“For us, it’s about faith, family, and the creation of something that lasts beyond our time here.” – Joel & Andrea
Our story begins right here in happy valley at Penn State University. Where exactly..? Right in the darkroom in the photo lab. In those days it was a second home to us photography majors.
Yep, that’s where all the magic happened between us… well, actually, no. Andrea wasn’t really impressed by Joel’s pickup lines, and Joel didn’t really appreciate how Andrea ate all his snacks. It wasn’t long though until we became great friends and it was not uncommon for us to stay up late for hours talking on the phone or working side by side on class projects.
And although Andrea was obviously madly in love with Joel from the start, (hey, who wouldn’t be, right?) it did take quite some time before anything more “developed” from our friendship. A short semester of hard work and Joel finally wore Andrea down!
Some of Andrea’s college work – from large format film to bookmaking, Andrea always found a way to express her creativity.
Joel was awarded a scholarship for a series he did that focused on the life of local senior citizens.
Long haired college hippy Joel. For the record though, the crazy 70′s gear and hair down were for a friend’s student project.
Andrea and her family at her college graduation. Joel was there too, just not yet important enough to be in the photos.
The Early Years
After being nearly inseparable our senior year of college, through graduation, working odd jobs around town, and even assisting other photographers, we finally made the decision to step out and take a chance at our own business. One night during dinner at Ruby Tuesdays the light bulb went off and J&A Photography was born.
We started out small, shooting mostly weddings and the occasional portrait – all the time building our technique, equipment arsenal, and gaining valuable experience. It wasn’t long before we became well known in the area for our creative style and fun approach.
On a snowy day in December of 2005 we got married in Eisenhower Chapel at Penn State University. A couple of years later we bought our house in Pleasant Gap and immediately began renovations – including the old detached garage that we converted into our current studio space.
An image from our first wedding together. It turns out that it was just a few miles down the road from where we’d eventually buy our house.
Our booth at our first bridal expo. A great experience meeting a lot of wonderful couples.
Our wedding day. Look how young and cute we were!
Our 1920′s home in Pleasant Gap in the early stages of renovation. Shout out to Joel’s dad for doing all the hard stuff that we couldn’t.
Now here we are today, married almost 10 years with two lovable, crazy kids. Emelia is now 5 and a loving (most of the time) big sister to little brother Judah. They are simultaneously our daily headache and our inspiration and we could not be more proud to be their parents.
It has been a slow and gradual journey to make this our full time gig, but we feel ever blessed and privileged for being able to do what we love… together.
So what’s next for J&A? Who knows. But whatever the future does hold for us, we trust that God will lead us to where we are supposed to be.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
– Proverbs 3:5-6
Our two beautiful, crazy kids Emmy and Judah.
Joel at a service project with some friends from church. Both Joel and Andrea enjoy giving back to the community whenever possible. Andrea is a regular volunteer at Hearts for the Homeless.
Andrea also loves the theatre. Here she is in her role in Godspell.
Us in a gondola in Vegas. We were recently there for WPPI 2015, the worlds largest wedding photography convention.