I met Joy Marie in 2006, and I must admit she is one of the most talented photographers I have ever met. She is an awesome mom, fantastic wife, and such a classy professional. Most of all, she is an amazing photographer. She is ambitious & creative (have you checked out her new project, Joah Love?), and truly has a heart of gold. I have said this before, but I can honestly sit & go through her blog & portfolio for hours, in awe, "oohing" & "aahing" over the stunning shots she is able to get. The life & intimacy she captures in her photos are incredible. Her eye for detail is flawless. She makes it look so easy. She will take photos in the most random places, where people think "what is she thinking?" or "why doesn't she shoot them over there in the pretty flowers?" Trust her... seriously, she is amazing, and I'm so fortunate to call her my friend. I know you graduated from UCLA with a fine arts degree, so you're obviously artistically talented, but why did you choose photography? How did you get started in being a photographer? I ended up doing photography for two reasons. First, since I was a fine art painter, I needed to photograph my subject matter in order to paint it. That's when I first fell in love with photography. Secondly, when I became pregnant with my first son, I could no longer spend 12-15 hours per day sitting in front of a canvas, so photography became a natural alternative.
How long have you been doing photography full-time? I've been doing photography full-time for 10 years now.
How do you balance your family & work? It's a tough balancing act, but I force myself to carve out time for my husband and three boys. We also try to do random, spontaneous things together. Last summer we decided to all drive across the country together and spend six weeks hanging out on the west coast. We had a blast! Where do you get your inspiration? I'm inspired by life in motion! Whether it's my four-year-old telling me he loves me "85 tall" or watching the amazing talent in the Broadway show, Wicked, it all inspires me to take note of those special moments and work hard to translate that into capturing the special moments that occur between two people in love.
How would you describe the style of your photographs? How is it different / similar from your personal style? It's funny because I've never really described my style, but everyone else seems to describe it for me as sexy, artsy, & edgy. I think it's a little different from my personal style in that I'm not the kind of person who tries to be sexy & sultry day in & day out, yet every time I end up with a couple and a camera, the shoot inevitably ends up leaning towards sexy & sultry.
Where is your favorite location to shoot? I love shooting anywhere with lots of contrast & texture. I think I sometimes shock my clients because instead of taking them to a scenic park with nice flowers, I'm saying, "Let's go down to this crusty industrial area and shoot in this abandoned warehouse with your wedding dress! I promise we wont get it dirty!"
What do you love most about your job? I love that I get to meet and interact with so many different kinds of people, and be privy to so many incredible life stories.
What do you hate most about what you do? Having to be away from my hubby and the three boys since I'm now starting to travel the world for weddings.
If you were to have your wedding day all over again, where would you have it & what would you do differently? If I were to have my wedding over again, the wedding itself would be down at the courthouse for $75, and the rest of the budget would be spent on two weeks in Europe, and while in Europe, I would hire the best photographer possible to shoot us for a couple of days in our wedding attire at some of the most amazing locations in the world.
What is your pet peeve when shooting? My biggest pet peeve is gung-ho family members who think they're professional photographers and insist on either shooting every scenario I set up, or end up being in nearly every frame because they're shooting in the wrong place at the wrong time throughout the day.
Advice to any couples when selecting a photographer. The most important piece of advise I could give a couple is to get to know a potential photographer on a personal level first. It's very difficult to start a rapport when a bride calls and immediately begins running through a list of questions she's pulled off a bridal website. I'm more interested in finding out how her and her fiance met, what the proposal was like, etc. than telling her about my degree from UCLA. If more couples took a personal approach to hiring their photographer, I think they'd be a lot happier on their wedding day because the photographer is someone you're going to spend at least 10-12 hours with on the most important day of your life, so a personality match is very important.
Do you notice any trends when it comes to wedding photography? If so, what is it? What wedding trend are you loving right now? I'm noticing that a lot of couples have made the decision that the photography is most important to them, so they start with that and build everything else around it, including the location, time of year, wedding day timeline, etc. I love that because that means they're taking my creativity into consideration, and have basically said, "Help us build our special day around your creativity, so we can get images that we'll love for a lifetime. I love that! I'm also loving the trend of couples wanting to do a "day after shoot" where there are no time constraints & no rules, and we can hit some really cool locations and get some amazing images that when coupled with their wedding day pictures, make for an incredible collection of memories.
What describes you & your style the best: : signature drink a smooth merlot : song "If Today Was Your Last Day" Nickelback: color palette Anything just on either side of sky blue, with a hint of greenWhat are your thoughts about the bride & groom seeing each other before the ceremony? For me, it's almost an absolute must with my clients because 90% of my clients see each other before the ceremony. That means if a potential client is considering me based on what they see on my site or blog, those images were captured because of the creative time I was able to block out with the couple before the ceremony. Unless your ceremony is in the morning, and your reception at night, it really doesn't matter how hard you work to carve out picture time between the two because after the ceremony starts, everything from there is pretty much a blur until the end of the night. And a ceremony that's running a bit behind added to the couple stressed about getting to their guests at the cocktail hour or reception usually ends up meaning rushed pictures.
What are your hobbies & activities, aside from your family & photography? Spending time with my hubby and three boys. I was on the water ski team in college, so I still try to do that whenever I can. And supporting causes I believe in. We're taking the family to an orphanage that we support in Mexico for Thanksgiving. Love doing that stuff! Another thing I'm working on right now is getting published more. A celebrity wedding I just did was in People this week, so I'm excited about more of that to come.