When I (Joel) was in eighth grade, I developed a passion for taking pictures. In ninth grade, I traveled to Japan to participate in an international scout jamboree. In high school and college I had the opportunity to guide wilderness canoe adventures through scouting in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota/Southern Canada.
Out of these passions and leadership skills, I have been operating a successful studio for more than twenty years that serves the advertising industry. This involves coordinating, producing and photographing national and international campaigns for clients on a high level; often times with complicated location logistics. In 2007, I birthed the idea of and set in motion the collaboration for Minnesota’s first-ever awareness campaign on human trafficking for the non-profit organization Not For Sale Campaign. I was the director of photography for what became the powerful television pubic service announcement spot, which won a Clio Award (an advertising equivalent of a Grammy) and has been shown in over 90 countries.
Through the filming experience of this campaign, there was a desire to do more. So my wife, Kim and I founded the non-profit, Hope & Rescue Foundation, to apply the media production experience for bringing awareness and prevention programs to address the global pandemic of human trafficking that touches every area of our society – whether we no it or not.
In 2014, I made a business name change from Joel Sheagren Photography, Inc. to SAM IN A CAN [Productions] to reflect the ever-increasing transmedia and film production projects I was producing. In 2015, SAM IN A CAN, produced and filmed a documentary titled, CRACKED ICE, that is being distributed globally.
Several film projects are now in production at various stages – client projects, episodic productions, social-action concerns, and feature film productions.