Joy Prouty draws out brilliance in those around her. She is brave with her own story so others can be brave with theirs. She captures the beauty she sees in her life with her camera. She lives an inspiring story.
Joy and her husband, Donny, longed for a different pace of life, a simplified pace. They longed for a pace that breathed life into their family, their marriage and their children. They wanted for something good for the soul and body. Two months after their youngest was born, and after much planning, they sold their house in Southern California and hit the road for 9 months in a 120-square foot trailer before settling on a farm in Washington State.
So traveling turned out to be a way to reconnect?
Joy: We were all in such close quarters we could not allow a fight to continue. We would have to work it out in a really calm, nurturing way. We had to learn how to be incredibly good at communicating with one another.
How did you land in Washington?
Joy: The whole time we were traveling, the kids were just dreaming of the animals they would have at their farm one day. We had visited friends out here, and we really loved it. I didn’t really know you could ever live in a place that had big trees and fresh mountain air. It was this less expensive, more organic, simple way of life.
How is life in Washington different?
Joy: When we got to Washington, it hit us that we didn’t have any family nearby. I really miss my mom so much. We’ve had to learn how to put roots down. I felt like I had to find a school, church, friends, playgroup, a network to build my business, and figure out how to farm. It was really overwhelming. This simple life is not very simple. It’s a full-time gig.
How do you help your kids be brave?
Joy: I try not to hover too much, to give them freedom to explore. I try to nurture their curiosities. We really believe in fanning a flame that is already burning in the way we talk to them and the things we try and instill in them. For example, my daughter Gracie is a very reserved introvert who feels so much inside. We’ve found the animals are therapeutic to her. She flourishes around them and nurturing this curiosity has helped her thrive.
How do the things you’ve learned in your journey translated to your creative work?
Joy: My photography has kind of evolved. Being honest about my own story gives my clients comfort to be able to open up about theirs and to embrace their brokenness, perhaps, in a way they might not have before. I think my own personal vulnerabilities in sharing in social media has been a part of that. Women, I believe, become brave by seeing other women be vulnerable and embrace the cracks. When I feel broken, I‘m not hesitant to share about that, and about where I find hope. When I shoot pictures, my goal is to be able to show my clients hope where they may not see it themselves.
What have you learned from being on social media?
Joy: There’s no such thing as balance. It’s an unattainable thing. You’re doing so much better than you think you are when you feeling like you’re failing. If you’re continually trying to make each day better than the last then you’re not failing at all — you’re doing it right.