Joanna Andres Photography specializes in Newborn, Baby, Milestone, and Maternity Photography. Joanna’s studio is located in Upper Arlington, Ohio. She has an 800 square foot boutique home studio and is looking to expand to a commercial studio this summer. She provides the clients with a beautiful maternity wardrobe with couture gowns, all the props, backdrops, outfits, headbands, hats, layers for the newborn session and also will style your baby’s first milestone session, too.
Her business strategies are to provide a stress free, relaxing service to expecting moms and families. She provides a luxury experience to her clients and gives her clients a customized photo session to provide them with beautiful images of their newborn, maternity belly or milestone for their child. In addition to providing digital images, she also designs beautiful keepsake albums, heirloom wood prints and acrylic prints for her clients to display in their homes.
When Joanna was only 12 years old, her Italian family, from Sicily originally, purchased a pizzeria in their small town of Monroe, Michigan. She remembers getting picked up from middle school and going straight to the family’s restaurant to work every day except for Mondays as that was the only day they were closed. She would bring home homework and wanted to get her homework done, but her family needed her help with answering phones, taking orders, making pizza’s, subs, salads and pastas, checking out customers, waitressing and whatever it was that they needed, and that came first. She would work long hours after being in school all day. She learned so much about working hard and running a business from the age of 12. She learned how to work with customers, getting to know customers and building friendships with them. The ins and outs of the business, marketing, accounting, sales, she learned so much, she knew it was a lot of work, but she knew she always wanted to own her own business when one day.
Joanna graduated with a Marketing Degree from The University of Toledo in 2000. After graduating, she worked at Time Warner Cable as a Sales Consultant selling 30 second commercial spots for businesses. She loved all her co-workers but didn’t have a passion for selling commercials especially when the DVR’s came out, she knew it would be much more challenging to sell.
In 2002, Joanna bought her first home and loved the entire process. She loved the building process of new home sales and had a friend that was in the business. She decided to work for a new home builder. She loved helping clients build their dream homes! After selling homes for a few years the evenings and weekend work times as well a 6 day work weeks took a toll on her personal life. She missed out on weddings, birthdays and a lot of friend/family events due to work and decided she needed a change.
She enjoyed training sales people and found a job with another home builder as a sales recruiter/sales trainer. She was able to work normal business hours and enjoyed this field. Joanna was pregnant in 2007/2008 when the housing market crashed. She knew she didn’t have a big future with new home sales with the market crash and decided to be a stay at home mom which is something she had always wanted to do.
Joanna was pregnant again with her 2nd baby within 6 months of her first. She loved capturing all of her babies milestones on camera and also hiring a photographer to capture her babies for her, too. Her husband, Corey, had mentioned that she should buy a professional camera and take photos of the kids and she did. She took some courses at a local camera store on how to use the camera and it’s settings, she also took some online courses on editing, and some courses on posing babies. She would post her photos of her own kids on Facebook and friends would then ask her to photographer their babies. They would give her a gift card as a thank you.
As a stay at home on a teacher’s salary income, the budget was always tight. She decided to start doing small mini sessions for friends for a very low cost and it started to pay for activities for the kids like dance classes, and some classes that she could take the kids to so she could go to the grocery store or run errands. She started offering outdoor sessions, and one day it rained so she took one of her friends/clients into her office with lots of natural light and shot there. She then started to do newborn sessions in the small office space in her home. She wanted to get better at newborn sessions as she really loved them. She took several online classes, workshops and a one on one workshop in Atlanta Georgia with a well known newborn photographer. She learned so much and it showed in her images.
As her business got busier, she decided to finish her basement and make that a boutique studio. She provides the clients with all the props, backdrops, outfits, hats, headbands, lovies, layers, etc. All the clients have to bring is the baby! She now is looking for commercial space as she is outgrowing her current space.
Her kids had motivated her to start the business. She knew she wanted her kids to have the life that she didn’t have growing up. Her kids are now very active in several sports and are very social. They’ve made so many beautiful memories with vacations, and events. She also tries to have them work as assistants, or as an Elf when she has Santa sessions so the kids can also learn more about the business as she knows working hands on for her parents business was the best business education she can give them. Her hope is that her kids will also start or run their own business with whatever their passion is when they get older as well.
Some of the challenges that Joanna’s business faced was when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2009. She decided that she wanted to work during her diagnosis. As a business owner, you don’t get any sick days and if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. There’s not PTO. But honestly working was therapy for her. She loves babies so much and it never feels like “work” when she’s capturing these beautiful babies. It’s art for her and she loves it. She ended up getting 6 intensive chemotherapy treatments, a lumpectomy and radiation. She didn’t tell her clients that she had breast cancer. She used Cold Caps, which freezes your hair follicles during chemo so your hair doesn’t fall out. Her clients didn’t even know she was fighting cancer during her diagnosis. It was challenging as she did have some tough days that she was just exhausted for felt sick, but she didn’t even think about having cancer when she was working with the babies. She feels that working helped her through her cancer treatments. She ended up having a full response to the chemotherapy and has been cancer free since September 2009.
Some opportunities the business has faced is her loyal clientele. She gets a high percentage of clients from referrals and good reviews. Joanna has nearly 300 5 star reviews on google, has a fantastic client base that is very loyal and she offers amazing products to her clients such as keepsake albums that almost all of her clients purchase because they love having all their images in a beautiful album that she’ll design for them. She also offers beautiful heirloom wood prints that her clients hang on their walls. She also has a beautiful studio located in the heart of Columbus Ohio. Its very convenient for any client that lives in Central Ohio.
Joanna has been chosen as Best Newborn and Maternity Photographer in Columbus, Ohio by expertise in 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019.
Joanna also has been published several times in Bump, Baby and Beyond Magazine, and Lensational Magazine.
Joanna thinks you should first find what you’re passionate about. This all started as a hobby for Joanna, she enjoyed taking photos of her babies. She wanted to find something that she enjoyed doing and that it didn’t feel like work.
Joanna would advise anyone who is starting a business to find a mentor or someone who is in business and learn all the ins and outs of a business. Not only just the photography side of it; but it’s very important to know how to market, how to work with clients, how to handle the day-to-day business as it can be challenging. You’re not only a photographer, but you’re also the manger, the accountant, the IT person, you will do it all and wear many hats. Be a sponge and learn from everyone you know all about any kind of business as it will help you with your own!
Some of the biggest lessons learned is that you need to value yourself and charge your worth. You also need to have confidence, show the client that you’re the expert. You will handle the baby, soothe the baby and show them that you’re the pro. When you’re not confident they can see that and they can become unsure of the session. Be positive, befriend your clients. You should love learning about your clients and so many clients become friends.
You can contact Joanna Andres at