Ohio-based photographer Joy St. Claire captures beautiful images of nature, including enchanting forests and vivid flowers. Her portfolio presents nature in a charming haze. Taking inspiration from the faded photography of the 1920s and 1930s, she makes her photos look as though they have a washed-out sepia tone finish, with the exception of a single color that vividly pops out at you. There is a tranquility about her work that transcends the invisible wall between the image and the viewer. Looking through her photos, I feel like I am walking down that bewitching path in the woods, allowing the mist to guide me.
We got in contact with Joy and were lucky enough to ask her a few questions. Be sure to read the interview, below.
All of the shots you take are phenomenal, but the ones that really stand out to me are the ones in nature, particularly the woods. What’s your experience like when you’re out there? Do you feel a sense of calm and serenity?
I actually do feel a sense of peace when I am in nature, especially in the woods. While growing up, I spent summers at my grandfather’s farm. He was an organic farmer and very attuned to nature. We would wander through the woods and he would have me sit quietly beside him and we would watch the woods come to life around us. I learned from him to become a part of my surroundings and because of that I have always felt at home in nature. I feel a sense of serenity and also like a very small part of something so much larger and greater.
Even though many of your photographs focus on inanimate objects or settings, each of your shots manage to capture so much life and emotion. What’s your secret?
Again, I believe much of it is from my experience in nature as a child. I was fortunate to be influenced by relatives that had such passion for their gardens and the natural world. They instilled a passion in me that comes out in my work. When in nature or in a garden, I become a part of the picture, so to speak. Then I use my editing process to create in an image of what I was feeling inside at the time. There is so much beauty everywhere!
What’s your favorite part about being a photographer?
Well, I do love being in charge of my own schedule and being my own boss. But I also feel very blessed to be able to do what I do. I follow my passion and bliss and live a creative life. I feel as though the way I see the world is a gift, and I feel very blessed to be able to share the beauty I see with others. I also love doing photographic projects such as The 30 Days of Gratitude Project (every November) and also doing A Year of Mornings or 31 Strangers in 31 Days. I’m a “projects” sort of person!
Who or what inspires you?
So much inspires me! If you allow yourself to be open with your heart, mind and eyes, you see inspiration everywhere. Beautiful morning light and shadows, a stormy or foggy day (especially fog!). I have been inspired by the art of the 1920s and 1930s. The tones used are so beautiful in that era. Vintage cameras, typewriters and beautiful old or retro things inspire me. The Group of Seven painters and their work always captivated my imagination.
What’s next for you?
I see my fine art business and creativity continue to blossom, grow and evolve. And in the future, I see myself happy and busy in my own little studio!