We had the good fortune of connecting with Joanna Miriam and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joanna, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Where do I start. I guess at the beginning. When you finally find what you are meant to do in life, something beyond you takes over. All of a sudden, you see things in a different light, you analyze situations differently. At least that’s how it was for me. A twenty-something college grad with the world at her fingertips. Life was photography. Photography was life. Everything revolved around apertures and shutter speeds. This was where I built my foundation. I traveled the World, met famous people, learned from the greats and had a cushy bachelorette lifestyle. Fast forward to the end of my twenties and things started to change… I found the ONE. He was a flooring contractor so we both had the same strong work ethic and motto of work hard, play harder. We dated for 3 years, moved in together, got married, bought a house, got a dog, went to Paris… the next steps were inevitable. KIDS!!! Before I knew it, my family life was taking over and I was forgetting who I used to be! In order to keep up with my workflow, I was loosing copious amounts of sleep. Something had to give and it wasn’t going to be my career. Now, we have found our new normal with a healthy balance between work, family and friends. Weekly girls nights, bi weekly date nights, safari park and zoo annual passes. It is really all about commitment to all facets that make you, well, you! With 2 kids, a hubby, still that same lovable dog and a thriving photography business, balance is key. If you fall off, something gets lost. Here is my advice to anyone wondering how I do it… -Cherish the little things. -Make plans with the ones closest to your heart -Get your head out of your phone -Listen to your kids (or little ones around you) tell stories. Ask them questions. -Get rid of the clutter. Keep what matters -Stand your ground -Love first

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets my art apart from everyone else is my attention to symmetry and details and my constant risk taking/ rule breaking. Photography is about numbers, fractions, equations, Everything needs to compute together to reach the correct answer. Not too much light here, don’t go below this shutter speed at this lens length, the rule of thirds… Rules are made to be broken. Once I got confident with my abilities and really learned the way to do things, I started taking more risks. Dragging a shutter at night may not make sense to you, but… when you see my nighttime images with the detail in the background, you understand. Same with the way I get people to pop off the page! Then, when you combine all of your knowledge and all of your educated risks, magic happens. It was not easy to get to where I am today. Life is a process. Where will I be next year, I have no idea. If you would have asked me last year if I thought I would be here today, I would have said no way!! Things happen the way they are supposed to. The anxiety of being a mom boss and having your entire life out there for the world to see is a lot. I am thankful that it has worked for me and that I have clients and family that have continually supported me and my journey! I just take one day at a time and try to be the best representation of myself… OR, choose to have a PJ day to reset. That is ok too!! Life isn’t easy. As I am giving this interview, I have my 1 and 4 year olds jumping around me trying to touch the keyboard. I wouldn’t change a second of it. This is life. Put on a face and your best foot forward, even if you have unmatched socks on. You are enough and whatever you can accomplish is great. Yes, there are days that I wished that I did more and there are people I aspire to be like, but that’s normal. It doesn’t mean that I am not good enough. I like to think there is at least one person out there that wants to be like me:)

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, a week is an eternity in Southern California. We would definitely take a day to do quintessential LA… The Disney Concert Hall, MOMA, Staples Center and a bit of Universal City Walk. Really not sure what restaurants would be open LA but can’t say you’ve been to LA without trying some Macaroons at Bottega Louie. The Carmel and Birthday Cake are my favorites. Then we would hit the docks in Long Beach for some fresh seafood and great views. The Crab Pot even has a fire pit in their patio next to the bar which makes for a great night! Then off to 2nd street for shopping. Next is driving south on Pacific Coast Highway until you get to my home, Huntington Beach. For food it would be: The Corner, Fable & Spirit, Ola, Arc, Habana and A’s. Oh and Javier’s and Mastro’s Ocean Club. We would walk up the Huntington Beach Pier, inhaling the fresh salty air and watching the surfers. Our last couple of days would be spent in Carlsbad, San Diego and Coronado island on one of those scooters stopping wherever our hearts are content.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The first person that comes to mind about encouraging my career is my Mother. She is my number one fan, my partner in crime and will literally do anything to help me accomplish my dreams. One of those things was leaving a corporate job after college to intern for Art Brewer. That is where my mentorship and support really took off. Art is a legend in the surf community. To date, he has more covers of Surfer Magazine that any other photographer. Art really became another parental figure to me. Over the next 15 or so years, he took me under his wing and taught me everything!! We traveled the World teaching college students about portraiture and underwater photography. We worked with famous musicians, models, athletes and actors. He taught me how to act on set, how to quote a job properly, paid for my continued education and gave me every opportunity to pick up a camera on his jobs which ultimately made us a dream team. Everything that I have and everything that I am is thanks to these two humans!!!!

Website: www.joannamiriam.com

Instagram: @joannamiriam

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joannamiriam

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jojofoto

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/joanna-miriam-photographers-huntington-beach

Other: Client websites www.joovy.com www.drbvitamins.com www.elixicure.com www.vipeventsandweddings.com www.auction.com

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