Yale Joel began his career as a professional photographer when he was 19 years old, served as a combat photographer during World War II, and several years later became a member of the famous LIFE magazine photography staff. Working out of the LIFE bureaus in Washington, Paris, Boston and New York, he established an early reputation as a photographer of the “impossible,” with his ability to create camera perspectives the ordinary eye normally cannot see. At the same time, his rapport with people and the capacity to capture them on film, earned him an equally distinguished reputation.
As photographer of events and people, Joel’s work appeared on LIFE covers, in news stories and in many memorable photo essays. He pioneered in the exploration of extreme wide angle photography and the early use of strobe lighting, creating special effects and carefully orchestrated set-ups to illustrate or communicate the essence of a subject. He has won the esteemed “Magazine Photographer of The Year” award two years in a row from the University of Missouri, plus numerous honors in various categories throughout his career. A contributor to the LIFE Library of Photography series, he has several sections to his credit, notably “Images Created in the Darkroom, What the Camera Never Saw” in the book “The Print.” He also illustrated and produced several children’s books. The New York Times, reviewing his one-man show at The Overseas Press Club, New York noted: “Whatever the topic for the photographer, whether taken flat-on or with flashy technique, Mr. Joel says something.”
Well known as a lecturer and teacher, Mr. Joel was an adjunct professor at Hunter College and New York University. He also taught at the International Center of Photography, New York. Most recently, he converted his “How-to” series of photo cards “Creative Camera Techniques,” originally published by Random House, into an effective teaching site on the web (www.photoknowhow.com) in which he shares a vast range of knowledge to help the amateur photographer handle many photo subjects and situations.