I have been a super fan of Joey's photography since I first discovered her a few years ago, her work is timeless and effortless, although I know her heart and soul goes into every shot. Joey manages to capture women with their pregnant bumps or parents with their children with so much magic. Nothing posed or forced just with soul.
While Joey has just become a new mum and prepares to juggle her new life in business and motherhood, we can't wait to follow along and see where this new journey takes her. As we advocate, life, goals, aspirations don't stop with motherhood, it just shifts...and I feel like Joey is one to watch as her business grows in all the right ways.
This is such a beautiful insight to Joey's world and she is an inspiration for any creative looking to branch out in their own business.
Thank you so much to Joey for being such a supporter of Co & Ry and wearing our dresses in these beautiful shots of her and her daughter Goldie.
@by__Joey with images by @thesegoldenyears
Tell us a bit about you? Where are you from? Who’s in your family?
Hey, I’m Joey! I am from the Hawkesbury, a beautiful semi-rural area just outside of Sydney.
There is me, my fiancé Lachie, our beautiful pup Dusty and our newest addition – little Goldie!
Tell us about your journey, how did you get into photography? Have you always dreamt of being a photographer?
I wouldn’t say I always dreamed of being a photographer, to be honest it wasn’t even on my radar until I was about 16. However, I always knew without a doubt that I would do something creative. My parents are both very creative people and I think I definitely take after them in that sense. But as for how I got into it, I actually have my year 11 and 12 art teacher to thank. She was (still is) an incredible photographer and she used to show us her work in class. I remember being so taken by it and thinking to myself – “wow, I really really LOVE this!”. After that I saved up for my very first camera and would take it into class with me where she would teach me how to use it. To be honest, that was the first time ever I think I truly felt so passionate about something.
After leaving school though, I still had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. That’s when I decided to enrol in uni and do a degree in photography. At this point, it didn’t even cross my mind that photography was something I could pursue as a career. I honestly just signed up more as a way to buy me time (in hindsight quite an expensive way to buy time haha). Funnily enough though, I actually felt like it actually crushed my passion for photography, rather than excel it. I ended up leaving half way through my degree as it was also taking a toll on my mental health.
There’s a lot behind it, but after leaving uni, I was probably at the lowest point in my life. I had crippling anxiety, I had no money, a shitty hospitality job and absolutely no idea what the hell I was going to do with my life. I took a few months to just stop, slow down and put no expectations on myself to do anything. It’s crazy because almost as soon as I stopped and allowed myself to just take a minute, it was like it allowed my creative side to take over. I was still taking photos – but just for fun until one day someone I knew asked me to take photos at their engagement party. I hesitantly said yes, was low key absolutely terrified and worried that charging $150 was too much. Anyway, I did it, I took a whole bunch of photos I was really proud of and decided to post them to Instagram. And from there people just started asking me to take photos of this and that. Only then did it even occur to me that I could potentially pursue this.
One day I finished a shift at the café I worked at and thought f**k it, what have a I got to lose?
I quit my job and decided to put everything I had into pursuing photography and creating a business. I know that’s a pretty crazy way of doing things (but I honestly already felt at rock bottom haha) and so I did! With the little money I had, I invested in some amazing online courses, binge listened to photography and podcasts and spent every spare minute I had on learning how to grow a photography business.
At 20 years old, I was making enough to support myself and three years later, I’m still going strong and loving every minute!
Joey wearing our Goldie in Dusty Blue
Where do you seek inspiration?
Hmm that’s a very good question! Honestly all sorts of things. Sometimes it’s from other creatives, sometimes from my clients themselves and sometimes from random things I find. I have a love for vintage things and I often find myself looking at an old wooden chair or a crochet tablecloth at a second hand shop and thinking “how could I use this amazing thing in my shoots?” It usually is the little things that spark something for me I’d say.
How do you navigate creative blocks?
Creative blocks are definitely something that happen and can be super frustrating. I feel like I’m either overflowing with ideas or in a repetitive rut where I feel like I am continually doing the same thing. I have learnt that the best thing to do in those time’s is to step away and take a break. Trying to force out ideas never works and sometimes you just have to be okay with that. I always feel a creative spark when I’m away on holiday actually. Maybe it’s just being in a whole different environment or maybe it’s simply just because I’m actually giving myself space from work, but I always come home flowing with ideas. However, of course that’s a luxury that can’t happen all the time, so instead I will take a weekend off from work. I started implementing this boundary last year and blocking off a whole weekend every month that I do not touch work. I actually didn’t realise how much I worked until I did this. Having your own business makes it hard to separate work and family life, but once you do, you actually have a better version of yourself to put into work if that makes sense?
What’s the greatest lesson you have learnt to date?
In life – you are actually capable of a lot more than you think.
In business – don’t make other people’s problems your own. You make your own rules, and you don’t have to constantly put yourself out, just to make life easier for someone else. It sounds harsh, but being a people pleaser can really take a toll on you.
What are your 3 Tips to help women gain confidence in a creative field, whether photography or something else?
- Don’t let doubt or fear stop you from trying. Just like in life, having your own business comes with amazing highs, crushing lows and lots of lessons learnt. But you’ll never know if you don’t try. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself – “what is the absolute worst thing that could happen”? guarantee you it’s not as bad as you think.
- Comparison will kill you. We’ve all done it, and will all do it, but comparing yourself to other creatives is the worst thing you could do for your confidence. We are all on different creative journeys, we all have different things to offer, so it doesn’t make sense to put yourself side by side to someone else. I have had situations where I have wished my work to look more like another photographer’s, only for them to message me saying how much they love my work and asking for tips / advice. Moral is, we all see things sooo differently and we really are our own biggest critic.
- Life is too short to wake up every day to a job you hate. We only have today, so never feel bad for pursuing something you are passionate about.
Joey wearing our Odette in White
"Trust your intuition and do what feels right for you....You get absolutely inundated with opinions...Everyone does things differently, and no one way is better than another. Trust your gut and of course ask for help when you need it."
What is do you find the hardest part about motherhood/ motherhood in business?
To be honest, I’m really only now just starting to go back to work since having Goldie. I feel like I am yet to find out. However, I am trying to make the transition easier for myself by only taking on a small amount of work to start. The last thing I want is to feel overwhelmed and for any precious time to be taken away from these golden months of motherhood.
If you could offer new mamas one piece of advice it would be...?
Trust your intuition and do what feels right for you. You get absolutely inundated with opinions when you’re pregnant or have just had your baby. Everyone does things differently, and no one way is better than another. Trust your gut and of course ask for help when you need it.
Also, never feel bad for taking time for you. I’ve just started going back to the gym again and I can’t tell you how good it feels to just have an hour to myself. Make yourself a priority. You don’t want to lose your identity to motherhood, but rather enhance your identity by it.
What are four things you can’t live without?
Apart from the obvious (baby, partner, family etc.),
A good pair of denim jeans
My dog (I just love him sooo much )
What do you want your daughter to learn about the world?
I want her to learn that the world isn’t such a bad place as it’s sometimes made out to be.
There are places so breath-taking, people so kind and opportunities so amazing, she just has to go out and find them. I really want her to know that I will always support her dreams and that she is capable of achieving them.
What’s on your manifest board?
A house on acres and acres of beautiful land, close to the ocean. A property I can build my dream home, build a little studio and raise my kids surrounded by nature and lots of animals. Am I asking too much hahaha?
Thank you Joey
Follow Joey and her stunning photography on her Instagram @by__Joey
Or to enquire about a booking on her website.
The above stunning in studio imagery by the talented Maddie Bronger over at @thesegoldenyears . Thanks to Maddie for the gorgeous images for us to share.