Analisa Joy is the founder and owner of Analisa Joy Photography based in San Diego, CA. She focuses on weddings, engagements and portrait photos. And her resume is impressive: Joy has had work published in Exquisite Weddings, The Knot, Green Wedding Shoes, Ruffled, and Buzzfeed among others.
Below, she talks a bit more about her journey to becoming a successful photographer:
1. When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
In high school, I joined our yearbook team. By senior year, I was the photo editor and I really began to find my passion for photography. After high school, I went to SDSU as a business major and I did photography as a hobby. I would post the images on Facebook and as more people started to see my work, my business began to snowball.
During my Sophomore year, I emailed a handful of celebrity photographers asking if I could work for them. I didn’t have any training and at the time, SDSU wasn’t offering any classes. I wanted something or someone to help me learn about the craft of photography as well as the business side. I received a response email from celebrity wedding photographer, Robert Evans that he needed assistance in his studio.
I moved to LA two months later and I worked for him in the mornings and picked up a serving job for the evenings. I interned for Robert for six months and we photographed weddings all around the US along with country singers, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert’s wedding. Once I got engaged, I decided to move back to San Diego where I started my business full time.
2. When did you take your first picture, and what was it of?
I loved using disposable cameras when I was young. My parents would always give me one on our vacations so that I could capture our trip. I’ve been taking pictures since I was a little girl so it was probably a picture of my dog and/or my family.
3. What made you decide to turn this passion into a business?
When I attended college, I thought I would graduate in four years and be a part of an event coordinating team. Then my career path changed (as most do in college) and I was only one day away from becoming a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. That night while packing to head off to Texas to become a flight attendant, I knew that this was not the right decision for me.
I realized that I was pursuing what I thought at the time as “safe careers” rather than pursuing my dream career. I had connections in both event coordinating and to be a flight attendant, but I knew if I fully committed to either of those paths, I wouldn’t be able to truly follow my passion. It was a last minute decision and I decided to cancel my flight to Texas.
The next morning, I was praying in the shower that I made the right choice. I prayed to God that He would provide me with confidence and show me a sign that I didn’t make a mistake. It had been a few weeks since I received a single photography inquiry, but after I got out of the shower, I checked my email and I had seven email inquiries that morning for my photography services. When I decided to drop the distractions that limited my full-time pursuit of photography and trust in God with my decisions, my business began to flourish!
4. What advice would you give someone who is aspiring to do photography as a living?
It’s hard work, but don’t give up on your passion. Even if you are creative and naturally talented, don’t think you are above learning new things. Attend workshops, find a mentor, read, and practice! Photography is always evolving and it’s important to stay current with all the upgrades and advances. Everyone is a “photographer” these days with iPhones and Instagram so find an outlet in your photography that makes you stand out. Humble yourself and realize that in the beginning you’ll be doing a lot of work for free. However, once you gather a portfolio, take pride in your images and be firm and confident with your pricing. Don’t let people take advantage of your services. When you take yourself seriously, others will begin to respect your craft.
Photography is always evolving and it’s important to stay current with all the upgrades and advances. Everyone is a “photographer” these days with iPhones and Instagram so find an outlet in your photography that makes you stand out. Humble yourself and realize that in the beginning you’ll be doing a lot of work for free. However, once you gather a portfolio, take pride in your images and be firm and confident with your pricing. Don’t let people take advantage of your services. When you take yourself seriously, others will begin to respect your craft.
5. What is your favorite quote?
Currently: “Striving for uniqueness in a world of sameness.” — Erin Morgenstern
6. What did 5-year-old Analisa say she wanted to be when she grew up?
I love animals! My first word as a baby was “Daisy” who was my dog at the time. I probably wanted to be a Vet. or something that surrounded my day with puppies. I’m still a crazy dog lover and now I just torture my pets with photo shoots.
7. If you could use one color to describe yourself, what color would it be and why?
Teal! My house, my brand, and my all time favorite color is teal. It’s soft, relaxing, whimsical, unique, and complimentary to most tones and colors. I hope my images reflect that description!
8. If you could meet anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
I would want to reunite with my niece Kylie in Heaven. She passed away in February to cancer. I would love to see how God healed her and discover what it’s like as a child to forever be in His presence.
9. What is one thing on your bucket list?
When my husband and I got married, we made a bucket list to visit all the Disneylands in the world. So far we have visited– Disneyland CA, Disneyworld FL, Disneyland Hong Kong, and Disneyland Paris. Next on our list is Disneyland Tokyo! They are currently building another Disneyland in Shanghai, but if we hit Tokyo before their grand opening, we will have visited them all!
10. What is the funniest joke you have ever heard?
What’s the difference between roast beef and pea soup? Anyone can roast beef.
11. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
I have so many! I didn’t drink until I was 21. I worked at the Cheesecake Factory when I was about 19/20 and a guest asked me what was on draft. I walked over to the bar, checked the game on the TV, and came back and told them the Packers and the Patriots. They looked at me super confused, so I told them the scores. Once I figured out what they meant, I passed my guests to another server because I was too embarrassed to go back and continue their order.
12. If you could only be one age for the rest of your life, what age would that be and why?
That’s a hard one… I seem to like each age more than the last. I love being 25, but I’m about to have a baby in February. My whole life is about to change and I know I’m going to value these upcoming years more than any other. If I could freeze time, I would probably want to be in mid-30s or 40s so I had endless time with my husband and kids.