About Mikaela Joy

Hey everyone! I’m Mikaela, a 22 year old aspiring poet, photographer and army wife living in my first house with a zoo’s worth of pets. I have a bachelors degree in creative writing, a day job at Sams club, and big dreams about what I want to accomplish in life. For now I’m spending my days taking pictures, cooking, writing, and just trying to make every minute count.

Moving Day

It’s moving day!

No not for me, I’ll be staying happily in my messy little home in Savannah.  My cats and my kid are perfectly content here.  So am I.

No today I’m moving to a new website, with a blog integrated into it.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to bring my followers list with me.  So I need a little help from you.

If you’d like to keep following my blog, please sign up for my email list. I will miss you if you don’t!

Click here to sign up.

Also, please check out my new site and tell me what you think. I’d love a little feedback.

See you in the new space!


Elliott | Mikaela Joy Savannah Newborn Photographer

CoffeeShop 1V1H Storyboard Template with clipping masks

I have another fun share today- more baby photos!  Recently I had one month old Elliott in my studio for some late newborn photos.

Generally, you are supposed to do newborn photos within the first two weeks of life, so I was a bit nervous about little Elliott coming in at over a month old.  It turns out, though, that I had absolutely no reason to be.  This little man was a dream to work with.  He fell asleep easily, posed well, and then woke up for a few bright eyed photos at the end.

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With his red hair and blue eyes, this little guy is certainly going to be a charmer! I had such a great time working with him and am excited to watch him grow up.  What a sweetheart!

To see the rest of his photos you can visit my website here.

Sebastian | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Newborn Photographer

Since I finished setting up my studio, I’ve been dying to work with some newborns.  Those first few weeks of a baby’s life are so special- everything is new, the bond between mom and child is strengthening, and baby is growing like crazy!  One of my favorite experiences shooting photos of my own son was when he was five days old (in fact I shared one of those photos in my last post). The newborn phase is so important to capture because it’s gone so quickly.  It’s a wonderful experience to be able to be a part of those fleeting moments.


Much to my excitement, Sebastian came to my studio as it’s first newborn visitor.  He was exactly two weeks old and absolutely adorable.  Right on time, mom showed up at the door with a sleeping newborn and I thought, “Oh good, he’s already sleeping.  This will be an easy shoot.”

Boy was I wrong.  Little Sebastian somehow managed to stay away the entire time he was with us.  He took a few short catnaps in his mom’s arms, but always woke up as soon as he was set down.

So we were forced to improvise.  Luckily, Sebastian was perfectly content as long as he was with mom.  We were able to get some lovely portraits of the duo.  He also was willing to pose a bit as long as he got to show off those beautiful eyes.

sebastian2Want to see more? The full album can be found here

Why I Edit| Mikaela Joy: Savannah Lifestyle Photographer

In preparation for an upcoming newborn shoot (which I’m very excited about!) I decided to revisit the photos I took of my own little man when he was 5 days old. At this point I was a bit sleep deprived, inexperienced with babies, and lacking in a proper lighting setup.  I used a blanket, a couch, and some window light and came up with some decent shots, considering the circumstances.  Since then I’ve fixed everything but the sleep deprivation, and added some new photoshop skills to boot. Since the editing is such a drastic change, I thought I’d share my before and after:

before and after

The original photo was fine, but it looks like what it is- a baby sleeping on a blanket draped over a couch.  It’s a fine snapshot and gives a good idea of what my little boy looked like at five days old.  But what a transformation a little editing can do! This is the difference between a professional photo and a snapshot.

I’ve been asked before why I edit every photo I reveal to the client.  Many photographers deliver unedited products in favor of saving time.  They often claim that they “get it right in the camera” and don’t need to edit.  If that is true, then great.  But my goal with photography is about more than the snap of the photo.  For me photography is art.  I want to create something beautiful, something that you will want to hang on your wall, something that will be shared outside of a computer screen.

Yes, it is a lot of work.  Sometimes I will spend an hour or more on just one photo.  Certain types of photos require more, while others are quick. But the proof is in the pictures, and for me, it’s worth it.

As a side note, look how little my boy was! Oh my gosh!

Studio Space! | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Lifestyle Photographer

DSC_1992 copyBig news guys! Mikaela Joy Photography now has a home studio!

It’s a small space- best for headshots, babies, and children, but just enough to help me offer several new possibilities for our sessions. So far I’ve been playing with photos of my little man and a couple self portraits in the space. Later this week we have another baby coming in to help me really test things out, but until then I’ll share some of my experiments.



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What’s most exciting for me is that I’m now set up to shoot newborns!  With that said, I’m looking for models.  If you or anyone you know has a newborn and is interested in a free session, please get in touch! Send me a message on facebook or through my website.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

The Little Moments & Getting in the Picture | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Lifestyle Photographer

Baking With BabyThere are constantly moments where I think “God I wish I had my camera.”  I see things every day that I frame into a photo in my head but never take the shot for various reasons (no camera with me, no patience for my photography shenanigans from the people I’m with).  Usually these are passing moments with strangers that I won’t ever think about again, but often they are moments in my own life- moments that I would have loved to have captured and printed.

DSC_0636Being a photographer means that the lives of the people closest to me are very well documented.  I have taken several pictures of my son for every day of his life.  I do photo shoots with him every month.  I take pictures of any friends that will let me and bring my camera to most events I attend.  But I’m hardly ever in the picture.

I think a lot of moms can relate to this.

It’s so easy to get caught up in capturing every moment of your kids lives.  But what about one’s own progress during this time?  Being a mom completely changes a person.  When I look at photos of myself before and after having my son, I see an entirely different person.  My body has changed, my outlook has changed, everything about my life is a little bit different.

DSC_1058 copyObviously, I believe in the importance of photography.  I want my son to look back at old pictures of us with amazement- at both the changes in himself and in me.  I want him to see the way I smiled at him as he “helped” me cook, the proud look on his face as he takes his first steps.

This is why I place my focus in lifestyle photography.  When I look back at posed pictures from my childhood I laugh at the way we all looked and the clothes we all wore, but it doesn’t represent my life to me.  The pictures that resonate are the ones in a baby carrier strapped to my father as he gives commands to the family dog, or the photo of my brother and I playing together, me standing in his work boots.

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As I capture these moments for others, I’ve been making a point to be sure they are taken in my own life as well. Whether it’s through the art of self portraiture (and some  plain old lselfies, too) or by handing off my camera on occasion, I want to be sure that these memories are saved.  They are too important to miss.

Eryn | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Lifestyle Photographer

eryncandidIt can be hard to get anything done with a new baby, but last week I was determined to get back behind the camera taking something other than baby pictures. So with my little man tied on to my back, I made my way to Forsyth Park to meet up with a gorgeous model named Eryn.


Eryn posses one of my favorite qualities in a model- she’s up for anything.  She showed up with a smile on her face and a perfect outfit, despite the fact that I had only given her a day’s notice.  More impressively, she was unphased by my little helper, laughing as he tried to flirt with her.

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Since it was such an impromptu shoot (I seem to be developing a habit here), we decided to keep it carefree with a more candid feel.  These are my favorite types of shots because they really showcase the personality of the model.  When I think of Eryn I think of vintage glamour, and I feel like that’s what we captured here.


You can find the rest of the photos from this shoot here.