Our first ever #AwesomeDad is Joe Hulsey. I met Joe at a digital marketing class I taught at Bellarmine University several years ago. Joe is an awesome photographer and we’ve used him several times to take photos of our family.

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a stay at home dad of a nearly 23-month-old daughter named Alice and a 10-week-old son named Jack. I’m married to a beautiful lady, Mary Rose. I’m also a photographer specializing mostly in weddings but also doing family/children photography. The photography is my creative outlet in addition to being a source of income. I love sports, and I can’t wait to share that with my kids. My favorites are college basketball, NFL football, and Major League Baseball. I am an avid University of Kentucky, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Atlanta Braves fan. I also enjoy movies, mostly suspense, action, and comedy. I love to play Texas Hold’Em, and my sort of “fantasy job” is to play poker professionally.

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2) How long have you been a father? Will be two years on March 30.

3) What’s your all-time favorite video game? Why? Ms. Pac Man because I used to play with my dad and grandfather. It provided a lifetime of wonderful memories. We played it on Atari. In addition, I was quite a bit better than they were, and as a kid, you love the opportunity to say you are better at something than your dad and grandfather.

4) Do you still play video games? Honestly, not much.

5) What video game systems do you currently own? We own a Wii that we break out and play with nieces and nephews on occasion. I would imagine as the kids get a bit older that it will become more prevalent. I was never a voraciously, avid video gamer to begin with, but building my business and starting a family has consumed the last several years of my life.

6) What’s your favorite activity to do with your kids? I love to just sit in the living the room floor without the television on and just wrestle around and be silly.

7) What’s the best part about being a dad? I love many parts of it, but I think the biggest thrill for me is seeing my child happy. I don’t necessarily mean because I gave her something. My son is too little, can’t give him anything yet. Any kid is happy if you give them something. I mean happy and smiling because they got to play in the snow or happy to see me in the morning just because she’s awake and there is a new day of fun ahead.

8) What has been the worst part about being a dad? I don’t have a lot of patience. It’s my weakness, and I know it. And obviously parenting requires a ton of it. It’s a daily struggle for me. I’m getting better, but I have a long way to go.

9) What’s your best advice for new dads? As cliche as it sounds, and as quickly as people say “yeah I understand,” it can’t be said enough. Take the time to enjoy the little things. When your kid brings you a book and wants you to read it to them, stop whatever you’re doing no matter how important you think it is and read it. I don’t care if they bring you the same book 15 times in 30 minutes, read it to them all 15 times. Even though my daughter isn’t even quite two yet, I already say that famous phrase that all parents say “it seems like just yesterday, she ___________.” It goes by at lightning speed.

Visit Joe’s photography business online at PhotographybyJWest.com or on Facebook. You can also follow Joe on Twitter.

Are you an Awesome Dad (or do you know one)? Visit our submission page to be profiled here. We will profile a new Awesome Dad every week.

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