Like her photographs, Joyce McMurtrey has deep roots in the Missouri Ozarks. A native of Columbia, Missouri, Joyce has spent the past three decades in Wright County. Together with her husband, Joyce farms 75 acres of grapes near Mountain Grove. After the birth of her daughter in 1986, Joyce bought a camera. What began as an attempt to capture her family’s life on the farm grew into a passion that can be seen in her powerful portraits and places she calls home.

Joyce graduated from Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science from Colorado State University. She has been photographing seriously for the past seven years in Wright, Texas and Douglas Counties in Missouri. She has won numerous prizes and ribbons for her photography.


My photography is honest. The vineyard pictures are my interpretation of a wonderful but complicated place to spend a lifetime. It’s easy to imagine that vineyard life is romantic. The flip side of all this beauty is the hard work that is required to produce grapes for making wine. In working the land comes an appreciation of life in total and a reminder of the cycles of life from birth to death.

My portrait work is inspired by the people I live amongst. The images are a reflection of life in the Ozarks from my heart and through my lens.