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Community Highlights: Meet Joy Hmielewski of Joyelan Photography

Hi Joy, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Well, I’ve been doing photography for 9 years, so it’s been a pretty long journey. I always deep down wanted to be a photographer and I’ve been taking photos since I can remember. It’s still funny to think that Joyelan Photography is really my job. I went to college and did all of the things people tell you to do, but at the end of the day this is the only thing I have ever truly loved doing. The brief answer is: hard work. I work extremely hard to give my clients a good product. I’m an over communicator most days, but that’s because I believe that every person I work with is important and deserves a good experience. I’ve photographed weddings in different states and countries, I shoot portraits, and now I’m working on expanding some services.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
If anyone says the road of self-employment is smooth, I’d like to meet them. It’s very long days, staying up late, and a lot of self-doubt but It’s still the best thing I’ve ever done. I see a lot of new photographers cutting corners and just adding filters to pictures, but this career is SO much more than that. I have learned how to use my cameras, my off-camera flash, and advanced photoshop because I want to be ready for any scenario. After 9 years I can tell you that no wedding is ever the same and you will run into situations that you need to be prepared for such as the time my camera stopped working in the middle of a ceremony (don’t worry I had a backup) or when I shot a wedding during a hurricane. Oh, and social media marketing gets more complex by the day…I am still not great at the video stories and all that, when in doubt I post about my dog, Millie. I do have a great support system and have been fortunate to have a wonderful husband and great friends who push me to reach my goals.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
I own and operate Joyelan Photography which specializes in wedding photography, elopements, and portraits. I think I’m most known for my ability to ease the stress of people who don’t like having pictures taken and my ridiculous coffee and travel obsession. I want my photos to have a natural feeling and reflect who my clients are. I like things to be easy and uncomplicated, so I don’t make clients pay me for digital file downloads because the photos are for them not me. Brand wise I’m proud of the fact that I still continually work with great people and get to do some really cool things like photographing an elopement on a sailboat. My brand has evolved from being what I thought people wanted to what I want, and I think that is a big step. I am also expanding and offering some new exciting things next year. I offer wedding and elopement photography services for fun couples in the Tampa Bay area (and destination!!) My wedding packages start at $1895. In addition, I offer family portrait photography, newborn, maternity, etc.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I love the way that Tampa Bay brings culture to Florida, and I mean that as in the diversity of the city, but also the retro Florida paradise vibes you get when you go out. I really enjoy how the city has found a way to mesh outdoor food halls and waterfront like Armature Works or Sparkman Wharf. What do I least like? I-4 I guess and the traffic light situation, haha.

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Joyelan Photography

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