With a mind for the analytical and a passion for the creative, Joyelle West brings a complimentary blend of skills to work with her each day. Every one of her photos is a labor of love brought to life with infinitesimal movements and careful consideration to each ray of light that illuminates her work. Her passion for creation is driven by her dedication to her work and it certainly shows. Today’s interview with Joyelle features an incredible portfolio and tons of sound advice, take a peek below!
Was a career in photography what you always dreamt of doing?
I was a science major in college and started working the first few years after college in research. But I was very creative growing up and always had a pull towards a creative field. My then-boyfriend (now husband) bought me a camera as a present and I started taking photo classes. I was hooked and decided to pursue it. Commercial photography is very analytical as well as creative. I realize now that it’s the perfect blend of right-brain and left-brain for me.
Your website showcases an incredible blend of interiors and lifestyle photography. How did you develop your style, and does one type of photography influence the other?
Thank you for saying that! I believe that one’s personality does emerge in one’s work. I am generally an optimistic, easy-going and happy person, I think that that tends to come through in my photographs no matter what I am shooting. I don’t know exactly how my style developed, only that the more you photograph, the more it appears. The “10,000 hours” rule is pretty true!
We often see the end results of a photoshoot. Can you give us a glimpse of what an interiors shoot day looks like for you?
Generally, I set up my gear while my client is prepping the space. We frame up the first image and then the real work begins. So much of a photoshoot is just moving furniture, objects and props and adjusting lighting. The actual part of the shoot where you are taking the final photo is only a small percentage of the shoot. Interiors are all about finding the perfect balance of staging and light.
What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out? What advice would you give someone who is breaking into interior photography today?
I think the most important thing you can do when starting out is to pay attention to light. It sounds elementary but just really paying attention to where light is coming from, where you need more of it, and where you need less of it will go a long way. Second, interiors are much more analytical and precise than you would think. Learn as much as you can about the technical aspects of interior photography and architecture. There are so many webinars and seminars that you can find online to educate yourself. And always shoot tethered!
What fuels your editing sessions? Do you have a favorite playlist or podcast?
I love the podcast Happier, it’s one of my favorites. I also love Heavyweight for when you are looking for a heartfelt, funny story (or a tearjerker).
You’ve been featured in many well-known publications. What tips do you have for other creatives reading today who want to pitch their work and grow their brand visibility?
Photograph every shoot as if you are pitching. Take the time, think through your light, the props and staging, and the story you are trying to tell. Photographing one or two pretty images won’t get the attention of an editor as much as photographing a home in a way that tells a story about it.