Interview With Joel Grimes

Joel Grimes reveals to Tiffany Reed Briley why a portrait photographer like himself has a huge love and admiration for black & white landscapes

You are widely known as one of the greatest portrait photographers of our time, but beyond your portrait work lies your landscape photography. Joe Jr. from Really Right Stuff brought it to our attention and we just had to sit down with you to find out more. When did you start to photographing landscapes?

Well, you have to look back 40 years. I started out as a freshman in high school and chose photography as an elective. Being able to go into a classroom and actually be taught art was heavenly. I was hooked right away. I looked at photography as a way to document the world around me. I would go backpacking and document my trips. I lived in Tucson, where you have three groups of mountains that go up to almost 10,000 feet. People don’t realize that. So you have all these canyons and trails to explore. I lived in this perfect environment for rugged backpacking and I wanted to document that.

When I was a freshman in college, I ended up taking a class in junior college (and I say this all the time). There was a professor that changed my life. Instead of photography just being a way to document the world around you, he presented the case that photography was a creative outlet, a way to have a voice, and for you as a person to make a stamp on this planet through your artistic vision. I have been ...

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