Joy Vertz, Founder of Shoot the Moon Photography

As a portrait artist who adores photographing people, I have to confess a particular fondness for clients who allow me the freedom to express my creativity. As the mother of two small children, I already know how quickly our children grow and change. And children are such great subjects to photograph because they are usually uninhibited and have a remarkable ability to be themselves in front of the camera.

Our clients stress over and over how we capture the true personality in the photographs we make for them. We strive to capture the most natural expression we can, and with children, that is often a fleeting expression you have seen before, but never captured on film. That is our job, our passion, to find those expressions that are the essence of a child. Twenty or thirty years from now, those same expressions will be seen on the adult face of that child, and these childhood pictures will be all the more dear because of it.

Our style helps to capture the unique personality of each person we photograph. The studio sessions are a fun, enjoyable experience, and full of surprises. We take the time to get to know you, and consider the photographer-client relationship a long-term one where we will capture together the images of your family over time.

There are many new options for fine art portraiture these days. In addition to the beautiful photographs themselves, Shoot the Moon Photography offers distinctive services using oil, watercolor, pencil sketches, custom collages, custom greeting cards and announcements.

I have been behind the camera for years, with a demonstrated flair for composition and capturing the spirit and feelings of our clients. My Bachelor of Art degree in Studio Art from Lawrence University provided specific training in multiple mediums, including painting, printmaking, sculpture and photography. I am a member of both the Professional Photographers of America as well as the International Registry of Child Photographers ( and actively pursue additional education on a regular basis.

I am extraordinarily honored to have photographed individuals from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, California, New York, New Jersey and from even as far as away as The Netherlands. I feel privileged that families throughout the Midwest, United States and internationally have chosen my artistic vision and distinctive photojournalistic style.

Shoot the Moon welcomes the opportunity to be your family photographer and begin the journey together!