The Power of Prints | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

I'm working on a really cool project this morning. After my vacation my mom sent me home with a big folder of old family photos.  This morning I have been working on scanning these and restoring them in order to make new prints. 

These photos are amazing.  The middle portrait in the image above is a wedding photo from 1906. This beautiful print is 110 years old and in immaculate condition- a perfect display of my family from a century ago.

The other photos were probably home photos taken on a Kodak brownie (one of the first consumer cameras).  They are all taken on the front porch because that's where the light was good enough for that camera.  That little boy in many of the pictures- he's my great grandpa.

When I look at these prints, I am astounded by their longevity.  Many of the photos of my life are stored on cell phones and hard drives, but in 100 years will that ancient technology even be accessible?  I belong to the most photographed generation, yet our great grandchildren will probably never see photos like these of us.  They will be long gone on broken hard drives and cloud storage owned by companies that no longer exist. 

But you know what photos will survive?  The ones you print.  That 20x30 family print above your mantel will outlive you and your children.  And those albums that line your bookshelves- they will too.

This is why it's so important to me to sell prints,  In each of my photo sessions we are creating memories that deserve to last.  It's why I've invested in a high quality photo printer and have meticulously shopped photo labs for the best products.  Just like these photos of my family long gone, your memories deserve to last.

If you are interested in preserving your memories with Mikaela Joy Photography, please contact me to set up your complimentary consultation today!

My Analog Summer | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

You haven’t heard from me in a while.  There are a couple reasons for that.  One is that I’m on vacation.  I’m in the Pacific Northwest soaking up the sunshine and taking in the beautiful mountain views.

The other reason you haven’t heard from me it that this summer I’ve gone analog.

Well sort of.  I recognize the irony of me typing that sentence from my laptop.  But as I type I’m sitting on the front porch of my parent’s house, a slight breeze lifting the smell of lavender to my nose. So I'm outside at least.

And yes, I’ve spent a good portion of my summer glued to my cell phone screen, as per usual, but it hasn’t been all day from the comfort of my couch.  It hasn’t been all summer.

Instead I’ve spent this summer huddled by the warmth of a campfire.  I’ve spent my summer with books- the paper kind, well loved, with writing in the margins and blueberry-stained pages. My summer has been spent loading film into a 30-year-old camera, and the satisfying click of its shutter.

My summer has been perfect.

You see, this summer has brought me a new love- film photography. 

I didn’t grow up with film like many of the older pros.  Although I went through a significant number of disposable cameras at a young age, I was quickly upgraded to a 5 megapixel Olympus in order to save my parents money on developing costs.  I’ve always been able to see my shots right away, to instantly upload to a computer, and to shoot as many images as my SD card (or whatever those cameras used) could hold. 

Shooting with film is a beautiful slow down.   

There’s something so freeing about taking a shot and not looking instantly to the LCD screen to see how it turned out, something in knowing that you only have 36 shots so you better make them count.  And it’s amazing to be using a piece of technology created 30 plus years ago that works beautifully and doesn’t require batteries. 

And the feeling of seeing a roll of film for the first time, weeks after the first frame was shot? There’s nothing quite like it. 

I’m so excited to play more with this medium and see how it changes my work.  But until then let me share some images from my first roll of film. These images were shot on a Nikon FM with Portra 400.

Kitt Family 2016 | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

Today I want to share a session that's a little older.  I've been behind on blogging, but I can't skip sharing this one.  Everything about it makes me smile!

This is a family session I did for my good friend Kitt.  She's been with me since the beginning of my photography journey and I've done countless sessions with her family.  It's so fun comparing all the photos I've done with them to see how their family has grown.

Possible one of the most fun aspects of working with Kitt is her fluffball pack of dogs.  How stinking cute are they?  They are pretty much 100% fur and I just want to snuggle with them all day long. Don't you?

Check out some of the photos from our session below:

FLASHBACK! This is one of the shots from their 2015 family session when their little man was turning one.  Oh how he has grown!

Brittney Glamour | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

I've got another super fun one to share!  This was my last shoot of 2016 and Brittney knocked it out of the park.  From the minute she showed up with that amazing gold dress, I knew this would be a good one.  

Glamour sessions are my favorite, because seriously, how often do you get to get all done up like this.  It is a perfect chance for some "me" time, especially for us moms who spend more time taking care of our kids than we ever do ourselves.  Brittney and I had a blast during this session.  And while she looks gorgeous in her day to day life too, these photos make me wonder why she's not modeling full time.  This girl is stunning!

If you are interested in booking your own contemporary glamour session, please contact me to set up your complimentary consultation today.

Laura Babywearing | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

It's been a long, stressful couple months.  Since I last posted we packed up all our stuff, sold our house, and moved to El Paso Texas.  As you can imagine,  that was a lot to happen in a very short period of time and I got a bit behind on blogging. 

So it's time to catch up!  Over the next span of weeks, I will be sharing lots of older sessions, mixed in with the newer ones.  This one is from 2016, but its one that I'm still very excited about!  We had so much fun!

At the start of this session I had a very specific vision.  I had recently received a woven wrap (Pavo etini magnolia, in case anyone is interested) that I thought would go perfectly with my newest tulle skirt creation.  I had the image shown above in my head and sought out to create it.  But with such a beautiful family in my studio, I obviously couldn't stop there.  We had a lot of fun with some family shots and individual portraits as well.

Aren't these girls just wonderful?!

If you are interested in your own babywearing or family session, please contact me to set up your complimentary consultation today.

Happy New Year! | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

Well, that' s a wrap!  It's the end of 2016 and it's been a heck of a year.  I've worked with so many amazing people this year and, with the addition of my studio space, have been able to really explore the things that I can do with a camera.  

And I'm so excited to do it again.  2017, for me, will be all about change.   I'll be moving to El Paso, Texas and starting completely fresh.  I hope to meet and capture as many beautiful faces as I have in this past year and, like I am now, I hope that as 2018 rolls in I'll be looking back thinking, "Wow, look how much I've grown."

My new year's resolution is simple this year- keep moving forward.  No matter what challenges I face as everything around me changes, I plan to that simple goal.  Onward and upward!

Happy 2017 everyone!

Contact me to book your 2017 portrait session today!

Julie Babywearing Session | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

You all know I love babywearing sessions.  There is nothing more beautiful than a bond between mom and baby and there's something really special about the way that babywearing helps strengthen that bond. So of course I was excited to work with these two for a studio babywearing session. 

This little guy, on the other hand, wasn't all that excited.  Luckily he had his mom close for lots of cuddling and tickling to keep his mood in check.  Aren't they cute?!

If you'd like to book your own portrait session please contact me to set up your complimentary consultation.

A Day in the Life of Riley: November 2016 | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

I may be a portrait photographer, but I have a serious love of lifestyle photography as well.  One of my favorite projects are "day in the life" photo stories.  Well little man just turned two and I was feeling a bit nostalgic so the only logical thing to do was to break out my camera. 
o without further ado, here it is- a day in the life of Riley.

Sadie Family Session | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Family Photographer

I've got an extra special session to share today.  This was a session I did while on vacation in Washington State this summer.  Not only did I get to see her for the first time in over a year, but I got to meet her adorable little man and capture some beautiful memories for them!

We found a gorgeous location- Ft. Stielacoom and arrived just in time for some beautiful sunset shots.  Little man was more in the mood for bed than a photoshoot, so he and Sadie just played and had fun while I captured the moments.  I love how they turned out!

If you'd like to book your own family session, please contact me to set up your complimentary consultation today!

Kindall Family | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Family Photographer

Can I just say one thing- twin moms are super-moms.  And twin moms who also have a toddler?  I don't know how you do it! 

But Kindall and her family seem to have it down.  They've got the sweetest toddler girl, and two tiny and adorable twins.  They really are a perfect family. 

I loved shooting this session because of the interactions between the family members.  The twins were holding hands while worn, the parents playing with everyone and having a great time, and of course I love hanging out with toddlers.  We had a lot of fun with races through the botanical garden and telling jokes to get her parents to laugh. 

And of course we took some beautiful photos- see for yourself!


If you would like to book your own family portrait session please contact me to set up your complimentary consultation appointment.

Alexis Glamour | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

I've got a fun one to share!  This was a really awesome session for me because it was a chance to let loose and be creative.  I love doing client work, but every once in a while I just need to shoot something that's 100% for me.  This was it. 

worked with Alexis a while back (see Alexis at the Beach) and I knew I needed to have her in my studio.  I told her that I was going to wrap her in tulle and do a glamour session, no extra details.  She was a total champ and went right for it!  I think she may have doubted me for just a second as I was wrapping a bolt of tulle around her like a mummy- "Have you done this before," she asked.  I hadn't, but I think the results speak for themselves!

Another awesome thing about this shoot is that for the tulle photos, everything was created by me.  I hand painted the backdrop (see DIY Painted Canvas Backdrop), made the floral crown, and made the dress on the spot in the studio. 

We had so much fun with this session, and I think we made some truly gorgeous photos.  See them for yourself!

If you'd like to book your own glamour session, please contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday Riley!

Happy thanksgiving everyone!

We are in double duty here baking both pies and birthday cakes, because as we celebrate thanksgiving, we will be celebrating little man turning two as well! 

That's a little hard to wrap my mind around- two.  It seems like he was just a tiny little thing that couldn't do anything but eat and poop.  Now he's a full blown toddler with the attitude to go with it.

Since his birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year, it seemed only fitting to do his 2 year photos as a pumpkin pie smash.  In doing this, I learned that my kiddo absolutely does NOT like pumpkin pie.  Which doesn't seem right, considering it's both my and Robert's favorite part of thanksgiving.  Oh well.

We are off to celebrate so I better wrap this up with this message-  Happy thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful day of food, family, and friends.  That's what we'll be doing!

Riley 18 Months | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

My little man is 18 months old (well, he was a month ago.  I'm a little slow to share).  I can't believe how fast it's all gone by.

As of right now, Riley is obsessed with wearing other people's shoes, so this photo session seemed like the perfect way to remember this stage in his life.  He's got some big boots to fill!

Alexis at the Beach | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

Ahh summer. There is something so comforting about the salty air and feeling of sand between my toes.  Nothing says summer quite like an early morning walk along the beach.  But I can one up that- what about a photo shoot with this beauty?

 Alexis and I were up bright and early to catch the Tybee Island sunrise for this shoot.  She's an aspiring model who is building her portfolio, and a total natural.  She rocked this shoot!  But don't take my word for it: See for yourself!

If you are interested in your own portrait session, please contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Ruiz Family Maternity | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

I really love maternity sessions.  It is so amazing what a woman's body can accomplish in just 9 short months.  The changes a woman goes through, both physically and mentally are astounding.  There isn't much more beautiful than the curve of a pregnant belly, the strength in a new-mom-to-be's gaze as she thinks about her future child.

Like I said, I really love shooting maternity.

So I was obviously thrilled when the Ruiz family wanted to do a studio maternity session.  We had a good time from the moment we started shooting.  Both of these beautiful women have the type of personality that puts you at ease instantly, like we were already long time friends. Because of this we were able to jump right in and get some really great shots!

These two have the most handsome baby boy now.  I'm so happy for them, and excited to see their little one grow up.  And someday in the future I hope they can look back on these photos and remember this wonderful, fleeting time.  It goes by so quickly.

Congratulations Ruiz family!

Helen Family | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer


It was such a pleasure to have Helen and her two boys in my studio.  This was my second session with Helen, and I already knew her youngest was a blast to work with.  But this time she brought her oldest as well.  We were able to get a great family portrait, some brothers shots, and and some solo portraits of each of the boys.  One of these shots even ended up working perfectly for my display at Tater Bugs!  

This family was a blast to work with, as usual.  I can't wait to do it again!

Gwen | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

When I first met Gwen at a birthday part, I knew I had to get her into my studio.  She is two, and already a perfect model.  She's got bright blue eyes, an adorable smile, and she LOVES being in front of the camera.  As soon as I held up the camera her eyes would light up and she'd strike a pose.  Immediately afterwards she would run over to see the back of my camera.  I don't normally show sneak peeks, but when someone this little and charming asks, I can't say no.  

It turns out Gwen loves being behind the camera, too.  She spent almost as much of the shoot playing with my backup camera as she did modeling.  Time to train up a new assistant?  I think so!


One of the photos from this session actually ended up being the star of a display I put up at Tater Bugs in the Tanger Outlets in Pooler.  Here's a shot of the whole display:

If you'd like to set up your own portrait session, please contact me to schedule your free consultation.  I can't wait to here from you!

Eryn Glamour | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

It's been a while since I've done a glamour shoot.  It's been even longer since I worked with Eryn (remember our pinup shoot?)
Eryn has been working on some lifestyle changes and getting into shape (which she is doing a killer job of) and wanted to commemorate that by doing a session in her newly-fitting prom dress.  Of course I was all over that- a studio session with a pretty dress and a model that can do her own makeup?  Yes please!

Eryn looked gorgeous as usual, and was a blast to work with.  I love how confident this girl is. She's got it and she knows it, and she killed that prom dress!


Reina's Family Photos | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Lifestyle Photographer

This was another one of those sessions that consisted of just about everything I love.  Reina is a friend of mine and I photographed her little guy (who is not little anymore) as a newborn. She is a breastfeeding, babywearing, super-mom with a big family to care for and I was thrilled when she asked for updated photos of her youngest, as well as some family portraits.  

This session was great- I got to use the perfect location (which happens to be their backyard-jealous), a gorgeous high-end baby wrap, and to work with this beautiful, amazing family.  We had a great time, and I'm excited to do it again when they are ready for another update.  It's so much fun watching these kids grow up!


Happy Birthday Drake! | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

Happy Birthday to you Drake!

A couple weekends ago I shot a birthday party at Tread Town here in Pooler.  Drake was turning 4 and was so excited!  This party had an Easter egg hunt, THREE pinatas, soo much candy, and a lot of really happy kids.

And what better reason to get some portraits of Drake, too. I made sure to get some photos of him before the other kids showed up.  Look how handsome he is!

The whole set of photos can be found here

Interested in  booking me for your own event?  Please contact me to schedule your free consultation.