Hello! I am Joe.
I've lived in Wise County since 1992, and am glad to call it my home. I've been a staff photographer for the Wise County Messenger since 2001, serving my community as best I can by showing them what I see.
I've also been published in numerous newspapers and magazines across the country. I'm proud to have won awards including some from the Texas Press Association, National Newspaper Association, PopPhoto, Society of Professional Journalist, and 2003 Nikon International.
I share many of my photos regularly on Flickr, where you can find much of my work that has run in the Messenger, as well as much of it that has not. I blog about a some of these at Jusphophun, where you can get a glimpse at how I go about capturing images, some of my thought processes, and of course see my latest work in all the glory of pixels.
If video strikes your fancy, you might check out this series entitled Simply People, all about individuals in Wise County who are amazing simply by going about their business. I also share other videos in the stories section of this site.
I'm self taught as a whole. I've studied with several masters over the years in every thing form advanced lighting to the moment. I've studied with greats such as Joe McNally, Eddie Soloway, and Jay Maisel, trying to understand and absorb their art through them, take from it what works for me and make it my own. Although I found their teaching valuable beyond belief, I still believe there is no substitute for camera in hand, taking in all that you see.
I also teach small beginning photography classes occasionally, which I really enjoy because it makes me reevaluate and validate all that I know before I send it out to the students.
Being an extremist in nature, I tend to either go all out with lighting to the point of even over-lighting or actually just living in the moment as a purist photographer with only available light. I find this makes me a diverse photographer and readily adaptable to any photographic situation.
My broader photographic interests include underwater, travel and nature photography. My hobbies include my fish, traveling, scuba diving, martial arts, and philosophy. The spirit of different cultures around the world fascinates me, looking for the truth in each and every one as a way of understanding my own better.
I believe you can tell a lot about people by the things that they enjoy in life. Being a lover of quotes, I would like to share one of my favorite ones with you, as I think it best describes my thoughts and feelings.
"Once more I am roaring drunk with the lust of life and adventure, and unbearable beauty...
Adventure seems to beset me on all quarters without my even searching for it…
Though not all my days are as wild as this, each one holds its surprises,
and I have seen almost more beauty than I can bear."
— Everett Ruess
The best comes from the camera when I get to the photographic high — living through the lens and absorbing that world. When I do that, everything else disappears. It's almost as if I have blinders on to the world, looking through one high and feeling everything that comes through that little eyepiece. It's the feeling I get when I hear the shutter, that all familiar sound — fingers wrapped around the right side of the camera, feeling the rubber; left hand on the simmering tension with the tip of the thumb and index finger; elbows locked in; fierce eyes... and just absorbing — doing my job. This justifies letting everything else go, becoming one with my tool, actually becoming one with the world and one with myself, through my lens.