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Canon Explorers of Light – Q&A with Photographer Vanessa Joy

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Vanessa Joy Feature Image

In this Canon Explorers of Light Q&A series, we interview several professional photographers who are a part of Canon’s Explorers of Light program.

The Explorers of Light Program, running since 1995, boasts some incredibly talented photographers. These photographers have spent years honing their craft, and influence and educate other photographers of all levels – something, we at dPS, can respect and relate to.

In this Canon Explorers of Light Q&A series, we interview photographer Vanessa Joy. She shares her experiences and gives tips to upcoming photographers.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Vanessa Joy

Photographer Vanessa Joy

Photographer Vanessa Joy is a Canon Explorer of Light that has been an influential speaker in the community for over a decade. Starting her photographic journey in 1998, she has since branched into public speaking, earned 5 college degrees, received a PPA Photographic Craftsman degree, been named a WeddingWire Education Expert, sponsored by Canon, Profoto and Animoto to name a few.

Vanessa has spoken at almost every major convention and platform in the event industry such as CreativeLIVE, The Wedding School, Clickin’ Moms, WPPI, ShutterFest, Imaging USA, Wedding MBA, WeddingWire World, MobileBeat, in addition to hosting personal workshops and numerous small business and photography conventions around the globe.

Recognized for her talent, and more so her business sense, her clients love working with her. Industry peers also love to learn from her tangible, informative, and open-book style of teaching. Find her at www.VanessaJoy.com.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Vanessa Joy. Women in a formation beside a pool shot from above.

How did you get into photography?

My mother was a photographer, so I’ve been around it my whole life. Naturally, that meant I hated photography!

It wasn’t until high school, when I had to choose an elective (and I felt like appeasing my mother who was sitting right next to me when I was deciding what to take), that I got into photography for myself.

I fell in love with the darkroom.

My high school photography teacher photographed weddings on the weekends, so after graduation, I worked for him for five years until starting my own business in 2008.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Vanessa Joy. Two example wedding photos of brides.

What was your first camera setup?

My first camera was my mother’s Canon F-1 25mm film camera. I still have it. 🙂

What camera gear do you use now, and why?

I shoot weddings with the Canon 1DXIII (see video of why I love it here), and for other engagement and lifestyle shoots I enjoy using the Canon EOS R (check out my take on that here).

Both camera systems use the EF and RF lenses, and I prefer mostly primes at that. You just can’t beat the durability, color science, and customer service with Canon.

What area of photography do you specialize in, and why did you move into that field?

I am primarily an NJ NYC Wedding Photographer because that was all I knew of photography when I graduated high school and started working for my high school photography teacher.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Vanessa Joy

That being said, I fell in love with it the same way I fell in love with photography itself. There’s something wildly special about being a part of such a precious time in my couple’s lives.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Vanessa Joy. A bride and groom photographed against a pink and blue stormy sky and rolling green hills.

Are you working on any exciting projects you’d like to share?

I just wrote my first book!

It’s all about off-camera flash and making it easy, accessible and practical to beginner and intermediate flash users. The Off-Camera Flash Handbook: 32 Scenarios for Creating Beautiful Light and Stunning Photographs.

I’m also pumping out a ton of content on my photography education YouTube channel, and I’m really happy with it so far. I’m creating my channel to be a very applicable and tangible view on gear and photography concepts.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Vanessa Joy

If you could share any photography tips with our readers, what would they be?

Assist and work for as many photographers as you possibly can. It’s better than a college education, and most of the time, you even get paid for it!

You’ll discover new photography tips and tricks and learn about the business side of things as well.

“There is wisdom in many counselors.”

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Vanessa Joy. A wedding party celebrates with champagne.

See more of Vanessa Joy’s work here:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/vanessajoy
Twitter: www.twitter.com/vanessa__joy
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vjoyphoto
YouTube: www.youtube.com/vanessajoy 

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Vanessa Joy

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Caz Nowaczyk
Caz Nowaczyk

– the dPS Managing Editor, lives in Wollongong, Australia and has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, and designer in her business, Exposure Arts and Media, for 15 years. Her background extends to Digital Content Management, and Editorial Design. In her spare time, she composes music as Dreamgirl and the Motorist. Since the age of 12, she knew she would be a photographer – the other stuff came as a surprise!