Crafting employment that inspires

Ryan Engstrom took this photograph at Pigeon Point Lighthouse.

Spacecrafting, a real estate photography and video firm, employs six former DCTC students

After noticing a lack of quality real estate photography and video services in the Twin Cities, Mike McCaw established Spacecrafting in 2006. Since its inception, the company has gone on to photograph more than 100,000 properties in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

The company started humbly, with just three people. However, the company’s emphasis on delivering the best photographic experience, quickly gained Spacecrafting a reputation as the premier source for architectural imagery and the company grew. Now in its tenth year, Spacecrafting employs 30.

“It’s grown pretty tremendously,” said Jenny Terrell, Director of Sales and Marketing.

Dakota County Technical College alum Ryan Engstrom joined the Spacecrafting team five years ago. A photo editor, Ryan said he handles marketing materials and image processing for the properties the company shoots.


Ryan Engstrom works as a photo editor at Spacecrafting. In his spare time, he is an avid landscape photographer.

Shortly after graduating from DCTC with degrees in graphic design and electronic publishing, Ryan came across a position looking for a Photoshop guru. Ryan said the position was for someone with heavy Photoshop skills with a strong emphasis in photography.

“It was the perfect fit for my skill set,” said Ryan.

Ryan was the first DCTC employee to be hired by Spacecrafting, but not the last. In fact the company employs five other former DCTC students including Peter Benson, Ben Colvin, Rob Grosse, Ben Olson and Heather Neurer.

Jenny said Spacecrafting has hired former DCTC students because they come out of school having the technical knowledge they need to adapt quickly to the industry.

“It is a fast moving industry and we expect a lot from our photographers and editors,” said Jenny.

To help the next generation of photographers, Jenny and other Spacecrafting employees have shared their vast knowledge and experience with DCTC students through presentations and senior portfolio review critiques.

While Spacecrafting has high expectations, Jenny said the company also supports its employees in seeking out their creative passions. Many Spacecrafting employees and independent contractors have artistic interests outside of their professional responsibilities.

For Ryan that passion is landscape photography. An adventure loving, outdoor enthusiast Ryan said he tries to get in 20-40 trips in a year. He also spends countless hours processing images, plus website and social media management for his landscape work. He displays his work at

“There are so many beautiful and amazing places in the world. I have been to hundreds of great locations and I have only scratched the surface of what is out there to be photographed,” said Ryan.

For his efforts, Ryan has been recognized internationally. In 2015, Ryan received four silver and one bronze award for his five entries into the 2015 Epson International Pano Awards.

“I entered the competition to see how my work stacks up with some of the other landscapers out there especially those I respect and look up to,” said Ryan.

Turns out it ranks up toward the top. The bronze awards are given to the top 33 percent, silver top 10 percent and gold two percent.

Whether capturing the Grand Tetons or editing a photo to perfectly capture the essence of a space, Ryan said he’s thankful for the education he received at DCTC.

“The education I received was invaluable,” said Ryan.

Be sure to explore the excellent Graphic Design Technology and Photographic Technology programs at DCTC to learn how you too can craft your creativity!