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low down, throw down with wildflowers photography

i know. it's not thursday, but with summer here i no longer know what day it is. ha!
so, i missed last week and decided to post it early this week.

i am madly in love with joy's photography and i know that i am not alone. if you know wildflowers photography, you love her. if you don't know of her, whaaa????? how do you not know of her? :)

her images leave you speechless. they leave you wanting more. they leave you inspired. they leave you with a full heart.

i am SO thrilled to have her on the blog today! enjoy her interview and be sure to leave her some love!

i introduce you to joy of wildflowers photography....

(taken by bonnie berry)

Name: Joy Harmon Prouty
Business name: Wildflowers Photography
Location: Thousand Oaks, California
Website/blog: www.wildflowersphotos.com & blog: www.wildflowersphotos.com/blog

Tell us one sentence to describe your photography:
it is vintage inspired, quirky and fun!

What's one thing that everyone should know about you?:
i live in sweatpants, i love a good flea market, i whole heartedly enjoy food and i do my best to not take myself too seriously.

How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started:
i have been shooting professionally for 8 years. it all started with a mission trip i took to cambodia with my church when i was 20. i didn't know anything about the technical aspects of shooting a good photo but i fell in love with the people on the other side of the lens and those photos i shot through the tears, although some a bit blurry, are still some of my most favorite - real, unposed and completely honest.

If they made a movie about your life, what would it be titled and who would play you? drew barrymore would be a dream and perhaps titled, "looking for the sunshine".

What change are you looking most forward to this year...both professionally and personally? well, i am pregnant with our third baby! our little girl is due in september. i am looking forward to that wonderful feeling of promise that a new baby brings, where everything is shiny and raw and beautiful. and professionally... a few more workshops for photographers coming up... i never imagined that teaching and meeting these inspirational women would fill such a void inside of me.

When you take pictures just for you, what are they of?
my children in the middle of laughter.

If you were given $500 today, what would be the first thing you would do?:
one word... anthropologie.

Where do you go to find inspiration?:
where DON'T i find inspiration is more like it! i see it everywhere. i think i began to see it a lot more when i streamlined my business and began to take on less and take the stress off of my shoulders. i was so bogged down that i couldn't see anything anymore. now, i try to see everything through the eyes of my children. in their books, in the lyrics of songs, in food, in one single fabulous antique store find, in the making and creating of crafts with them, the children's museum, store display windows, the sky, sometimes design blogs, movies, old photographs (really old!), my grandparents, human connection, nature... i could go on and on.

What is your best post processing tip?
to do as little post processing as possible. just shoot better...
look for the sunshine. in the day, in the world, in the people you are shooting. i am always looking for the light and the way it can just wrap around your subject in the most warm and lovely way.

What would you tell someone who is just starting up a photography business?
shoot what you love. don't compromise. don't let your client tell you what you should be shooting... make your portfolio speak to your dream client and then they will come running hard after you and trust that you would capture them in their happy place without having to have a shot list.

What color paint is your bedroom? Why?
it is a soft brown. it is soothing. the rest of our house is bright with color but the bedroom is the one place that just feels like you could sink right into it.
What about your bathroom? antique white! my husband recently and very sweetly installed an old aqua blue clawfoot tub (that was once a prop in our backyard) that i had been begging him to do for years. it is pure heaven. i repainted the walls light as that blue tub gets enough attention on it's own!

What equipment do you use and if you had only one lens to use...what would it be?:
i shoot canon. in my bag: 2 canon 5d mark IIs, 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.2, 85mm 1.2, 24mm 3.5 tilt shift and the 100mm macro.

if i could only use one it would be the 35mm. it is my workhorse for families, weddings and shooting my children inside.

What session idea are you dying to do, but just don't know how to pull it off?
um, i have about 99 session ideas in my head right now. and a bit of an idea on how to pull them all off but just waiting for the perfect clients to come along that may be quirky enough to hop on board with one of them. ;)

Do you have a hidden talent?
i make some really wonderful snickerdoodles (my grandma's recipe). nothing else i cook ever turns out good but those cookies are like a dream everytime... and the smell always takes me right back to her kitchen when i was a child.

What was your first paid session like? Were you nervous?
it was a family session and i was so nervous that i think i shot 800 photos in an hour - on film.

What music do you love? Do you have a favorite song of all time?
right now i am loving the avett brothers and we always have otis redding, van morrison, sam cooke and johnny cash playing in our house in the evenings.
fave song of all time would have to be the old 97's "the question" - the song i walked down the aisle to.

What is at the top of your wish list right now?:
a minivan! yup, it's true.

Tell us the best advice that you have ever received:
put down the camera and actually see your subject, take them in and then shoot.

If you had an entire Saturday to do whatever you wanted...what would you do?
if i had a saturday free with my little family we would... 1. start with a yummy breakfast of cinnamon roll french toast with extra cream cheese. 2. then we would go to the local farm, pick berries, let gracie ride on a pony, watch brandon talk to the goats and then buy an armful of fresh daisies on the way out. 3. we would stop on the way home at a hillside of wild mustard flowers for an inpromtu photo shoot of gracie and brandon (if this was a perfect day they may even hold hands for a photo). 4. then we would hit the frozen yogurt shop (the one with the little red table that we frequent) and order something with a lot of rainbow sprinkles. 5. take a family bubble bath. 6. read the giving tree and ferdinand the bull before bed. 7. cuddle until we all fall asleep.

When you look back at your life, what are you most proud of?
my babies.

How do you get a connection between you and your client?
at a shoot, i will ask them to play. i will ask them real questions. i will look for the thing in them that puts a sparkle in their eye. i will ask them to sing so i tell them to come prepared with a good song. even in their pretty photo shoot clothes, i want to see who they really are when they are just themselves in sweats and in their happy place.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
living in an old house by a stream in the middle of nowhere in the country with 5 kids, a clothesline and a dog. well, hoping for that.

And lastly.....when we started the maternal lens, all of us filled out this questionnaire and shared our answers....now it's your turn :)

What is your favorite word? whimsical.
What is your least favorite word? poopy.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? human connection.
What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? the same thing over and over.
What sound or noise do you love? my children telling one another i love you.
What sound or noise do you hate? the sound of fingers rubbing a balloon.
What is your favorite thing to say when you get mad? goodness gracious!
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? anything where i would learn to cook amazing food!
What profession would you not like to do? anything where i have to wear heels.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? well done, good and faithful one.


  1. Awwww I loved this post - so inspiring, and I love her spirit - wish we lived closer together so we could be friends <3

  2. Wow! This tugged at my heart. I feel like I've met a kindred spirit in this woman. Thank you for opening yourself up and sharing a little bit of your spirit with us, Joy.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this...I am a fan of Wildflowers Photography and I LOVE her work. It's so vintage yet fresh...inspiring.

  4. Oh my heaven's JOY!! What lovely, ethereal, real and inspiring work! I have tears in my eyes right now, as I am convinced we were meant to be best friends in another life:) Thank you... I am inspired!

  5. ... just checked out your website... I have the same one:) See what I mean?? Beautiful beautiful work, my dear!

  6. i am just so very honored to be featured here. this is such a great resource for mamas and for me to be picked is the combo of all my passions... motherhood, being creative, photography and living life fully. thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!!!!

  7. Love Joy...she seriously is amazing!

  8. i had the pleasure of participating in one of joy's amazing workshops. she's a dream.

  9. yay! an avett brother's fan! I love her work!!

  10. Anonymous6/20/2011

    All of this is exactally why we love Joy so much. She is a beautiful person & we have been blessed by her talent for 3 years now. I can not speak enough good things about her & her work.

    Shelly Rudolf & Family

  11. Oh joy, I just need to meet you! I am always soo inspired by you and your sessions and your cute little family! One day a workshop will be a reality! Joy is my hero of everything lovely! :)

  12. I love all the pictures. She is amazing.

  13. Love all of the inspiration found in this post, from this brilliantly inspiring woman.

  14. Oh my goodness Joy, you are a Joy!!! What fabulous images you create. You can feel them when you look at them. Total new fan here!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  15. Beautiful photography, so whimsical!

  16. this is wonderful! genuine inspiration is just flowing from this post:) and your blog, which i LOVE!

  17. Joy, I am ALWAYS inspired by your pictures. They are wonderful pieces of art. Thank you, thank you for sharing your work with all of us.

  18. Anonymous7/07/2011

    I'm completely head over heels with your work, I go to your blog at least once a week to check for new pictures. You've inspired me to take up photography I love love your wonderful vintage photos!

  19. i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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