Our interview provides an interesting insight into Joel's background and how moving to California shaped his passion for landscape photography.
Can you tell us about your background and how you got into photography?
I grew up in the Midwest (Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota) and I'm now based in Redding, CA. I got into the photography business somewhat by chance. I wanted to be a filmmaker but since I did't live somewhere with many filmmaking outlets, I started taking photos to hone my "filmmaking" skills and that is where I started falling in love with photography.
Whose work has influenced you the most?
Since I live in California, I would say that some inspiration for my photography comes from the incredible landscapes, from the ocean to the mountains, there are some pretty breathtaking views. I love exploring and finding out what makes others come alive in their creativity and that in turn fuels my creative thinking as well. I will say that Ansel Adams is definitely an inspiration when it comes to landscape photography. I love the Kinfolk publication and I follow many other magazines on Instagram as well.
What professional work have you completed?
My professional work has ranged from providing photos to a recycled clothing company called "MUD Jeans" based in the Netherlands. I have also provided photos and helped build a magazine which was a thrilling opportunity.
What is your favourite travel destination?
Of the travel destinations that I have been to; my favorite has to be Yosemite, you don't realize how small you are until you go there.
What is your favourite style of photography?
I have a hard time answering the "what's my favorite style of photography" question because I'm intrigued by how many styles there are but if I had to choose, it would probably be landscape. There is something about being surrounded by mountains that stays with you. I used to hate landscape photography because I lived in a place that wasn't the most "scenic" but after moving across the country, I can say whole heartedly that landscape photography is my darling. What attracted me to it is the simple fact that the landscape speaks for itself, it doesn't need help posing and it doesn't try to be something it isn't, it just exists which is just so fascinating.
Which images would you say have been the most significant for you in your career so far?
I don't think I have any images that are more significant than others because my skills are always evolving. I love every image that I take so it is hard to say if I have any significant images.
Whats your choice of camera and lens?
The equipment I use is a Canon 5D and I always bring along my 50mm.
How would you say social media contributes to your work?
Social Media has definitely helped me gain a platform to share my work and grow my skills but it has also allowed me a chance to meet new people and learn from them as well. I would say that seeing other people's work has also influenced my own, I have learned new ways to shoot, to pose and capture an image.
Where would you like to travel / photograph in the future?
I would love to travel to Iceland and explore Europe, as well as go to Australia and New Zealand one day.