I'M KARA JOY
I first discovered my love for storytelling with writing. I started writing books around the time I learned to ride a bike and published my first book in 2012. In my books I talk about some pretty personal stuff, like my faith, my history of childhood abuse, and my experiences as a new mom. Photography is just another way of telling stories. And just like my writing, I want my photos to be real, vulnerable, and filled with emotion.
"Called each of my six kids by name multiple times"
Kara is an amazing photographer. The images she creates are so authentic and unique. She's friendly and personal (she even called each of my 6 kids by name multiple times during the photo session!), great with kids, funny, and easy going. So happy we found her!
I'M NOT A HORN OF PLENTY BABY PHOTOGRAPHER
I take photos of babies without wrapping them in lettuce (like Angela did on The Office). No hands under the chin. No hats with ears on them. No buckets or baskets. No unrealistic baby beds or impractical swaddling. I create bright, honest, timeless, artistic photos of babies & their big people.
I'm a minimalist photographer who loves to embrace spontaneity! The unexpected often leads to the most epic and genuine shots. I prefer the word "prompt" over "pose." This just means I'll help you relax and give you ideas on how to interact with each other while steering clear of stiff positions. Getting everyone to smile perfectly at the camera is not my goal. You deserve to remember your family just as they were.
HOMESCHOOL MOM & LOYAL TO A FAULT
I went to school for Biomedical Engineering and worked at the same company for seven years before transitioning to being a full-time mom (there's that loyal part in action). I went out with a bang! (I made sure to have my wisdom teeth removed while I still had full-time child care.)
I may not have gained a lot of free-time when I quit my corporate job, but I did gain a couple of models who would work for candy. And because I wanted to practice my photography non-stop, I not only found myself photographing them more, I found myself remembering them more.
Time is ruthless, a force never slowing. A photo is a concrete reminder to slow down and breathe them in. Time may be unbreakable, but a photo consoles. It sucks you up and spills you out into a time of tiny hiccups and first smiles.
A photo has the power to hit the pause button as your son pours a glass of water over his head. You can hear the giggles, feel the splatter. A photo feels like those fleeting flutters of your baby's kicks. Looks like that dress she outgrew and that stuffed dog that was forgotten at a gas station on a family road trip. A photo sounds like the sweeping of goldfish crumbs and tears in the middle of the night as you nurse, so in love, yet so, so tired.
Boxes are boring...
I've tried very hard on numerous occasions to put myself in a box, but every time I attempt it I pull a muscle or run out of duct tape...
I love sugar, but I hate sugar-coating anything. I’m a social introvert. I’m an empathetic engineer. A vegetarian who has no problem slaying a fish. I have a deep affection for pizza. I also run for fun. And I know what it's like to be a full-time working mom and a stir-crazy stay-at-home mom. I've never fit easily into a box. But that's okay. Boxes are boring, and I won't try to put you into one either.
SOME FACTS FOR YOU:
I Recently Relocated to Elk River, MN!
I'm now based in Elk River, MN! We have 10 chickens and 5 ducks so far on our hobby farm. I take newborn and family photos for folks in Elk River, Maple Grove, and all around the Minneapolis area.
I Love Traveling Alone
I backpacked around New Zealand for a month by myself and completely fell in love with both the people and the place. I then worked at a glacier guiding business in New Zealand for about six months. And fishing by myself in Alaska has become a bit of thing.
Adrenaline & I Are Friends
Here are some things that have given me a good adrenaline rush over the years: Skydiving, bungy jumping, parasailing, hang gliding, and (attempting) backcountry hiking in the remote mountains of Alaska while pregnant.
Serving Elk River, Zimmerman, Big Lake, Monticello, Maple Grove, Oak Grove, Andover, Plymouth, St. Louis Park, Minneapolis, St. Paul, & beyond