I'm Kristen.

I am a wife and a mother of two humans (Mallory & Wes), one dog (Dexter J), and one cat (Ozzie Pawsbourne). I live in central Ohio with my family and enjoy writing, reading, true crime, red wine, traveling, and spending time with friends & family. My ideal evening is a delicious dinner, a craft beer, followed by live music. I try not to take life too seriously while also holding onto the important moments. My greatest job is being a mother to my two amazing kids, who are truly the reason I started this endeavor.

I started Project Joy Photography in 2018 after a long love affair with the art of photography. I was always that girl growing up who had a camera at get-togethers with my friends. With the sole purpose of freezing moments in time and always have an image to remember as I grew older. Over the years, this habit turned into a craft. It really started with the birth of my first child, Mallory. I loved capturing her as she showed her first smiles, tried her first foods, and took her first steps. I played with light and angles trying to capture every moment so I would never forget how it felt at each stage of her growth.

I practiced, bought new equipment, took classes, and seminars to facilitate my style and my craft. I worked with a preschool photography agency to learn indoor lighting, posing techniques and tricks to make little ones smile and laugh. I followed other amazing photographers, asked questions, and soaked in all the knowledge I could. My family began rolling their eyes at the constant photos I was taking and I am sure, secretly cursed my camera as I started to really practice and learn. My daughter was born in 2009 and after 9 years of practice, study, and learning, I made my dream come true and started my photography business.

Photo credit: Scarlet Graves Photography

Why Project Joy?

Picking a name for my business was not an easy task. I wanted something that conveyed my mission, was meaningful to me, and represented my vision of photography. This entire business is a project to me. A labor of love. When I look back at the many photos I have kept over the years, whether I have taken them or not, I always feel joy. Even if it is an image that makes me sad or conjures pain. There is an element of joy knowing that I have that memory to hold onto and that it can bring up those emotions. A family member that has passed, a pet that I once loved, or a friend I lost touch with—at least I have that image to remember the joy.

In a world full of uncertainty and the chaos of everyday life, I strive to capture the joy it brings. The connections we share that makes us who we are. The people who we love, the moments that have meaning, and the precious time we have together.

Creating powerful imagery

for brands.

In addition to working with families, I also have developed an appreciation and satisfaction in capturing businesses and branding images. Learning to market my business and create authentic images that portrayed what I do, overflowed in wanting to do that for others. Whether it is a headshot, a branding session displaying what your business does and what it creates, or both, I love capturing these images. For websites, social media, or email blasts, this type of imagery can engage your audience and keep your business relevant.

The Process


01. Connect

Contact me and tell me about yourself. Tell me what you are looking for, what you want out of your session, and what it entails. Don't worry if you're not entirely sure, we can work together to figure out what session will work best for you.

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