NAME: Joy Prouty | Wildflowers Photography
LOCATION: Austin, TX
FACEBOOK: Wildfowers Photography
IG: personal: @joyprouty professional: @wildflowersjoy
Happy May, friends!
We are super excited to announce this month’s theme, “Get In the Frame” to celebrate Mother’s Day.
To introduce this theme, we are excited to share our sweet friend and featured artist of the month, Joy Prouty
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get started as a photographer?
my name is joy. i am originally from the outskirts of los angeles, california but was born a dreamer with a strong case of wanderlust and have traveled and lived all over. we currently call an old farmhouse home out in the middle of nowhere near austin, texas where we see the sun rise big and red above the pond in the mornings and i watch my five babies run wild in the tall grass from our rickety front porch at the end of every day.
i have always been a lover of telling stories. i remember laying in my backyard watching the clouds when i was a little girl thinking up characters for the adventures in my mind. my mom said that i always had a camera in my hand and over the years that followed my art became my therapy. i never stopped creating, and still as an adult i constantly have ideas and words and pictures spinning like wild at every moment in my mind.
How would you describe your work/art?
hope filled. i want the experience of taking the photographs to be just as breathtaking as the images produced. i cannot have anything forced. i want there to be space to exhale and dance and cry and, most importantly, to be honest. some images will be happy and shiny, but they will be truth filled. others may be darker, but even in the darkness i pray for my images to show the path back toward light. i feel that if i am posting an image for the worldto see, that it be passionate and vulnerable and speak love loudly.
How has motherhood changed your work?
motherhood has made me humble. i strive for gentleness above all else. my work is no longer just a reflection of the way i view my surroundings, but now it is a looking glass into the way my children will also see the world as they grow old enough to take note. i want to leave a legacy of warmth.
Why is it important for you to get in the frame with your children?
i treasure the photographs i have of me and my mother so dearly. there aren’t many. we are mostly posing in front of the christmas tree or in our easter dresses. but there is one of the two of us on my grandpa’s tractor on his ranch when i was three or four. and my mama’s hair is long and her freckles are bright because it was summertime and her smile is real and thoughtful and i am right there on her lap, safe and content. she was my whole world and she still is and the photo is simple. i want my kids to have as much of that as i can possibly give. photography is a gift and i remind myself often to put aside any concerns about perfection and just hold still long enough to savor.
What are some other ways you can put yourself and story in the frame without actually being in the photo?
i truly enjoy our home being a safe place full of warmth and memories with quilts i have made for the children or stuffed animals we have created together… these items are often in the photos i take of them and so there i am, in the frame, even when my face is not, because my heart has been sewn right into those fabrics they hold so dear. more practically, when i photograph my children at home i have my eyes always open for creative ways to use reflection as a way to include myself without being posed or beside them, whether it be in a mirror, a window or in their eyes. other than an actual physical presence i just never pose them but have them engaged with me so that their emotions are, in a way, pulling me in.
What would you say to a client who comes to you saying she only wants photos of her children?
“these photographs are not just for your walls. not just for your memory. they are, most importantly, for your children and you must show this chapter in completion. because you, mama, are their most favorite character…. the hero of their very favorite story.”
Thank you, Joy, for sharing your heart and your work with us.
If you are interested in learning from Joy, she holds workshops all over the country, and will also be speaking at The Inspired Story this August alongside MNIM co-founder Mae Burke.