Having worked in the wedding industry for over a decade, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some amazing talent. As a planner, my job is to share my knowledge and by creating a Vendor Spotlight, I can share some of Chicago's best and brightest (and most coveted) wedding professionals with you! Without further ado, please meet Joy Bijedic from Being Joy Photography!
Tell me how you got started in the Photography business.
I have always loved photography. Growing up my Mom was always taking photos of me and my brothers. It never really dawned on me that I could make a career out of it until I started "modeling" for a friend who was newer to the photography business. Then another friend asked me to pose as well. After that I was hooked. In 2010, I purchased my first nice camera and began learning.
How long have you been running Being Joy Photography?
Starting out I had three jobs. I waited tables, bartended and worked on building my company. In 2014 when I relocated back to Chicago from Oklahoma I cut down on waitressing in order to really make a go of my company. In May of 2015 I went full time.
What do you love about the job?
I think what I love most about my job is being able to give other people those moments frozen in time that they will be able to look back on years later. When my father passed in April of 2014 it made all those photos I have of him even more special. I think everyone deserves photos of their loved ones as well as each important moment in their lives. No matter how busy we get.
What do you not love so much about the job?
Being a photographer owning a small business is a rollercoaster ride. You never know if you are going to book the next year. You never know if you will have the income to pay your bills. You never know if your company will survive in an industry that is surging with talent. It's hard. Keeping the faith. Believing that what I do matters and that I am impacting the lives of others. Every time I meet a new couple it's like going on a blind date. You chat on the phone or exchange an email, you seem to hit it off so you set up a "coffee date". Afterwards you leave on a high, filled with excitement and anticipation of working with them. However, all you can do is wait. Wait and hope that they felt the same way. Wait for the phone to ring. Wait for your email to pop up with a new message. Wait and hope that they want to book you. Just wait. That is the hardest part of the job.
What is something you wish all couples looking at professional photography considered or asked?
Don't just look at the price tag. I understand how easily the price of a wedding can escalate, however, keep both eyes open. Meet with your potential photographer and see if you both like one another. That is step one. Next, ask to see an entire wedding. As artists we all try to display our best and favorite pieces, but that doesn't always tell the full story. Ask to see a recent full wedding so you can see how your potential photographer handles different lighting situations. Know what you want going in. What is most important to you from your photographer. Do you want two photographers? Do you want a wedding album? Do you want an engagement session? Lastly, don't be scared to ask questions. We know you probably haven't done this before. There is no stupid question.
Where are some of your favorite engagement session locations?
If I had to pick just one in Chicago, it would probably be Montrose Harbor because it gives me the best of everything I love. I love water! Lakes, rivers, oceans. I will always find a reason to take a photo there. I also love nature with the greenery as well as the city skyline. Montrose Harbor offers all of that. In the burbs I think I would say Fabyan Park is my favorite (along with many other photographers). It's close to downtown Geneva to get that urban vibe. It's on the Fox River (again water!). It has gorgeous stone architecture and an iron gate that makes me drool.
What is your favorite wedding venue? Why?
There are so many gorgeous venues in the Chicago area, many of which I haven't even seen. My favorites are always changing. At this moment in time if I had to choose my favorites it would have to be Emerson Creek Pottery & Tearoom and the Monte Bello Estate. Both of those venues take my breath away. I never get tired of photographing there.
What do you wish people thought of for photography on the day of the wedding?
One of the biggest hiccups I run into on a couple's wedding day is timing. Early on, when setting the times for your ceremony and cocktail hour think about how much space you leave in between for your photographer. The more time you give them, the more photos you get! Plus, it gives us a little more flexibility to be a little more creative. I have done portraits in only 15 minutes more times than I like to say and at the end of the day they are nice, but I am always disappointed I couldn't give them a little more.
Tell me one thing no one knows about you (but you are okay with the world knowing!)
One thing no one knows about me, butterflies and daisies are two of my favorite things. My freshman year of high school I broke both bones in my right forearm during gymnastics practice. I had to have surgery to have two plates and 12 screws placed so that my arm would heal. They are still there to this day. A year or so after the scar healed I noticed that if I flexed my arm the scar moved in one spot. I use to draw butterflies on that spot and flex to make it look like it was flying. Eventually I wanted a butterfly tattoo there. However, as I got older I decided I wanted it in a more subtle place. No bigger than a quarter. It's something I drew that's for me. I love my little butterfly tattoo.
Thank you, Joy, for being the first Vendor Spotlight! I know that couples all over Chicago would love to meet you, see your beautiful work and have you capture the moments that matter most. One side note about Joy, is she is a fur momma to not one but three adorable fur babies and she has seen every Disney movie ever made! She takes an annual pilgrimage to Disney World and loves to run. Please check out her amazing work!