Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Meet Laura Joyce: My Family Photographer!

I first had the pleasure of having Laura Joyce (of Goofyfoot Photography) photograph me about 5 years ago when I was about 8 months pregnant with my youngest.  She took the most beautiful maternity photos of me that I promptly booked her to take our newborn photos.  Since then, she has been our regular family photographer for holiday photos and more over the years.  She is also the photographer for all of my head shots on the VeegMama blog.  As a entrepreneur mom who is also living "the good life," I asked her to answer some questions for us.  I hope you enjoy the interview.

VM: How or why were you drawn into the field of photography?

LJ: For me, photographs elicit immense emotion for people.  A bad photo can make one cringe with horror.  A good one, can bring tears of joy.  I find this not only happens with my clients but within me too so I am drawn to photography because it's such a personal and emotional form of expression.

VM: How do you balance being a mom and having your own business?

LJ: I admit, I don't balance it very well.  Usually, I am one-sided, either working too much and my kids start to miss me or I find myself too busy to want to listen to their explanations about their lego creations.  Or, I'm skewed the other direction completely involved in my kids' lives and activities while my clients' emails go unanswered.  I lost a client to this recently.  I had spent the last two days shuttling my boys to school, tae kwon do, math magic class and auditions, and hadn't had time to get into the office to do administrative work.  She was unhappy that I didn't get her a photography agreement in a timely manner so she found someone else.  And I'm COMPLETELY okay with that.  For me, family always comes first.

VM: Most of us are busy jugglers every day.  What tips do you have for capturing those every day moments on film, when we are so busy living them!

LJ: Most of us travel with our smart phones at our side, in our purse, attached at the hip.  It's not an easy task to carry around your DSLR because they're bulky, heavy and most of the time not needed.  I certainly don't carry my gigantic camera around with me (as much as I'd like to).  To really capture the moment, all you need is your smartphone.  If you spend your time clunking around trying to get the DSLR out, you might miss the moment.  If you don't like what you've shot, just hit delete.  You've got nothing to loose.  But if you miss it, that moment's gone anyway.  So much can be done with editing with the invention of apps like Instagram.  Even a poorly shot photo can look great these days.  Take out that phone and click away.  

VM: Holiday photo season is coming up...what are your top 3 tips for a great photo session?

LJ: Okay, this a great question:

Tip #1

Choose a location your kids will enjoy, but not too much.  If you child loves the beach, but can't stay out of the water, it may not be a great choice for you if you'd like to stay dry.  If you're up for a candid and fun session in the water, then by all means go for it.  Parks can be great backdrops for sessions, but if that playground is in your toddler's view, be prepared for said toddler to want to head straight for that playground.  After all, that's what they usually do when you take them to a park.  It can be a fight to keep them focused on photos when the swingset looks so fun.  

Tip #2

Wardrobe:  Coordinate but don't go all matchy-matchy.  It's important to coordinate with like or complimentary color schemes.  Stick with primaries or pastels but don't mix them (i.e. Don't wear red plaid and put your daughter in pastel pink).  Think about your location and what might look nice against your backdrop.  White can look great, but can often become overexposed in the sunshine when the photographer is exposing the shot for your face/skin.  I like to avoid it altogether at the beach (even though it somehow seems to be a popular choice for many).  Go online, check out sites like Pinterest for ideas and color wheels.  There are many great resources within your reach.

Tip #3

RELAX.  Your energy will show in your photo proofs.  If you're happy and relaxed, your session will go so much smoother.  So relax, if things aren't going well, being stressed out is not going to help, but will make you look bad in your photos.  If your child is acting up, try to stay focused on the camera and eventually your photographer will be able to get their attention for that perfect shot.  If you're yelling, adjusting, trying to grab them, fighting with your spouse or screaming to the Heavens, when your child is smiling sweetly at the camera for 2.2 milliseconds, you're going to look like a hot mess.  Your child may wonder why everyone is smiling except mommy.

VM: What trends do you see now in photo sessions with the family?

LJ: I'm seeing a lot of requests for props and staged photography.  While they're nice and can add a certain pizzazz to your photos, don't get hung up on them.  I also get a lot of requests to "duplicate" certain photos exactly.  This can also be a challenge when doing something like an "eat the cake" session for a newly 1 yr old.  If they've never had cake before, they may not eat it.  Some even have cried when you put the cake in their mouth or it gets on their hands.  Photography is about capturing the moment, and it should be fun and happy for everyone.  It can't always be staged or duplicated.  Like life, photography doesn't always go the way we want it to.

VM: Do you have any fun ways/ideas to display your photos?  How do you display your photos?

LJ: My husband thinks I'm nuts we have so many photos on my walls.  But I'm a photographer, so can you blame me?  Displaying photos is really a personal choice.  I like to choose one wall in each room and collage everything together.  I think my living room wall has over 30 photos hung up on it.  But the other walls are free with other types of art and keepsakes.  Too many photos on too many walls can get overwhelming.  I really like those digital photo frames.  I find people staring at them for long periods, enjoying all the different photos that pop up.  I think they're fun.  I also like to mix medias and frames.  My wall has mostly black frames, with some wrap-around canvases and different colored/textured frames mixed in.  Whatever your taste, have fun with it since you're the one that has to live with it everyday.  Don't like it, change it up every now and then.  It'll be like redecorating.

VM: Can you share a photo tip or two for taking great photos (casual, candid photos out and about with the the kids and family)?

LJ: If you have a DSLR and can switch to Manual mode or Aperture priority mode, shooting with a lower aperture will blur out the background for you, eliminating the unsightly laundry or obnoxious toys behind your beloved kiddo.  Most people believe a sunny day is great for photos, but the sun can cause harsh shadows on the face making everyone look like raccoons.  Try taking candid photos in the shade or on a gloomy day :-).

VM: I am on a quest to live the "good" life in all aspects of the word.  What does the "good" life represent/mean to you?
LJ: As I get older and wiser, the good life has really morphed into a different realm for me.  I am enjoying the good life now. We eat good, clean, healthy food and teach the importance of taking care of our bodies to our kids.   I have a thriving photography business and get to photograph the best subjects anyone could ask for.  Kids are real, they don't fake their emotions and its an honor and pleasure to capture them smiling and enjoying life.  I also get to use my creativity while helping support my family.  I have two beautiful boys and a supportive husband who love and adore me.  To me, that is the good life.  Would I mind if I won a $400 million dollar powerball. Not one bit!

VM: Can you share your favorite quote?

LJ: "Do or do not, there is no try". --Yoda

I get my fill of Star Wars with two boys and this has always resonated with me.   Keeps me motivated to go after and accomplish my dreams and goals.  

Thanks, Laura!  To learn more about Laura and her company, please read below.  She has two great fall specials coming up on October 12th and November 2nd - a great opportunity to get your holiday photos taken!  The flyers for the sessions are below.

VeegMama interviews photographer Laura Joyce of Goofyfoot Photography
Nicole Benitez photography
An LA native, I currently resides in sunny Redondo Beach, California with my husband and two boys.  
An avid photographer specializing in photojournalism, photography has morphed from hobby to passion 
to the way I journal my life.  These last few years have been a whirlwind of excitement and exploration 
physically and emotionally.  Having children has especially helped me understand the importance of 
documenting our achievements in life.  Whether photographing kids or adults, I strive to capture those 
many joys and sorrows, telling life's story within beautiful images.  With each session, I try to keep in mind that someone 
has entrusted me to document their life's milestones.  Engagement, wedding, maternity, a birthday party 
or even a holiday card, people want the most vivid memory of their life at that moment...
...I couldn't think of a better way to share my talent than to help those memories we make last forever.