Your Midwest Photographer / My Story

Personal

Hi, I’m Joy!! People ask me how long I have been doing photography and if I was always passionate about it. However, my journey isn’t exactly easy to describe as moving into this profession started when I was in the fourth grade. I remember staring at the desktop backgrounds of my grandparent’s computer – the image of fall leaves on a path and the feeling that image invoked within me. At the time, I didn’t know that image was photographed by a person, however, once I realized what photography was, I became obsessed with capturing images of my own. At the time, we only had an old Minolta Film Camera at my house, so I begged my dad for a Sony Point and Shoot. This was a big ask as I didn’t grow up with much. Of course, I took photos of flowers, trees and nature, but slowly started experimenting with self portraits.

I wasn’t popular in school, however, when I posted self portraits, even the popular kids were impressed by what I was able to capture. At the time, though, I thought I was just making myself look better than how I actually looked. I loved having creative outlets. I blogged, made Youtube videos, took extra art classes in school, and continued taking photos on the Sony and film camera until I was in my Freshman year of high school. Pictured below is a photo I took on film that I’m still really proud of. I was in high school when I took this photo!

I became more involved with a local ministry my junior year of high school, but during my senior year, I was able to be a part of our school’s Year Book class. When I picked up my first Canon DSLR, I was smitten. Then, I went home and found my dream camera – a Canon 7D. Year book taught me how to use Photoshop, design, and edit images at a basic level. I made it my personal mission to creative beautifully composed images for sports that were usually looked over. 

When I graduated and became an intern for a local ministry, I was immediately inducted into the design and photography team. I created designs for the ministry’s website and took photos for most of their events. I was taking photos for an event when I put my camera in manual mode for the very first time. While in the internship, I realized I wanted to make photography my career. However, the needs of the ministry required me to put my camera away for most of the time I was there. 

The summer before my last year of the interning, I worked 103 hours at McDonalds to buy a camera of my own – A Canon 6D. I met Kieran that summer, we started dating 6 months later, and then we were married April 2018. 

Wedding photography was always what I was most passionate about, however, I started out as a wedding videographer. I was a wedding videographer for six weddings in 2016-2017 before I was the lead photographer for my very first wedding in 2018. Once I graduated college with a degree in ministry, I set up my Facebook and Instagram page and started posting content. My business grew slowly until I started investing in education in 2021. Since then, I have taken multiple online courses revolving around lighting, flash photography, composition, business, film photography, and more. I am truly blessed to be able to call this my job.

All the things that I was passionate about as a seventh grader with a Sony Point and Shoot made up the foundation of how I approach photography now. I love images that invoke a feeling. I take a simple approach and won’t overcomplicate things for you. I love a good Black and White Image that freezes a feeling. I also want you to feel comfortable. I strive to connect with each one of my clients in a way that is personal to them – so that their photos are personal to them. My style is documentary, editorial and classy. I create images that are more true-to-life while also enhancing your natural beauty! 

As for me, there are so many things in life I love – Taylor Swift, decorating, reading, writing, spending time with my people, cozy sweaters, a warm cup of coffee, deep conversations and loving people well.

If you read this far, you’re a rockstar! Thanks for getting to know me – now tell me alllll about you!

-Joy