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Personal Statement

I believe that travel can change the world. It works slowly, one person at a time, changing the traveler in subtle ways. The strange gradually becomes familiar. Fear is replaced with understanding. Travel is transformation because the returning traveler is never quite the same -- the traveler never comes all the way back home. The goal of my photography is to inspire that journey to begin.

My wonderlust began at age 3 when my family moved to Nuremberg, Germany. I started photographing at age 12 with my father's Pentax Spotmatic and received my own camera soon after. Travel and photography have been intertwined ever since. After undergrad studies at Clemson University and a Master's in Experimental Psychology from the University of Louisville, I worked at IBM and Lenovo for 10 years before beginning my career as a professional travel photographer.

I approach travel photography with an emphasis on cultural sensitivity and respect. I work with a patient and immersive style, often making friends and learning people's stories before taking out my camera. 


Joel is proud to serve on the Board of Directors at the Broadreach Foundation. This non-profit group provides financial assistance to help teens travel abroad to learn about the world and themselves.