about me

Hi, I'm Joan Cusick. I focus on stories that bring generations together.

I've been fortunate to have three careers — the first as a Memphis newspaper reporter and editor, the second as a corporate communications director, and now as a photographer and freelance writer.

I specialize in photographing families at key moments in their lives, whether it's a b'nai mitzvah, birthday, retirement or other special event. Since 2013, my editorial work has been published in Civil Eats, Comstock's, Edible Sacramento, New Farm, Outword, Real Weddings, Sacramento News & Review and other publications. 

I love what I do, and I hope it shows.

published work

David Kaisel of Capay Mills: <a href="https://civileats.com/2019/10/08/california-farmers-face-a-long-road-to-recovery-after-wildfires/">https://civileats.com/2019/10/08/california-farmers-face-a-long-road-to-recovery-after-wildfires/</a>

I am currently booking assignments in the greater Sacramento area only through September 2023. 

Please take a moment to read through the following frequently asked questions to determine if I might be the right fit for your photography needs.

Q: How can I book your services?

If you're interested, please send me an email. Be sure to include the time, date and place for photos and how you were referred. If I am available, then we can schedule a phone call or face-to-face meeting. There is no charge for initial consultation.

Q: How much do you charge?

I charge $300 per photography hour, with all time charged in one-hour increments. My rate includes planning, on-site photography, image processing and selection, posting to an online gallery, and client downloads of posted digital files. For major life events such as b'nai mitzvahs and weddings, I require a minimum four-hour booking.

Q: What is your turnaround time?

Clients can view their online proof gallery within 10 business days. Faster turnaround is available for editorial assignments.

Q: How do I buy prints of my favorite photos?

Photo prints and merchandise may be purchased "a la carte" from your gallery. Use the blue "Buy Photos" button to place your order directly with Bay Photo lab. I sell photo prints but not digital files through this website.

Q: If I hire you, will I own all the photos you shoot?

No. As the photographer, I retain the copyright on all my images, so I "own" my creations. But every client contract includes a license for noncommercial use, so my clients can download digital files, post them on social media, and print them with any vendor.

Q: What should I wear for my photo session?

Wear what makes you feel your best. Here are a few tips:

• Dress appropriately.  For professional "head shots," wear what you would normally wear to work, whether that's a jacket and tie or a polo shirt with your company's logo. For family photos, your attire can range from in-the-park casual to more formal for weddings and life events.

• Choose colors wisely. Blues and greens photograph beautifully, and solids usually work better than busy patterns. All black may wash out your skin tone. Bright or neon colors will reflect back on you.

• Avoid fad clothing, including T-shirts with slogans and designs. No baseball caps, please.

• Set a consistent style or tone. For example, you wouldn't want someone in dressy cocktail attire standing next to someone in T-shirt and jeans. But avoid "twinning" with lookalike clothing.

• Vary your look. Bring an extra jacket, sweater or scarf in a complementary color. 

• Don't hide behind your hair.  Keep your hair natural, but make sure we can see your face and eyes. Consider trimming overly long bangs or clipping back hair so it doesn't fall in your face.

• Apply makeup lightly. Lip balm can soothe chapped lips. A little foundation or powder can even out skin tones. But avoid heavy eye makeup, including highly-reflective metallics or glitter.

If you wear glasses, tilt your chin down slightly and avoid looking directly into bright lights to mitigate glare. If you wear transition or coated lenses, please let me know in advance.

Most of all, have fun! Be yourself and enjoy your photo session.


Portrait by Brian B. Fox

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