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Joy Vertz


Joy Vertz, has grown in 6 short years from a one-woman show in her basement to now running 2, thriving high end, boutique style studios with a team of 7 employees. She is a self-proclaimed numbers girl with a firm grasp on the business aspect of running a photography studio at all levels. Joy’s studio, Shoot the Moon Photography has maintained a steady profitability despite the decline in the economy and continues to flourish. It is incredible to hear the organization system that Joy has implemented to ensure that thousands of clients think they are her one and only!

Joy has a degree in Studio Art from Lawrence University. Under Joy’s artistic vision and entrepreneurial leadership, Shoot the Moon Photography has been selected as the Milwaukee area’s top-rate portraiture studio. Her studio, based in Milwaukee Wisconsin has attracted clients all throughout the Southeast Wisconsin area as well as individuals throughout Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, Florida, California, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Alabama, Utah and from even as far as The Netherlands.

From Joy:
I love everything about art. I love creating it, being a part of it, living it. However- I also know that in order to sustain a living doing what I love, I must be a business person first. I’m a self-proclaimed numbers nerd who has learned successful tips and tricks to make photography profitable. Just as exciting to me as the thrill of capturing a beautiful image and seeing a parent swoon over the portrait I created, is the fact that I am making a successful living doing what I adore. My business continues to grow year after year through hard work and careful planning and marketing.

How many After Dark Events have you attended and what’s your favorite moment?
I’ve attended 5 After Dark Events – and my favorite moments are “lightbulb” moments—when you see a concept click with someone and know they will be able to take the concept we just learned together back to their business, implement it and have a more successful studio from it.

Why is education important to you? How long have you been teaching? What made you get into teaching? What do you get out of being a mentor?
Education is important to me because the photography industry is ever changing.

There are more photographers today than ever, and while I see photographers upset over having so much competition, I see it as a challenge to constantly grow and perfect my own business. By taking part at an After Dark Event you will elevate your business to a new level and surpass your competition. This is exciting!

What are the top 5 skills you’ll be teaching at After Dark?

  • Pricing
  • Working with Kids / Shooting for Sales
  • Sales Techniques
  • Business Basics
  • Marketing/ Social Media

Contact Info:
Adventures in Bokeh

Fun Facts:

  • Nikon Shooter
  • Candy Addict – Lemonheads and Pez are my favorites
  • I own two boutique style studios in Milwaukee, WI
  • Love natural light and studio lighting

Majority of Business:

  • 150 High School Seniors
  • 600 Family / Kids
  • 100 Newborns
  • 5-8 Weddings


  • Larson
  • Alien Bees
  • Natural light
  • Tons of fun modifiers