SRW Joyce Studios: Blog en-us SRW Joyce Studios (SRW Joyce Studios) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:10:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:10:00 GMT SRW Joyce Studios: Blog 84 120 Baby Hazard :: A Birth Story This blog hasn't received any new posts from me in quite some time --this year has been a difficult one for me, but I'll post more about that later.

What better reason to break my silence than I shot my first birth story! I've been wanting to get into birth photography for awhile now, but with shooting weddings and having my own babies I just never got the chance to get started. Finally, I offered it to one of my favorite couples and since we've done engagement photos, as well as wedding AND maternity! 

(Don't worry, I'll be updating you on his cuteness via a newborn session in the next week or so too!)

Being present while someone gives birth is such an honor. What an amazing feat to witness -- especially now that I've done it twice myself! Honestly, I think that if I weren't into photography there are some high chances that I would train as a doula (someone who assists mothers during birth.) Maybe I still can someday, if this becomes a "thing" for me. Which I really hope it does. What amazing moments to capture. It's like capturing wedding emotions on steroids. They cried. I cried. We all cried.


The way Will would look at Erica, you could see how worried and concerned he was -- as well as how helpless he felt. Will's mother was pacing around, hiding in corners, making phone calls, looking like the epitome of anxiety. Finally, we called in Aunt Lisa. The moment she arrived, Erica released a bundle of emotions. She had been so strong and absolutely silent since I had first arrived, because her epidural was not working. Aunt Lisa's mere presence seemed to trigger all that she needed to feel safe enough to crumble. Like a child, she fell into her arms and cried. It was almost like when I watch my sons fall and scrape a knee. They stand up, holding it all inside. Looking around silently with no emotion. Then we lock eyes and BOOM. They instantly fall apart, knowing that their "person" is there to catch all of those feelings. They can finally be vulnerable.

She had forgotten to call me when she went into labor -- so it was perfect timing that I text her the link to her maternity photos! She replied that she was at the hospital, 3cm dilated, and had just gotten her epidural. (Insert PANIC here.)  Luckily I had nothing planned that day other than editing, so I was able to scoot right up to the hospital with no problems thanks to an ultra-supportive husband who will man the ship at the drop of a hat!!! 

(I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story, since a picture speaks a thousand words.)

Welcome to the world, Shea Jennings Hazard -- You're mama has been waiting to meet you since she was 12 years old

Date of arrival: 11/11/16 7:06pm 7lbs 13oz 20.5in

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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Mon, 14 Nov 2016 14:26:55 GMT
Richard + Tara : ENGAGED First came love, then a baby in a carriage, now it's finally time to celebrate their marriage!

Truth be told, I have been lucky enough to watch these two fall in love and become parents to this adorable tiny human being -- Richard has been one of my husband's oldest friends, so I've had the privilege of seeing him grow up right before my eyes.

From his days as the "life of the party" to creating a life of his own, it has definitely been a transformation to behold. 

His fiancee Tara was introduced to me during Halloween at the local bar and I did my best to make a good impression while wearing leather leggings, a corset, and giant false eyelashes. We were all pretty intoxicated so I'm not sure if I succeeded, but we had a great time and I remember thinking that she and Richard seemed to have quite the connection -- plus at that time my husband and I had been amongst the first of his friends to have children, so we had sort of fallen off the map only to reappear during special occasions worthy of a babysitter.

Kids can be all-consuming and it's difficult to keep your social life in tact when no one else in the group understands your new responsibilities. So it's safe to say we were rather ecstatic when we find out they were pregnant with Brayden! FINALLY! Friends with KIDS!!!

Daydreams of family BBQ's danced through our heads as we congratulated the couple on their news!

It was only fitting that we return to Beak & Skiff for their engagement session since this was where we did their maternity session while Tara was pregnant with Brayden -- little "Baby Beak's" newborn session was done in-home but we wanted to return to the orchard where he had his first ever professional photo taken (inside his mama's belly.) Yes, that's right. Brayden is "Baby Beak," the latest member of the Beak Family, sprouting off Richard's branch on the family tree. His family partly owns and operates Beak & Skiff 1911 in Lafayette, NY. The only distillery in the nation to make their spirits from apples. Yum!

It's sort of symbolic, I suppose.

When we chose this location for their maternity session, the ground was covered in ripe juicy apples. 

Tara and Richard sat mesmerized by the fruit of her womb while amongst the trees that were all bearing delicious fruit just like the beautiful mama.

For this session, we returned to those same branches bearing blossoms symbolizing the beginning of a new season. 




“And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart:
Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.” 

Kahlil Gibran


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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Baby Photographer Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard Engagement Photography Family Photography LOVE Syracuse, NY Thu, 16 Jun 2016 13:20:39 GMT
The Ostrander Family | STORYTELLING SESSION "The days are long and the years are short."

Any parent with small children knows exactly what this means.

The cartoons, craziness, and chaos make for a very long day. The seconds can feel like hours as bedtime or naptime lurks in the distance and you feel like you're stuck in a twilight zone of cleaning the same messes over and over and over and over and over again.

They call this "chronos."

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

You wait for your spouse to get home from work to help shoulder the beautiful burden that is the tiny human that you created. They are so loved, these little miracles. But let's be real. They're exhausting. Tick. Tock.

Then there are these magical moments -- although brief, they're pure magic. 

Time just stops.

The sunlight illuminates the iris of your child's eye in just a way that you can see galaxies and starbursts inside it. Their eyelashes close in slow motion over the perfection that is the window to their soul and you hold your breath. You can't breathe as you connect the constellations of freckles that dapple their cheeks and you lean over and kiss them. Smell them. In those moments you exist only to wonder at your creation.

I learned awhile back that these magical moments that I live for can be referred to as "kairos."

The Greek's referred to this as "God's time." 

There is no tick tock. Time is suspended. You are fully present.

It's during those still moments that you realize how much that little face has changed. 

Where is time going?

When did you get so big?

You realize that time has been passing rather quickly outside of the blur that is parenthood. You become so absorbed with the day-to-day that you miss the transformation because your too close to see it. The years are short and they just keep coming.


What a funny concept.

The problem is, you think you have enough of it.

Working in the local NICU as a neonatal nurse; Lauren Ostrander sees it all. She sees babies fighting for their lives every single day and works hard to keep them breathing while assisting and educating those tiny patient's parents. In that same building, her coworkers treat the ill and work to save the lives of our mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers -- she leaves work every day knowing how lucky she is to get to go home to her thriving family but is also very aware that she is not and never will be promised tomorrow. Her husband Todd runs two businesses and is a self-proclaimed workaholic, something Lauren fears will eventually take its toll.

"I need to do a shoot," she told me.

"I want to remember my babies, while they're still babies... I want to capture everything. Chasing Todd, loving up on the kids, us together as a family. The tears, the smiles - whatever happens. We never get pics as a family and I certainly am never in them because I'm the mom and I take all the pictures."

We talked a bit more and decided to tell "the story of family pictures" -- I'd come to the house early and document them getting ready and then head to a nearby amusement park. Since there is a toddler involved, flexibility was key so the documentary session really worked best.

Because toddlers don't pose. Period.

As planned, I showed up at the house to document them getting ready.

Mickey Mouse echoed through the house as a small dance party ensued in the living room. The baby lay in her pack n play silently, watching her brother spin around and dance along with his favorite character. The cats lounged about and I took out my camera to begin.


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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Documentary Family Photography Lifestyle Photography Storytelling Syracuse, NY Fri, 10 Jun 2016 03:04:31 GMT
INTRODUCING: Baby Rosalie  


“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” 
―Johnny Depp


Awhile back, I was introduced to Mike + Ines through one of our very good friends -- since then I've been honored to photograph their engagement and their wedding and NOW I'm so excited to have had the privilege of documenting the newest addition to their little family, Baby Rosalie!

These two have been parents for awhile now (to their golden-doodle, Gio) and were ready to upgrade! They've got an adorable home which I had the pleasure of visiting for this session -- even though we never left Rosalie's nursery (Dad + Gio had to take some breaks because babies like it hot, hot, HOT and we had that space heater blaring at 80 degrees!) The little miss loved the warmth and was cozy as could be, letting me play around and get some GREAT shots!

We did a mix of some documentary + lifestyle shots as well as a posed segment -- and then at the END I asked mama if I could play around creatively and boy am I glad she said YES! We stripped her down for some skin to skin time with the beautiful babes and then I draped her in tulle (because everyone should carry tulle in their camera bags.) The results were breathtaking.

If I ever have another baby -- I'm totally hiring someone to take photos like this for me. 


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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Baby Photographer Family Photography Lifestyle Photography Newborn Syracuse, NY Fri, 27 May 2016 19:34:22 GMT
FLASHBACK FRIDAY :: Cross Lake Waterski Club + Saying Goodbye to Maggie  


"Sitting silently beside a friend who is grieving may be the best gift we can give."



My father had been asking me to photograph his waterski club for quite some time.

(Mind you, I am no sports photographer.)

When the stars finally aligned for me to join them, there was something far more meaningful on the agenda. My father's good friend, Denis, was visiting from South Carolina and was planning on scattering some of his wife Maggie's ashes on the lake that night. She had recently passed away after a battle with cancer and he was on a journey. Traveling on his motorcycle, he was visiting all of their favorite places leaving her ashes behind as he went.

Sometimes you get asked to do these little things and they don't feel like your job.

It feels like a calling.

Everything inside of me knew that this man needed me to be there with my camera that evening.

So I went.

When we first arrived, it was just my father and one of his other friends. We shook hands and they seemed eager to hit the water. They suited up and started to take runs down the river and I grabbed what shots I could -- we met up with another boat that had Denis and two other friends on board. I switched boats and continued to shoot the guys waterskiing on the slalom course.

When everyone was finished skiing, Denis asked me if I knew what they were doing that night.

I said yes.

He smiled and nodded.

I expressed my sympathies and we talked a little bit about angels before he got out the velvet bag that was riding beside my feet. They posed with "Maggie" before he said some sweet goodbyes and scattered a few handfuls of her ashes on the river. They shared some stories and he played a beautiful song on his cell phone while the guys sat around sipping their beers, every once in awhile drying a tear or two that had fallen from their eyes. The sky was painted with fiery reds that only grew brighter as time went on. It was a beautiful evening. One that I will never forget.

Having only met Maggie through Denis's stories that evening; I looked her up on Facebook and then went on to read her obituary, which I've attached below. Based on that research alone, I could tell I would have liked her. I only wish we could have met, she seems like she was quite the groovy lady.


KILLORAN, Margaret Anne (Maggie) — 1960 - 2015
Left us peacefully, albeit too soon, in the arms of her beloved husband Denis Le Sage. Maggie, just shy of 55, was the daughter of the late Leo J. Killoran and Lillian (Emery) and adored sister and sister-in-law of Pat (Lynne), John, Marian (Jon), Dan (Maria), Michael (Denese), Bernie (Lesley Anne), Peter (Donna), Brian (Diane), Joseph (Inga), Paul (Annie), Jim (Lee) and Terry (Jackie). She was a special and inspiring Aunt to her thirty nieces and nephews, their spouses and children. Maggie was a lover of knowledge and education and includes two Masters and a journey toward her PhD interrupted by her illness as her personal achievements. Music was her muse and her voice was angelic. Maggie was loved by all who knew her in both her personal and professional lives. She had a flair for speaking the truth, delivered with assertiveness and confidence. Her B.S. meter was easily tipped by those who could not be authentic, however her compassion for others outweighed all other values she held. Maggie will be sorely missed by family members, friends, colleagues and students from many parts of the globe. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to your favourite animal shelter or to a financially struggling student."

Godspeed, Maggie -- It was truly an honor to witness and capture these moments.

May you forever rest in peace.

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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Documentary Photography Syracuse Photographer Sat, 26 Mar 2016 14:15:58 GMT
Sarah + Kristian :: ENGAGED I always warn my couples -- snowy winter engagement sessions LOOK way more fun than they REALLY ARE.

The snow falls gently around you as you nuzzle noses and embrace your love. You're also freezing your ass off and pretending to not care that your feet are wet and that you can no longer feel your fingers. You kiss each other lightly and eventually eat the snot of your fiancé as it drips down their numb face. Epic photographs? Yes. Genuine romantic moments? A few. Lots of rushing around to nail shots while your blood is still pumping? Yeah. A lot of that.

These two were total champs though and powered right through the cold. We drove out to the meadows in Green Lakes State Park and had perfectly peaceful scenery surrounding us -- resulting in a little bit longer of a shoot than anticipated! There was hot chocolate, piggy back rides, and snowball fights intermixed with lots of playtime with my prism! I literally cannot wait to shoot their winter wedding next January!!

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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Engagement Photography Green Lakes Engagement Syracuse Wedding Photographer Syracuse, NY Fri, 25 Mar 2016 15:59:43 GMT
HELLO 2016 :: Change is in the air 9C2A16769C2A1676

Twenty sixteen.

Year two thousand and sixteen.

Is it just me or does it even sound weird saying it?

January of 2016 was supposed to be a new start for me (as January is for so many people.) I had major plans. From launching a new business model, to finishing my children's book, to re-opening my Etsy shop to combine all of my artistic talents -- I was supposed to take the first few weeks of January off to get it all figured out. I was supposed to have my entire to-do list completely cleared after the holidays so I could take time to focus on CHANGE.

Then it happened.

One of those crazy days, in a split second, everything did CHANGE -- and it had nothing to do with my business.

It started as a normal day, like they always do. My oldest son was at his grandmother's house and I was home with the baby while my husband was at work. After a few moments online, I started noticing some of my hometown friends posting things on Facebook...

"Another one gone too soon."

"I'm in total shock right now."


After messaging some friends I learned that someone near and dear to me had left his body and was now amongst the angels. My mind flooded with disbelief and I immediately entered the stage of total denial. It wasn't him. It couldn't be. My skin felt as if it were on fire and my heart jumped into my throat. My stomach twisted and I instantly felt weak. I placed the baby on the living room floor, slowly walked into the kitchen and closed the baby gate behind me. It only took a few more steps before my legs began to buckle and I dropped to the linoleum and completely lost my shit.

For the next few weeks, I was simply disconnected. The pain was too real and I didn't want to feel it -- or maybe I just couldn't. The human body File Jan 22, 3 34 00 PMFile Jan 22, 3 34 00 PM has some amazing coping mechanisms for dealing with pain and the most common is probably shock or disconnect. Your brain compartmentalizes things for you and you take on a robotic existence. I was simply going through motions on autopilot without feeling much of anything in between the waves of sadness and grief. It was like sitting on a carousel that was spinning to fast and wouldn't stop turning -- the faces around me were blurs, music sounded out of tune, and gravity just felt heavier and heavier. I was nauseous, dizzy, and disoriented.

Everyone seemed to have their very own woulda-coulda-shoulda's surrounding his death. We all felt responsible and guilty, like we had let him down in some way. Every person I talked to felt that if they had done something differently we could have saved him from himself and the events that led to his death. It just wasn't supposed to happen. Maybe if I had been there more. Maybe if I had called more. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

Even though we always kept in touch, I had not physically SEEN my friend in about a year.

We tried to get together plenty of times, but to be honest 2015 while sprinkled with happy moments and memories, was pretty much a total shit show for me. It was my first time running my business as a mom of TWO boys since our youngest popped out last February. Maybe the marriage of motherhood & business comes easy to some of these super mavens but for me personally, there seems to be a bit of a learning curve.

Last year was spent frantically trying to cross things off my never-ending to do list while attempting to breastfeed and care for an infant as well as fielding runny noses, fevers, injuries and basically life with boys in general. I found that while I was successfully able to shoot and edit the sessions I was booking, there were plenty of things that were falling to the wayside because I simply didn't have the time.

I was stressed out 24/7 and no one was getting the best of me.

Not my clients, not my family, and especially not my friends. (If I even had any left.)

My work had become my entire social life. I often speak about how I have the absolute best job in the world -- I stay home with the kids Monday through Friday shooting small sessions throughout the week and then on the weekends I get to photograph WEDDINGS. Adult conversation, amazing dinners, champagne and dancing, all with a camera to my face while doing what I love?!

"Yes, please!!!"

It is an ABSOLUTE BLESSING to be able to work in the creative field -- so please DON'T get me wrong. I love my job. Like I really really REALLY love my job. It is an honor and a dream come true -- and because of that, I've told myself over and over and over again that I don't get to complain.

"I can't complain about having a full plate because my whole goal was to eat."

But SOMETHING has got to give.

My clients deserve better.

My family deserves better.

My friends deserve better.

And I know with all of my heart, I can DO better.

Losing my good friend was one hell of a wake-up call for me. You see, he was one of my biggest fans. He had been a giant part of my support system since I was 17 years old and ALWAYS pushed me to do better. 2016-01-03 13.55.222016-01-03 13.55.22 He saw greatness within me when I couldn't see it for myself, and every time I talked to him he'd remind me how proud he was and how blessed I am. My heart aches over the missed moments and the missed memories of 2015. There was simply too much going on in my life and I completely lost sight of what's important.

So, my friends -- things are about to change.

In an effort to reach the next level, I've consulted some business gurus. I've learned that thanks to the laws of supply and demand, the only way to get where I want to go and serve my customers the way I've been dreaming of is to change EVERYTHING.

So first and foremost I feel as though I need to start with GRATITUDE. Thank you to all of you who have believed in me and have supported my journey this far. You have all impacted me in ways I cannot describe and I've learned so much from every single one of you. I can only hope that you choose to continue working with me and allow me to capture your sweetest moments in the ways that only my lens can. I promise that if you stick around, you won't be disappointed. I truly believe that your stories are WORTH investing in.

This new business model with allow me to spend more time on my customers, resulting in better experiences. It will also allow me the time to work on my other creative ventures as well as the time to connect with those that truly deserve my time the most.


"There's no such thing as spare time,

no such thing as free time,

no such thing as down time.

All you got is LIFE time.

Now GO."

- H. Rollins -


]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Baby Photographer Family Photography Lifestyle Photography Syracuse, NY Wedding Photography Sun, 31 Jan 2016 15:30:52 GMT
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY :: Danielle + Ryan Let's be friends.

That's my motto. My mantra.

It's everything about how I run my business.

I've always been hired by friends or by people who I could see as friends. Danielle and Ryan were those kind of people. They had originally hired me to do a family shoot for them -- something funky and different. Modern. The more we talked about their vision, the more I knew I was going to love working with them (and I was right.) They had an adorably rambunctious son named Liam who reminded me SO MUCH of MY son Liam (which we have still yet to get them together!) and they had another ridiculously cute little one, named Declan. They were FUN and I had a total blast during that first session together. It was also then that I realized they were not yet married (SCORE!) and was hoping that at some point I would get asked to shoot their wedding.

So you can IMAGINE how excited I was to finally get that call -- we first got together and shot an engagement session creekside around Armory Square. Another GREAT time that ended with a stop at The Blue Tusk. (My favorite. I was preggers at the time, so no drinks for me -- but I brought home some damn good food.) It was so nice to get out with them and have some adult time on the town! We were cursing and drinking (okay, like I said, no drinks for me but we were in a drinking ATMOSPHERE and it was amazeballs.) This just set the tone and got me even more excited for their big day.

And let me tell you -- it did NOT let me down. Theirs has got to be one of my absolute favorite weddings, STILL to this date. It was like stepping out of Syracuse, NY and stepping right into Italy! Everything took place at Francesca's Cucina in Little Italy which is located just outside of Downtown Syracuse. It's a great little hole in the wall restaurant with a patio dining area that looks like something from an Italian fairytale. Brick walls laced with ivy that sprawled over pergolas that were strung with vintage string lights. The flowers were soft and velvety, adorning each of the table in different vintage glassware and mini vases. There was a small area for the ceremony directly in between the tables for dining and a small fire pit surrounded by comfy chairs and sofas. It was warm and inviting. The perfect place for an intimate wedding.

The most difficult thing about being pregnant during the 2014 wedding season was trying not to cry -- I barely held it together during this ceremony. Danielle and Ryan are one of those couples who have truly paid their dues and deserve nothing but happiness from this point forward. Their love story is inspiring and their wedding was simply magical.

(Even down to the MAGICIAN they had walking around entertaining the tables!!! Best idea ever!!!)


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VENUE: Francesca's Cucina // SECOND SHOOTER: Renee Rorer // MAGICIAN: Dan Uzunoff // FLORIST: Whistlestop Florist

]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) MARRIAGE Syracuse, NY Wedding Photography Mon, 24 Aug 2015 22:23:20 GMT
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY :: Mary Kate & Nicole "No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were."

Hello Sarah,

My name is Mary Kate and I am seeking a wedding photographer for this summer August 23, 2014.

I looked at your work on your we page and absolute love it. I especially liked what you said about working with a photographer that you are comfortable with. My partner and I could not agree more, seeing that we are a same sex couple. I have looked up a few photographers that we would not be comfortable working with. So I guess I am writing this email to get a feeling for you? If that makes any sense?

Thank you for taking to time to read my email and I hope to hear back from you soon.


Mary Kate and Nicole were the first same sex couple I've had the privilege of doing wedding photos for and I was absolutely thrilled to receive their initial email!!  I had been wanting to photograph a same sex couple for quite awhile and was really hoping we were a good match -- turns out, they were friends with my sister and her wife and we were a GREAT match!! We had a ton of fun when we met up for their engagement shoot at the Inner Harbor, so I knew they were going to be a lot of fun on the big day too. 

The brides got ready and had their first look at The Courtyard in Armory Square of Downtown Syracuse and then the wedding took place in the upstairs of the legendary Dinosaur BBQ. The love filled the room with a thick, palpable energy. You could feel the love bursting from the insides of each guest while the two soulmates professed their love for each other onstage. Journal entries were read from when they first met and tears welled in the eyes of everyone who has ever experienced the excitement and butterflies that come along with the meeting of souls that are meant to be together. They combined two jars of sand in a sweet ceremony that symbolizes the intertwining of two lives. How neither can be removed from the other; nor will they ever be the same. It wasn't long before the vows were sealed with a kiss and the happy couple was hugging friends in the back room, ready to celebrate their new union.

After a few emotional toasts, we broke cornbread and got our fingers dirty eating lots of RIBS (Well, I did not. I was pregnant at the time and even though I was super excited for the food because I'm a longtime Dino BBQ fan, Baby Joyce 2.0 wasn't having it. Every bite I took threatened to come right back up so after awhile I just grabbed my camera and got back to work.) After dinner, the ladies laced up their custom converse sneakers and hit up the dance floor.

Thank you so much for having me as your wedding photographer, ladies!! I had an AMAZING time capturing your day and I hope that you enjoy your photos for years and years and years to come!!! 



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(Love wins.)

]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Armory Square Courtyard Syracuse Dinosaur BBQ MARRIAGE Syracuse, NY Wedding Photography Sun, 23 Aug 2015 20:23:38 GMT
Allie & Eric :: EPIC BRIDAL PARTY FAIL We were all standing by the lake, taking the traditional shots of the groom with each of his groomsmen. 

"Okay, look at me. Big smiles!"





Suddenly, to my left, there is a bridesmaid doing trust falls with her groomsmen that she walked with. Everyone had begun practicing their introductions into the reception and figured since I was busy, it would go unnoticed. (Wrong.) Once she saw me shooting them, she whined that she didn't think I was paying attention and that I should shoot everyone else doing stupid sh*t too. Unfortunately, at the time no one was doing anything super interesting so I said, "Well, I would shoot them but no one is doing anything crazy." At that moment she pointed to another couple and said, "That's about to get crazy."

So I turned and held the shutter...

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There has GOT to be somewhere I can send this -- possibly one of the best moments I've ever caught on camera. ESPECIALLY since no one was injured.

Oh, you're wondering about that last shot of her crying?

(The Academy Award goes to...)

Seriously though, PLEASE be safe when performing your introductions into a reception -- booze, gymnastics, and heels don't usually mix well.


]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) MARRIAGE NY Skaneateles Wedding Photography Sun, 23 Aug 2015 17:11:45 GMT
THROWBACK :: Happy Belated Anniversary            In an effort to catch everyone up on what happened this past year while I was pregnant, I'm trying to go back and blog all of my weddings and favorites sessions as "throwbacks." These two were married on July 12, 2014 -- I had recently found out that I was pregnant and had a bitty baby belly that I was trying to keep under wraps since I knew half of their guests.

          I've known the bride since high school, but never really hung out with her until we were both in college and I spent some time within her circle of friends. She was one of the most outgoing and caring people I had ever met -- always the "Mother Hen." She was forever looking out for her friends and was the first person to lend a hand if a lost duckling had "too much to drink." She has an iron clad pack of friends that have been pals for decades, most of them growing up together. (I've always admired those groups of friends, being a bit of a loner myself.) I was super excited when she contacted me about her upcoming nuptials and had a fantastic time shooting the complimentary engagement session with her and her new fiance. Once I met him I could see it instantly. They were totally going to work. He was so goofy and sweet. I felt like he needed someone like her to bring him down once in awhile -- to act like an adult and be serious, but she totally needed someone like him to bring out her goofy side and make her laugh. 

          Their wedding was personal and sweet -- the ceremony was held on the lawn at her parent's house on Otisco Lake in Marietta, NY and then the reception followed at the Marietta House up the road. The bride and her bridesmaids arrived to the ceremony via pontoon boat. She was greeted by her father and ring bearer who waited patiently on the dock. One by one, the bridesmaids ascended up the stairs and met the groomsmen at the top where they proceeded down the aisle together. They had a simple and touching ceremony. Their mothers combined "his" and "hers" mason jars filled with sand into a larger jar labeled "ours." Their friends cried through touching readings as the groom sweetly reassured their dog with several ear scratches that everything was alright. Once the ceremony was over, the party began at the Marietta House. After some HILARIOUS speeches, that is. I must say, this was my only wedding so far where the speech has contained a powerpoint. (Kudos to you, Ms Maid of Honor!) To the bride and groom, thank you for having us capture your day. We truly had a great time!!


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Second Shooter: Renee Rorer (
Reception Venue: Marietta House

]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) MARRIAGE Marietta House Marietta, NY Otisco Lake Wedding Photography Mon, 27 Jul 2015 22:53:30 GMT
John + Emily :: JUST MARRIED



        This year's wedding season kicked off on May 24, 2015 with John + Emily in Deansboro, NY at an amazing little venue called MKJ Farms. I knew it was going to be a good time because I know the groom and this crew never seems to disappoint. Bowties were encouraged right on their invitations (much to the dismay of some of John's good friends) and provided awesome little pops of color on the necks of most male guests. After completing a first look session and some family photographs under the trees, John and Emily said "I do" while standing on the dock overlooking the farm's small pond. They were surrounded by friends and family who looked on with smiles while sipping ice cold Coronas, it was damn near perfect. The reception was held in the barn which was decorated with fun rustic DIY projects on several of the tables. The small cake was topped with a vintage cake topper and there were plenty of fun flavored cupcakes for guests to enjoy! After toasts and dinner, which was catered by Tony's Family Restaurant, the dance floor filled and the party got started -- the crowd provided a never-ending source of entertainment and kept it going well after the cameras were gone!!

        Thank you so much to this awesome, loving, silly couple -- you made my job easy! I hope these images help you re-live your day over and over again for the rest of eternity until your old and wrinkly talking about how amazing you looked!! 


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Second Shooter: Renee Rorer (
Venue: MKJ Farms (Deansboro, NY)
Cake Artist: Debbie Titus @ Half Moon Bakery (Jamesville, NY)
Florist: DIY Bulk order from BJ's Wholesale Club 
Hair Artist(s): JoHannah Brown (Bride) and Erica Biedermann (Bridesmaids)
Catered By: Tony's Family Restaurant
Music By: Whirlin' Disc DJ's

]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Deansboro, NY MARRIAGE MKJ Farms Wedding Photography Wed, 15 Jul 2015 21:31:36 GMT
#THROWBACKTHURSDAY :: THE WEST FAMILY This session is just over a year old -- perfect time to do a throwback!!

I'm really going to try to post everything I missed last year along with this year's sessions because once I found out I was pregnant with Baby Joyce 2.0, my blog really fell to the wayside and I'd like to get it back in action!!! So stay tuned to catch up on everything I did over the last year while I was growing a human being (in case you're wondering, that equates to 30+ small photo session and 23 weddings!!! I know. I'm insane. In my defense I did NOT know I was going to be pregnant when I booked the 23 weddings. I'm still tired just thinking about it.)

Anyways, like I was saying before -- this session is just over a year old and it is still one of my favorites!! This family is an absolute blast to shoot with. Three spunky little redhead girls (two are twins) and two GORGEOUS parents. They're a photographer's dream. They live up north from me quite a bit so I'm always honored when they travel down for a shoot! For this shoot we were at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards here in Lafayette, NY. (This is one of my favorite places to shoot -- I just keep going back again and again and again!!) Before the session, Briana asked me to recreate a scene from The Notebook with her and her hubby. So we did and they are still some of my favorite shots to date. Check them out below... Enjoy!!



Monkey see, monkey do...


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(and again with the legs -- silly girl!)















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Time for some Mommy & Daddy shots...

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Okay that's enough of that -- INCOMING!!!




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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard Family Photography Lafayette, NY Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:23:53 GMT
Mary Kate + Nicole :: ENGAGED "We looked at your work on your page and we absolutely love it -- I especially liked what you said about working with a photographer that you are comfortable with. My partner and I could not agree more, seeing that we are a same sex couple. I have looked up a few photographers that we just would not be comfortable working with. So I guess I am writing this email to get a feeling for you? If that makes any sense? Thanks you for taking the time to read my email, I hope to hear back from you soon."






When I first got this email, I was totally giddy.

It was my FIRST EVER lead for a same sex wedding -- I had been patiently waiting, hoping to be contacted to add one to my portfolio.

In the past, have taken many photos for my sister and her wife, but I hadn't yet been asked to shoot any weddings -- so I honestly had to contain my excitement long enough to write back and express my interest without looking TOO interested.

As a wedding photographer, I'm greatly inspired by love.  I like to highlight and showcase the beauty that lives inside of ALL relationships, including those of the same sex. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so when I'm able to capture a photograph that defines the dynamic between two lovers -- I can only hope that it transcends all boundaries and resonates with the viewer in a way they will never forget.

This session was inspiring. (Cold, but inspiring!) We had planned on shooting in Franklin Square, but as the sun broke free from the clouds I quickly realized the shadows in that area were not going to be friendly. So I shot out a quick text and redirected our session up the street to the Inner Harbor. The light was gorgeous and if it wasn't so cold, I probably couldn't shot there forever! Unfortunately, after about 40 minutes the girls started developing slight "rudolph nose" and were visibly shaking -- so we called it a wrap!

Of course then I gave them my infamous 20 minute goodbye, since I love to talk so much! LOL! (Luckily they didn't mind!)

This wedding is going to be amazing -- I'm super excited!!!

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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Engagement Photography Inner Harbor LOVE Syracuse, NY Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:31:12 GMT
WELCOME HOME: kinley marie As I was driving to this shoot, I realized that I had forgotten my space heater.


Space heaters are a crucial part to any newborn shoot because they provide baby with lots of warmth for all of those naked shots, as well as a good amount of white noise! (Babies LOVE white noise.) Either way, it was too late to go back so I figured we would just make do. If there is one thing that I've learned since I've started taking photos professionally, is to roll with the punches! Things happen -- they can AND WILL go wrong. My job is to stay super easy going, stay in the zone, and get the shots. I've had to use lamps as tripods, tin foil as reflectors, and after this shoot I can now say I have also used a blowdryer as a space heater. Don't judge, you do what you gotta do!

And by the way -- it worked like MAGIC.

(Now take a moment to feast your eyes on this little nugget of gerber baby cuteness.)

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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) BABY CARRIAGE Baby Photographer Family Photography Lifestyle Photography Newborn Photography Syracuse, NY Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:58:31 GMT
Meet Kinley Marie "Expectation is the root of all heartache."


Whenever a mother is separated from her child, she has the expectation that the reunion will be warm and heartfelt -- we tend to picture a scene out of the movies, with us running to our little one through a field of daisies. They smile and jump into our arms as we swing them around in a giant bear hug that ends with a loving embrace. Unfortunately, when you're the mother of a TODDLER, this can set you up for one heck of a letdown. I've learned this the hard way, by going on travels of my own. On my way home, I was drunk with visions of a fairytale reunion only to be met by a child who placed his hands on both hips and began screaming. 

I walked in to a similar phenomena the day I met Miss Kinley.

Laura was looking a bit confused and let down when I walked into the room -- I then learned that big brother had just arrived and the reception was not the one she had hoped for. After being in the hospital for so long, she was expecting an eager little man to climb up and give her lots of hugs while excitedly asking to see his little sister! Turns out, Mister "Cheeks" (big brother's nickname) just wasn't sure about the whole thing. Mommy was in a bed with tubes in her arms and he seemed a little more scared than excited. So I put down my bags and just hung out for a minute. I started talking to my little pal about his big bro status. He had some snacks and it wasn't long before he had warmed up and would sit on daddy's lap with the baby, checking out those little fingers and toes!

After a little while, we had big brother go for a walk so I could spend some time his baby sister. After getting a good look, I realized this was one time that Shakespeare was wrong. She defied all expectations and was cuter than I had expected (which is crazy considering I call her brother my "Gerber baby" and was expecting an equal level of cuteness!)

Kinley has a perfectly round little head (thank you c-sections!) and her coloring that day was just impeccable. She had pink little lips and rosy little cheeks, with tiny blonde eyelashes that you could barely see. And the hair -- oh, the HAIR!! She had quite the headful, which explained away all of mommy's heartburn! She was wide awake for most of our time together and seemed to gaze into my eyes and study my face while I worked. This is one little family that I've grown quite close to since we've started shooting together and I can't wait to watch this little one grow up too! Every time I shoot with them, I walk away with such a warm heart.

With client's like this, it's no wonder why I love my job!


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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) BABY CARRIAGE Baby Photographer Family Photography Hospital Session Lifestyle Photography Newborn Photography Syracuse, NY Tue, 25 Mar 2014 20:08:27 GMT
Claire + Robbie :: Expecting As I edited photos from the Graham wedding, I couldn't help but laugh as I looked at shots of the people I went to high school with -- everything is so different now, the guys are all fighting receding hairlines and most of the girls are a couple kids deep. At least the connections were still the same, that night it felt like we hadn't aged a day and that I'd see all of them again in homeroom on Monday.

This was the first time I had ever seen Robbie's girlfriend Claire (who is stunning, of course!) and when I found out the two of them had a baby on the way, my first thought was that the kid just hit the gene pool jackpot, and has no choice but to be gorgeous! The entire time we were shooting her maternity session together I kept thinking, "seriously -- she should be a model!" As I edited the photos, I thought the same thing again over and over to myself -- "seriously, how is this girl not a model?!" Then I finished the session, uploaded them to my website and went to write her on Facebook to send her the link. This is when I saw some of her photos and realized she IS a model and has shot with a lot of the photographers here in Syracuse. (Oops!) This explains why she reminded me of the show "Runway Moms" so much, probably because she looks like she could have been on it!! LOL!

We spent some time in the studio before freezing our BUTTS off downtown -- we had originally planned to do a belly cast that day but we ran out of time, so we're going to get together again next week! Be sure to check back to see what my bellycast mini-sessions look like, until then enjoy these great shots of Claire and her baby bump...

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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Armory Square BABY CARRIAGE Baby Photographer Family Photography Maternity Photography Syracuse, NY Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:00:31 GMT
Kristen + Mike : ENGAGED K+Mbw-8K+Mbw-8 Meet Kristen and her fiance, Mike.

I have known Mike for years, but I can honestly say that I can't remember ever NOT knowing Kristen. She grew up down the street from me and has always been one of my best friends. I can remember years and years of running down the street in my pajamas on Saturday mornings to go catch some cartoons in her living room which eventually at some point, turned into sleeping in before catching up on Lifetime movies. As an only child, she and her sister Kelley were probably one of the closest things I had to sisters growing up, considering I saw them almost every day. We still have the relationship that resembles something along the lines of cousins, since we invite each other to all of our major life events and we try keep in touch on a regular basis -- I'll admit it, that's one of my favorite parts about being her wedding photographer, getting to chat with her so often! It's been a long time since we've seen this much of each other, so it makes me really happy!

It's so funny where life takes us. If you had told me 15 years ago that someday these two would get married and that I was going to be their wedding photographer, I would have laughed out loud. Seriously. But they really are one of my favorite couples and I honestly can't imagine them ending up with anyone else. I just hope they don't fight too much over hair product (LOL, just kidding!) I really cannot wait for their wedding -- I'll have several shooters with me that day because I'll be half photographer and half guest, and I don't want to miss a thing!!! I know I say this all the time, but she is going to be an insanely beautiful bride and I'm so lucky to be her photographer! Mike is pretty, er I mean handsome, too so they make my job almost too easy!

This is just the first part of their engagement session -- be sure to stay tuned for our next shoot scheduled to take place this spring at Sylvan Beach!

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]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Engagement Photography LOVE Syracuse, NY Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:14:53 GMT
Olivia's Cake Smash I walked through the snow to the front door, dragging my suitcase of camera gear behind me. Ringing the doorbell ignited a bulldog frenzy behind the door and I smiled, laughing about the snorts coming from the two boisterous pups so eager to welcome us. My assistant Jenny and walked in behind me, carrying the frosted masterpiece that would soon be destroyed. This was a bittersweet cake smash for me -- I've been shooting with Olivia since she was one month old, her parents purchased a "Baby's First Year" Package from me and I've seen her every 3 months since then. She's grown so fast and is one of the sweetest, happiest babies I've met! I'm really going to miss seeing this smiling little face so regularly!!

For this cake smash, we decided to shoot on location -- right in her own living room, this way the cake and I could keep her attention! There's nothing new to check out and no need to explore, which makes little ones way more comfortable right from the start! I was glad that I chose to bring Jenny with me because Olivia LOVED her! She was all smiles and giggles for us, which made for a really fun shoot.


]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Baby Photographer Cake Smash Family Photography Lifestyle Photography Syracuse, NY Sun, 09 Mar 2014 18:41:13 GMT
PUBLIC APOLOGY: Why I left the blogosphere + why I'm BACK! JOSIE-50JOSIE-50

Dearest clients, fans, friends, + family,

I owe you an apology. 

I have been inconsistent and sloppy. These are NOT traits that I wish to have associated with me or my business. So I'm starting over. It's been well over a year or so since I wrote my last blog post and just flat-out I'm ashamed at how disorganized I've gotten. I won't lie to you, there has been quite the learning curve for me since starting up my own business -- considering it was never supposed to turn into an actual "business!" When this whole thing started I was simply trying to avoid paying the high prices (that I now charge!) for newborn photography. I had been an artist my entire life and had worked with photoshop since I was a freshman in high school, so paying hundreds of dollars to someone for a service that I was capable of myself just wasn't going to happen. That Christmas I requested my very first DSLR and began happily taking pictures of my baby, blissfully ignorant to the path that would soon follow.

Long story short -- I went from taking MY baby's pictures, to my FRIEND'S baby's pictures, to THEIR friend's baby's pictures. Then my sister-in-law requested senior portraits and I went from HERS, to her FRIEND'S, and then had MORE friends request an engagement shoot! A year later I was shooting their WEDDING (after doing LOTS of research and second shooting assignments, of course!) and before I knew it, my schedule was packed and I was officially making a living as a professional photographer.

The speed at which this all happened (and the timing -- I was a BRAND NEW mom!) made me furiously study and practice the art of photography because I wanted to be sure that I was delivering a high quality product to my customers. I was going to be DAMNED before I let them call me a "fauxtographer" (I'm an ARTIST damn-it!!)  Unfortunately, I never really stopped to think about or learn more about the BUSINESS side of things while throwing myself into my new medium. The whole experience was a bit like trying to take a sip of water -- out of a fire hose.

Days, weeks, and months were flying by and I felt as if I was on a roller coaster ride. It was feast or famine, if we had money -- we spent money! If we needed money -- I was trying my hardest to make some. There was never a break, never a rest. I am available 24/7 to my clients, which means I work 24/7 for my clients. I was always editing, emailing, or uploading and really began to neglect the entrepreneurial and business side of things which resulted in a lack of workflow, organization, and sanity. 

I really am absolutely LOVING what I do but I know that if I want to make this into something sustainable, that I HAVE to make some changes.

So that's exactly what I've done!

Let's talk about what's new and different at SRW Joyce Photography -- First of all, mini sessions are no longer available a la carte. My mini sessions will now take the form of CONCEPT SHOOTS and will be available for 1-2 days every month. The "concept shoots" are THEMED sessions (eek! So exciting!) for which props have already been purchased. (Think mermaids, superheroes, artists, holiday, etc!) You will be required to place a $50 retainer to hold a 30 minute time slot and I will be offering print collections in addition to your online gallery.

Full sessions now come in "Standard" or "Deluxe" and include a crucial pre-session consultation in the privacy of your own home. Once I've gotten to see where the photos will be hung, I can more easily envision the colors and landscape that would best accompany your personal style. I'll know exactly where we should go for your session and will even be able to suggest wardrobe. Deluxe sessions include everything that a standard session offers, as well as the opportunity to pick two more service options from the Luxe Menu. Options include hair + makeup, canvas installation, gallery room styling, or even a "post session treat" -- this is a great addition to any session because it gives everyone something to look forward to once we're done shooting. Do you like coffee? Do the kids like ice cream? Maybe you'd like shots of you and your family at the ice cream parlor? We can make it a IN-SESSION treat instead! 

(If you're a returning customer and I already know you and have seen the inside of your home, please feel free to contact me regarding an a la carte mini session -- Many of my clients have become good friends and I would never want to "outgrow" their budget!)

Please note: LIFEstyled sessions with no props or posing are also still available for purchase and start at $250 for 1-2 hours.




All of my wedding packages now include a complimentary
mini engagement session so that we can get to know each other
(and get you used to being in front of my camera) -- they also
come with a gifted 11x14 framed print and a USB of all images in
high resolution and web ready format for you to use. The USB
drive comes packaged in an adorable custom photo box filled with
three (3) small vials that contain tiny remnants and memories
my team and I have collected throughout your day. 



SRW Joyce Photography now offers collections with a variety
options and albums available at discounted prices

Collections range from $200-$1500



You choose which print collection, canvas, or album sizes that you'd
like and your guests can now purchase them for you as wedding gifts!
They can even make a general monetary contribution towards to your 
wedding photography, these gifts would be applied to the final
amount due -- This is a great way to get some assistance from
your loved ones with if you're getting married on a budget! 



Chloe + Isabel jewelry is custom designed in NYC by a team of artists. 
It really represents my style and the type of accessories I love to work with
when I'm shooting. I've recently become a merchandiser for them so that I
can provide my brides and their bridesmaids with beautiful accessories that
they love to wear and I love to shoot! Each piece is 100% hypoallergenic
(you're welcome to my sensitive skinned sistas!) and is 
also nickel free
and lead safe. They're so confident in their product that they also boast
a 30 day cash back and lifetime replacement guarantee.



TO MY BRIDES: Be sure to ask me about booking a sexy boudoir shoot a month or two before your big day so you can surprise him that morning with his own personal spank book -- an AMAZING 4x4 leather-bound mini album that fits perfectly in any nightstand drawer! Show him what a lucky man he is and what he has to look forward to later that night and he'll surely be waiting at the end of that aisle with visions of his future wife dancing through his head!!! (P.S. This is a great option to book as a group -- perfect for the start to anyone's bachelorette party!! Sessions can take place in your own home or in a nearby hotel suite. Hair + makeup is available.)


Stay tuned for more exciting changes around here -- I'm always learning and always growing!

I also hereby promise to blog more regularly and to adhere to a business schedule! The more I am able to simplify and get myself organized, the more I will be able to focus on providing the superior customer service that I so desperately wish to be known for. Like I said before, I am very much a one woman show and I am self-teaching, practicing, and improving my skill set every. single. day. If I can successfully combine my artistic visions and talents with a knowledge of basic business practices and get organized, I will soon be unstoppable!! Here's to 2014 being the best year ever!!!


]]> (SRW Joyce Studios) Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:12:36 GMT