There are those who study many professions until they discover a passionate activity. Many feel satisfied by finding a lucrative career and put aside their dreams while others are lucky to be introduced to their profession from an early age. That is the case of Joshua Degel, an Ecuadorian photographer, 36, who has more than a decade freezing moments with his camera lens.
Joshua began to take pictures when he was “pretty young”. His father had a professional camera and Degel, who was 10 at that time, immediately identified with it. “I became the family photographer, I was always taking pictures on our trips,” says Joshua while he looks down and brings back memories.
That’s how it all began, Joshua was always playing with the camera, since cameras used rolls and the revealing process was long and pricey. At 18, he got a job in a lab, where he was responsible for revealing the photos, then he worked with lights and later as a photographer. “My dad always encouraged me and the photography, it was just a hobby for him, he never thought it would become my profession and that I would actually live by it, he probably would have wanted me to be a doctor but I couldn’t help it, I was meant to this,” says the photographer while laughing quickly.
It is noteworthy that Joshua did not have a college education in photography, “I’ve always been self-taught,” he says, “at 13, I received a basic photography course that lasted five days,” he says he had to seek help in several books to deal with a group of students when he had the opportunity to be a teacher “I had to find answers because they were going to ask questions, so I read a lot.” It was not until three years ago that Joshua chose to be in a classroom as a photography student, “I was in Madrid and studied digital photography because when there was a change in analogue photography, to digital photography and I felt someone had to explain to me despite the information available on the Internet, there was not much literature to consult,” Degel explains.
Joshua has spent 18 years doing what he loves, he works independently with the help of collaborators, and likes to be “the one who handles things.” Degel enjoys working with people, he takes pictures for magazine covers, portraits, fashion, brides, he loves “the interaction with people.”
“It’s challenging to find all factors to create an image that I feel happy about and that satisfies the customer, that’s why I enjoy doing fashion photography, because it manages to create an artistic image, and it’s a process that I feel complete with, I love the contact with people,” says Degel, who besides doing commercial photography, enjoys doing self portraits and black and white photos.
Joshua says it is important that a photographer is able to reinvent their work “so you can say ‘this photo doesn’t look like this one’, each picture has a style, a mark and a line.” He also says that photography is very risky “because you become unconscious of the environment in which you are working on and you can do anything to get that picture.” “This one time in the Galapagos, I happened to get me and the crew on a high place and by the time we finished the shoot, tide came up, we had to walk with our hands raised while holding the equipment because water was on our waist level,” he laughs while telling the story.
Finallly, Joshua confessed that he gets much of his inspiration from music and photography books.