• Julie of Julie Anna's Joy

One Happy Island. One Happy Us.

I’ve been very reluctant to start a blog for JAJP. To share even more about the business, about my process and about me and my life. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fairly private person--I carefully select who and what makes up my life. I’m cautious of sharing what opportunities I have, not for fear of what other people will think (I don’t suffer from that horrible condition one bit) but for not staying humble and protecting my circle. Humility is important to me, privacy is valued--- but a recent trip I created the opportunity to take (yes, created--- thoughtfully saved and planned) is just bursting at the core of me to be shared. So I’ll preface this FIRST blog entry with saying, I might not be a constant blog writer for my photography business, Julie Anna’s Joy Photography-- but I found my happy place in a country called Aruba. The imagery in my head and the photographs I captured has impacted my soul and started off my year well. My intention is to spark something in you through images and stories that will propel you to do something, or create something to better your life intentionally.


January is a bleak month in Western MD, cold and threatening of winter weather in its most “Arendelle-ic” ways. When planning how to acknowledge my husband celebrating his big 4-0 this past summer, I knew I wanted to do something BIG and telling him we’d be traveling (sans kids) to a place with warm weather and subtle breezes in January was just the ticket. I wanted to plan something to allow him to relax, shut his head off from the world of his businesses, and I wanted to provide a place of solitude where he could work to finalize the book he’s been working on for years. The answer ended up being Aruba-- a small country, 9 miles off the coast of Venezuela with such charm, comfort, and beauty I could hardly stand it. In our days spent there I remember saying “I want to remember here…..I want to be in the now….I don’t want us to get home and say how we wished we’d realize what a great trip it really was.” I was able to do just that. Aruba has a piece of me, of us both, and I will return there to spend time in a place that truly lives up to its tagline “one happy island.” It seemed most people we met along the way in Aruba had traveled three, five, twenty-six times to this beautiful island. It’s a thing….like a secret I didn’t know about before.


My husband loves Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. He craves going there like some people crave chocolate cake. I will never fully get it--- he gets home from a trip and instantly starts mentally planning the next Disney trip, he counts down to the time he gets to meticulously spend online to secure restaurants and fast passes--- again, I totally don’t get it. But THE DAY after returning from Aruba I found myself researching hotel specials and air fare deals….so, while it’s not Disneyworld….I think I was given the opportunity to travel to and embrace the culture of Aruba to feel a way about a place like my dear Disney-addict of a husband feels about “the happiest place on earth.”



I share these images to remember this year, 2019—my lucky ’19 and to share the beauty of a land that has an importance to me and to my story. I hope you will enjoy these photographs and create moments in your life that are 100% worth the investment....whatever that means to you.


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