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Joel Grimes is an artist and photographer that I have know about for a while, but not thought too much about, then recently I saw a workshop that he was doing and it completely changed my ideas about him and his work. I don’t want to imitate Joel, but I like the way he does some things and certainly would like to see if I can incorporate some of them into my own work.


Images like this are perhaps what Joel is best known for, these very stylised images of sports people.  I knew that he did HDR images, but had no idea how the images were put together, and it is perhaps this aspect that intrigued me the most.


Many, or most, of his shots are composites.  The athlete or subject is photographed in the studio and then he puts them onto another background.  He has a very special way that he does his lighting, and he does use studio lighting for these.  I think they are fantastic, though I don’t have studio lighting, and am not likely to get it, I think you can still learn a lot.

joel_grimes_3In the workshop he talked a lot about creating “the fake”.  I found this really inspiring, how to put these images together so they appear realistic.  Most of you know that I have been wanting to do composites for a while, and I learned so much from him.  He made me realise that I already have the skills to do them, I just need the courage to start.

grimes005Perhaps one of the best new skills I learned from him was photo retouching.  As many of the models I photograph are teenagers, they nearly always have some sort of acne.  Now I can help them get that beautiful skin.

grimes016Watching how he took the portraits was amazing too.  He is right in the face of the subject.  He shoots many of his portraits with a wide angle.  I found that really interesting.  I think I am going to have to try this more.


Joel also talks a lot about being an artist and how that is different to being a photographer.  He describes himself as an artist, and his medium is photography.  I know that is how I feel about what I do as well.  I have tried to explain that before, but didn’t do it very well, so with Joel’s help, I think I might attempt it again.

Joel at work.

Joel at work.

I love what he says in the beginning of his about page, “For me life is art. The passion to create is not just an option, but built into my very DNA. Art is not simply defined by the end product, but by the process one pours into the very art of creating.”  For me, this is exactly how I feel.  If I could not take photos, then I would be drawing, painting, creating images anyway I could.  If I am not creating, then I am not a happy person.

Joel does other images as well, but they are all in the same style.  He said in the workshop that we should all develop our own style and stick with it, that we would become known for that style.  I like that concept, and it is something that I am definitely going to be working on this year.

Joel has a great website and you can see so many more of his images there, the website is Joel Grimes and I would encourage you to go and take a look.  On his website there is also information about him, and workshops that he takes.

Here is a gallery with the many different types of images he takes.  This is a small selection of what you can find on his website.  I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Joel for giving me permission to feature him on my blog. Thanks Joel.

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