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

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Jenny + Joel + Andrew in Itasca

It was a perfect morning, the smell of pine was heavy in the air as the sun's rays fell softly through the trees, the lake was calm and gently hitting the shore, we walked down and trail that Jenni knew well, it felt like coming home. We have know Jenni and Joel a long time, we have seen their love grow from their engagement to their wedding, anniversaries and now having their first baby Andrew. What makes me the most happy about these two is  they way they look at each other, they way the respect each other has not changed. Jenni and Joel fell hard for each other and are even more in love now then when we photographed their wedding,we have been so privileged to photograph them year after year and see this beautiful marriage blossom into what it is today.

I remember the day Jenni called me and told me about Andrew, I was walking down the street and I think everyone around me thought I was crazy because I was laughing, screaming and crying all at the same time. Then the first time I met him I was struck with a heavy wall of instant love, the fact that God had created such a sweet sweet baby boy from two of the most loving and caring people on the planet amazed me. When we parted ways from our session in Itasca State Park I knew that this was going to be my favorite session with them.

Erika + Patrick

These two beautiful people got married last week! Congrats guys! Can't wait to show you more of these photos.

Ashley + Lucas Tomlinson

Ashley and Lucas's wedding was on this sunny Portland day and the sun wasn't the only thing that was warming our hearts, the abounding love that surrounded these two on their wedding day was perfect. Let me tell you, they have some of the nicest and most passionate friends and family I have ever worked with. I have been a long time friend of Lucas's and when I met Ashley I knew that she was the one for him. It was so great to see that they have such a strong group of friends to share their lives with. 

When I look back at this day the words that come to mind are simple elegance. The flowers were so gorgeous and Ashley and Lucas looked very darling; especially together. I loved that their wedding had more of a focus on their love then anything else. The whole day was exactly what they wanted and thats what made it so special. 

Congratulations Ashley + Lucas!!

Leigh Ann & Paul

We photographed these two in a beautiful winter engagement session and they were just awesome. We met at the lake Harriet bandstand and did some really sweet snowy photos. After a gorgeous walk around the lake and a little winter "picnic" we grabbed some coffee and warmed up inside. We really loved spending time with these two and can't wait to photograph their wedding this fall.


Thank You.

Today we reached the 1000 Facebook likes landmark and we wanted to take a moment and write a note of thanks. It’s so wonderful to be able to do what we love to do every day and we couldn’t ask for better clients, family, and friends who constantly support us and our craft. 

We love photographs. Photographs are portals to incredible memories of loved ones, friends, family, and good times from the past. A memory that you can hold in your hands. An emotion that you can relive over and over again. 

There’s so much that can be said about photographs and the memories that they represent but for now, we say thank you.


Thank you for letting us do what we do. 
Ryan + Bethany

Barbie + Rory Married

Barbie and Rory's story reminds me of an old romantic movie, he is in the army and they want to be together so badly and long to be married so they don't have to spend any more time apart. So sweet.


 You can tell that these two are truly meant to be together,  they way he looks at her and way that Barbie talks about Rory they both have such a deep respect for the other person and it is so great to see firsthand. They also have some really amazing friends who went above and beyond for them on their wedding day, they even had their favorite mascot make an appearance while they were getting ready! They were truly surrounded by love all day.

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

Megan + Josh

Megan and Josh are some of our friends from Rochester, NY and Ryan recently went home to see our family and friends, while he was there he was able to do this adorable session with Megan, Josh and their pup Maddie. They bought the cutest farm house to start their lives together and it seemed that it would be the perfect location for photographs. Enjoy!



Lindsey & Kevin's Wedding

Lindsey is a one of a kind gem, the type of girl that you could talk to for hours and hours and want to know more about, she has such a great outlook on life and a real grasp of who she is. She has found a deep love for Kevin. Kevin is one of the kindest guys I have ever met, he has a huge heart and heart that is all for Lindsey. When you see the way he looks at Lindsey you know he is head-over-heels for this girl. 

Their wedding day was one darling day filled with the perfect fall pallet, full of rich oranges, sumac reds, browns and the perfect gold that sparkled in the autumn sun. Lindsey look absolutely stunning in her vintage inspired all lace dress with a gold leaf hair piece that matched perfectly, and Kevin looked quite dapper in his suit, with a small hint of fun with some bright orange socks that matched Lindsey's heels.  They had planned every detail of their wedding day and it all came together seamlessly.