Joel is a childhood friend of my husband, and has quickly grown to feel like a childhood friend of my own as well. Photographer. Chef. Drummer. Father. Skateboarder. He does it all — with humility and excellence. His loyalty for his charming wife Sharah, and his little ones is contagious. Joel teaches the rest of us to love deeper, live freer, and create more.
1. Without saying your actual titles, what do you do? What are your roles? Paid or unpaid.
I wake up each day next to my best friend who I get to serve and live alongside everyday! I invest every truth I know into two little humans and hope to give them every experience they’ll ever wish to have. I get to meet amazing people around the world and preserve chapters in their life story to look back on and share with future generations.
2. So…you’re a husband, father, accountant, photographer…How do you manage all of these? Does your pace of life seem slow or fast to you? Which role is the hardest to find time for?
First I’m a husband, I’m not sure how this beautiful girl with sun kissed freckles found a little skater kid attractive but I thank God for it everyday! I’ve been with my wife for eleven years and married for almost 8, the last three of which we have been raising our two kids, Paisley and Maverick.
I think it comes down to priority and what I really value as to how I manage to do so many things and keep a healthy balance in my work and family life. I believe it’s not about the amount of time you spend with someone but the quality of the time spent. Life tends to feel fast when we find ourselves constantly living in the “what’s next” mindset and not fully engaging in the moments at hand.
One of my strengths is being able to balance a lot while maintaining the time to do what’s important to me. The hardest thing right now is probably being able to invest more of my time and self into my photography business as it grows while still carrying so many other responsibilities. I’ve chosen to pursue photography as my full time job next year because of that.
3. Creativity. Why is it important? Was there a shift in your life where it became more important than before?
Creativity makes me feel alive — it is a gift for artists to express themselves in ways that they sometimes can’t otherwise. I think it betters you as a person to create as it fosters growth in your craft which also grows you as an individual. I would say it became more important when I decided to pursue photography as my career three years ago.
4/5. What does the creative community mean to you? Who/what inspires you?
As an artist and business owner, it’s easy to feel alone — like you have no one to lean on. Therefore, having a strong, creative community is really important. It’s so valuable to have people that have gone before you and experienced things that they can pass down to you — things that you can grow from. After all, how can an industry grow and become better if everyone is out for themselves and not willing to invest their knowledge into the next generation?
I’m inspired by people who live boldly, love selflessly and value experiencing life over acquiring things. My biggest inspirations as a husband/father and probably the main reason I bought my first camera are my close friends, Bobby and Lindsay Earle.
6. Living vs. existing. What’s the difference?
Living is waking up each day knowing you were created for a purpose and pursuing that purpose with all that is in you. Existing would be the lack of pursuit and living with an unknown purpose.
7. What are three words/values that you want to increase in this world by the end of your life?
Commitment to family/marriage. Integrity. Compassion.
8. What kind of culture do you want to create in your home, friendship circles, & at large?
I aspire to be someone who values people, fosters community and shows it’s important to open our hearts and serve one another.
9. Quantity > Quality. How does that make you feel?
I tend to be a minimalist as far as belongings go. I hold the mindset that quality is better than quantity. I prefer a few quality possessions that will remain with me over time then a bunch of mediocre things. I also think it’s better stewardship of my time, money and energy to have less and spend time/money on other people who may benefit from it more than myself.
10. Lastly & most light-heartedly, what is your favorite children’s book?
LuLu and Pip, because Paisley memorized it when she was two and listening to her “read” it is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!