WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I started making photographs when I was 12 and was self taught until I took the leap and went to Art Center College of Design where I received my BFA in photography and imaging. In school I refined my skills and was exposed to new kinds of photography that challenged the way I make work.
After graduating I dove head first into my community and took time to get to know the people who inspired me the most while pitching concepts that resonated with their brands. The word “networking” kinda makes me cringe, but when it all comes down to it, building relationships with the people who excite me the most is what has lead to work, and making the really good stuff that I’m proud of.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
I think people often have a difficult time properly articulating to their subject what it is they want them to be doing. It doesn’t matter how experienced the model or client is, when I’m on set, I make sure people understand what I’m asking for, and I direct them on how to do it. I don’t expect to have a deep connection with everyone that I photograph, but it’s really important to me that my subjects don’t feel alone; it’s a collaboration.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I recently street casted two very different people that I fell in love with the moment I saw them! One is for a beauty shoot and one is for a men’s story (I shoot mainly women so this one is exciting for me!). I love continually pushing myself to try new things. I’m directing my first fashion film this year and will be publishing a new photo book with my partner Andrew and our friends over at The Fulcrum Press.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
Growing up in a small desert town quickly taught me how to take something small and turn it into something beautiful. I can do a lot with very little and the natural and raw have always played a huge roll in my work. I make sure every element has its purpose and its moment. Backgrounds and settings are very important to me. Romance, texture, beauty, dynamic light and a strong sense of mood are ingredients I always add into my pictures. A little bit of tension and mystery is important as well ;)
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I really enjoy writing poetry and telling stories. For my project with Fulcrum Press I wrote a piece of poetry for the book and it felt great to mix writing and photography.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
The Instagram algorithm. I know it’s the name of the game, but I miss being able to easily see my friends and their work. It bums me out that the people working hard to create great content or share about their small business might not be able to catch a break or get to the top of the feed.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
A personal editor to proof read all my e-mails and newsletters because I am a typo QUEEN.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
Dear 19 year old Joy:
Stop talking about how clueless you are about what you want to do or who you want to work for.
Stop pretending that you’re clueless when you might just be really scared.
Stop saying “I don’t know” and act excited about filling in the pieces.
Why? Because some of the best work I made was when I was forced to make a decision, and do it all on my own!
Life is too short for fear and shame, y’all.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would talk to photographer Rodney Smith and ask him more about his process and how he always manages to approach his set with a playful spirit.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I want to work with people who develop products and publish content that helps people feel GOOD about themselves. So whether it involves a jewelry brand creating objects that feel like a piece of art their customers adorn themselves with or making a portrait of a badass woman in the tech industry for a magazine - I’m looking for people who want to empower others in big and small ways.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
Editorial portraits, fashion brands, and creatives that value sustainability and an artful perspective.
I’m dying to shoot a jewelry look book right now as well as work with an intimates lingerie brand like Land of Woman, etc.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
I charge a creative fee that incorporates all elements of production and includes usage rights / licensing for the images.
It all depends on the scope of the project :)
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
E-mail is just fine! Be as specific as you can about the project and tell me how excited you are to work together!
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Quality time with the people I love.
This member profile was originally published in June 2017.