruises from slipping and falling!”