Joy Studios Blog- Minneapolis St. Paul Wedding, Engagement, and Family Photographers

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2013 Year in Review



2013 has been a big year for us. 

In late 2012 we moved from New York and started Joy Studios here in Minnesota. We left the familiarity of family, friends, and jobs behind in search of doing what we love and photographing weddings in the great Midwest. We decided on Minneapolis because of nearby family and proximity to two really awesome cities. 

We met each other in photography school years ago and when we knew that we were going to get married I think we both assumed that that would involve photographing together too. We had both focused on studio product photography in school and as our love grew we realized more and more we realized that we really had a passion for capturing that love in other people. Taking our knowledge of studio photography and our excitement for capturing spontaneous emotion we formed Joy Wedding Photography back in '09. We grew in our photographic ability and passion for weddings and when it came time to move here to Minneapolis in late '12 we knew we had to take it full time. 

We can’t claim that its super easy to move to a new state and start a new business. This past year hasn’t been without its struggles and obstacles but its those times where we’re glad to be able to work with each other and strive every day to have life be what we make it. 

We started meeting some amazing couples and booking some amazing weddings for 2013 and are really stoked about each and every one of them. All of the couples we were able to photograph have a special spark between them in their own little way. We’re really grateful to have had a year full of amazing couples and would like to give a really big thanks to them for being so so great. 

Here are some of our favorite photos from 2013.



Kaila and CJ are a really awesome couple. Bethany and Kaila have known each other their entire lives. I have gotten to know Kaila over the last few years and more recently, CJ too. These two are so genuine and so in love and their wedding was absolutely gorgeous. It was held at Kaila's parents ranch in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota and there couldn't have been a better day for it. I got the joy of being with CJ as he and the guys were getting ready and as he was awaiting his and Kaila's first look. CJ had a quiet and patient anticipation as he looked forward to just seeing his bride for the first time that day. It was truly a special wedding.





Kelly and Jack were such a blast to photograph! We got the pleasure of doing two engagement sessions with them, one in the winter and one in the spring. Kelly has a fun and adventurous spirit about her and Jack has an amazing outlook on life and a contagiously fun personality. Their wedding just outside of the Twin Cities was so beautiful and such a blast. I don't think the dance floor emptied out all night!







Our Friends at Acowsay Designs captured some video of the day and it is absolutely gorgeous.

Kelly + Jack from Acowsay Designs on Vimeo.

Jenny and Joel are a couple that we had the pleasure of capturing their wedding five years ago and we have gotten to know them really well as a couple in the past few years. Jenny and Joel are photographers themselves in Northern Minnesota and worldwide. Every year we have made it a point to get together and photograph for our anniversaries. This year they came to the twin cities and we had an amazing afternoon in the park. In 2014 the two of them will become a family of 3! We can't wait to do it again next summer.



Carrie and Tiffany are a sweet sweet couple whom I (Ryan) had the pleasure of photographing this summer. In the Spring Minnesota put into place a bill that would allow same sex couples to marry and in August, it went into effect. Their wedding was held on beachfront property in the White Earth Reservation and was a beautiful joining of two really cool people!

They tied the knot at sunset and finished off the night with dancing, fireworks, and sparklers! It was a really special day and I am honored to have been a part of it. 



Cassie and Jack are a couple that have so much love for each other. Cassie, Kaila, and Bethany spent much of their childhood together so it was so incredible to be able to see Cassie and Kaila each marry the guys of their dreams in the same summer. To be able to capture both weddings too? Priceless. Cassie and Jack both love hockey, fishing, curling up by a fire, good music,  and the people that surround them.

On the wedding day Jack knew that for their first look and couples photos Cassie would love to have a big ol' fish to take pictures with. So with minutes left before the first look he sent one of his groomsmen out to catch one. Sure enough, he picked the right time and guy for the job because within two minutes, he had a big fish to pose with for his bride!

Their wedding day was mostly to be held outside and that morning, it rained. Cassie and Jack wouldn't let it ruin their big day! We overheard them talking about how they didn't really mind the rain and just were looking forward to getting married. It turned out to be a really great and fun day that ended in a big barn dance!






Jess and Ross Bruggink are an ultra talented couple that we have gotten to be friends with over the past year. They are both incredible artists and great people too. Designers by trade, these two and their pup, Merlin, are taking the graphic world by storm. Jess was looking for some new bio photos and I (Bethany) was able to capture them! We really love seeing the amazing work that these two are capable of and look forward to getting to know them more and more.




Markus and Erin are a a couple of really down to earth and cool lovebirds. We had the pleasure of meeting them this year and photographing their wedding. They both have a passion for their family, friends, and good craft beer!
I think Markus and Erin set the record for the quickest ceremony that we have ever photographed. It clocked in at just around 3 minutes! Everyone had so much fun and you could just feel the love from everyone there that night.





Jackie and Drew got married on a breathtaking summer evening. The day was gorgeous, the bridal party was a blast, and the couple was very much in love. Jackie and drew did a first look out on the dock overlooking the lake and were able to spend much of the day together with their bridal party. That evening as the dancing began, Minnesota had one of the most beautiful sunsets that we had ever seen. It was the perfect backdrop to a wonderful day. 

The dancing went long into the night and everyone danced like crazy. We love these guys and wish them a lifetime of happiness!





Lindsey and Kevin are a couple of people who know what they want in life and aren't afraid to seek after it! Seeing these two together just makes sense. They belong. We got together for an engagement session with them in Como Park and the setting couldn't have been more perfect. Como Park is where we got married 5 years ago so its extra special to us!

Their wedding was incredibly cute and well done. Everything from the decor, the flowers, the favors, and the cupcakes, were really special and fit the day so well. The day called for rain but right before the first look, the clouds broke and we had the most beautiful blue sky. During the ceremony, stories were shared about how they met and about their relationship and we thought it was really special to have a recap of their story so far and we can't wait to see where their journey together takes them!










Back before we were Joy Studios we photographed Meg and Josh's engagement in Rochester NY. These two have a very real and warm love for each other and this year during a visit back home I was able to photograph them again. In the span of a little over a year, these two got married and bought a house. Its an absolutely beautiful property with land and amazing views. It was so good to chat with these two again and catch up!





Barbie and Rory are a couple of great people who are madly in love. We finished the 2013 year strong by capturing their wedding just a couple days before Christmas. Their wedding was held in front of lots of loved ones at the Mcnamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis on the U of M campus. Their day was filled with fun, friends, and lots of love. There will be more about these two in the future, but for now, a sneak peek.


We really do have a lot to be thankful for this year.
We would love to thank our family and friends for endless support.
We would love to thank our brides and grooms for being better clients than we could have imagined.
"Clients" doesn't cut it. More like friends.
We want to thank you too. It truly lights up our day to see people are reading our blog. Liking
us on Facebook. Following and liking us on Instagram. Passing the word on to their friends.

It keeps us doing what we do.


We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
-Walt Disney



Here's to 2014!

Ryan and Bethany