I’ve always loved taking pictures. But, until about 16 years ago, I had no idea that photography would become my career. In fact, after leaving my corporate job in 2001, I expected to become a social worker or maybe a teacher. To get my feet wet, I signed up to be a homework tutor at a group home for children in foster care.

I struggled to find a way to get the kids committed to learning. Not wanting to use candy as the carrot, I began taking pictures of the kids as a reward for completing homework assignments. That was when I came to understand the connection between having their picture taken and self-esteem. And, I realized that — other than a snapshot from their government file — these children did not have pictures of themselves. Not only did they complete homework assignments, but they were willing to do additional work to secure more pictures for their little photo albums.

Several years later, I started Joan Brady Photography, with a speciality in photographing kids. Later, I expanded to include pets and families. And today, I also create contemporary business portraits for corporate and social use, as well as for author book jackets. 

My expertise extends to photographing subjects with unique challenges, including those on the Spectrum. And I have continued to find ways to use my photography to make a difference for children in foster care and by working with various nonprofit organizations.

My philosophy hasn’t changed much over the years. I view each photo session as an opportunity to not just capture what my subjects look like, but to shine a light on who they are. 

It’s been one of my great joys to have many long-term relationships with clients, to be the chronicler of so many memories and to watch children reach and continue into adulthood. 

My images have appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, O Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, Capitol File, Children’s Voice (the magazine of the Welfare League of America), Professional Photographers Magazine, The Connection Newspapers, Baltimore Business Journal, The Times of Fairfax County, The Great Falls Gazette, The Washington Examiner, German Shepherd Quarterly, The Fairfax News, West Virginia Magazine as well as on NBC-4/DC and in countless marketing, fundraising and public relations publications for various non-profits.

Please contact me at joan@joanbradyphotography.com for more information and/or to schedule a photos session.