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Ready for TMI??

Hi, I'm Joy.

I like things a little on the darker side. I love skulls, graffiti and tattoos, piercings, succulents, octopuses, turn of the century industrial decor, mohawks, every kind of music, and goatees. Coffee is my addiction. It is the only thing that I don't take black. It's creamer or nothing baby... yeah, there we go. Let's meet at Starbucks. =}

I am a charcoal and pencil illustrator that ended up in photography. I suck at painting. Charcoal and ebony are my jam. I got started with art very young. Mom says I was always drawing bubble people. She would tell me, "Keep working and earn a lot of money to keep your mother in the lifestyle that she could become accustomed to."

I didn't learn to sell my art until I became a photographer. I can't bear to part with drawings. They are like my babies. Photography, on the other hand, was reproducible so I lost that feeling of child abandonment, which allowed me sell photography. Back when I tried to sell my illustrations, I learned that the photographers owned the image copyright and that it was illegal for me to reproduce them for sale without changing them at least 10%. That meant that I had to learn professional photography and make my own images to draw from.


Here's the TMI. The long version... buckle up. Actually, get some hot coffee and curl in.

How did I end up as a photographer?

Back in the 90s (class of '96 woot!) schools were still teaching film. I wasn't interested in chemistry. I wanted to do photography. LOL (Every old timer photographer is laughing at that.) When I learned that I had to develop negatives with chemicals and blah blah blah, - I was totally over it.

My only interest was in automatic-roll-back-consumer cameras and box cameras. Box cameras were the ones that they sold in the grocery store. ISO 400 was my jam and when 800 came out, I was unstoppable! =} I was that kid at all the parties taking selfies that were weird, because back then SELFIES WERE WEIRD! Only vain weirdos took selfies!

Like my grandfather taking selfies with a brownie of him and his friends, USAF fighter pilots in the 1950s.

When I could convince my mom to buy me one, I ran around taking pictures of things that I shouldn't, and hoping I got pictures that made people squeal with shock. I also used my dads "hunting" camera (It was the best one in the house), an expensive $200 camera. hahaha... expensive... Anyhow, he always humored me and let me "finish his rolls" after hunting trips, but he also let me use it at parties and places if he has unused rolls. Sometimes he would specifically ask me to take some at company parties or archery parties. He/we printed photos at Costco with the option for 2 prints for each negative! It was like Christmas morning when they came back. I had such excitement. And 2 prints...oh man, I loved surplus. I was scrapbooking before it was a thing. I sharpie markered them, and glued yarn on them, and stickers were awesome!

Fast forward 10 years. Photography went digital for consumers, it sucked at first but after a few years, I was HOOKED. I bought a Sony cybershot. It was ...mmm ok. I was unhappy with the quality. I wanted something else from my photos that auto couldn't give me. Then I had a baby and BOOM! That camera was not good enought AT ALL. I said HUNNY... Christmas... purdy pleasssse. Sears is like $200 everytime we go and we go every three months. It would be cheaper in the long run if you just bought me a camera. (Muhahahaha) We did some shopping. I wanted the Canon 5D Mii. I mean, really, who didn't. This was 2006. That camera was awesome, and still is in 2023.

"We" decided, wink, that Sony was the way to go. They were coming out with mirrorless technology and they were the leaders in the photography world at that time.

Now that I officially have around $10,000+ of equipment, wink wink..cough... that hurts to say out loud... and I'm a little better at photography than I was twenty years ago. ;P

I make contrasty, full color, b&w images and I still hope that I capture something that makes someone squeal, but with delight this time.


My art idols are Sal Dali, MC Escher, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Annie Leibovitz. All pioneers of their time. None of them let others push their artistic style into a box. They experimented and tried things that others called outrageous. That outrageous style became the rule instead of the exception. I love that style of life. The Sistine chapel is on my bucket list. Owning a Dali...a real hand painted Dali is another. Check this out. This is my work compared to theirs. I didn't realize how much they influenced me until I put my work next to theirs.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci (from wikipedia)

Doralee at Pecos River

Do you see the similarity?

How about the next one?

Esther & Caleb 2015 Full of Orange, Yellow and Blue with a muted palate.

Salvidor Dali Melting clock from his website.

Isn't it interesting?

Life is all about people, moments & emotions that we want to hold on to. Photography captures those moments and people so we have them to look back on. Smell, sight and emotion are all conected in the brain. When you see these photos you will remember exactly what the weather was like and how you felt during the session. Will it be happieness? Maybe excitement? Let's find out.

Below are some photos of our most recent family photo session. The skull in the background usually shocks people the first time they see it. I get asked, "Why?". I answer, "Becuase I love it. It is who I am. I feel lucky to have this background to use. Thank you to whomever painted it. I am not a traditionalist."

I love industrial photos and black and white.

I love industrial photos and black and white. I love color too but black and white can be very emotional.

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