Based in beautiful Denver, Colorado photographer Joseph Roybal is one to
keep an eye on. His extensive portfolio of landscape images and travel
portraits give viewers a rare glimpse into the wondrous and colorful cultures
that he visits. Joseph’s images not only tell a gorgeous story of each place
that he travels to, they also showcase the true heart of each location.
Where were you born and raised? Where have you settled?
I was born in the remote village of Grand Junction, Colorado. I currently
am based out of always-sunny Denver, Colorado.
What type of photography do you shoot most often? What type of photography are you
most passionate about shooting?
Recently I have been splitting my time almost equally between landscape and portrait
photography. I love photographing people and I love to travel to exotic and gorgeous
locations. Seems like the two have come together in an organic fashion. When I photograph
people in any setting, I want to capture them in a comfortable and natural state.
I love the art and craft of photography so much that any excuse to pick up the camera
is reason enough to get excited. I would have to say that an awesome blending of
Travel and Landscape mixed with Portraiture is my jam.
How long have you been a shutter releaser? What led you to this profession?
I began my love affair about 17 years ago when I was in high school. I cannot count
how many rolls of film bit the dust; however, all of the lawns I had to mow to earn
these mistakes have helped make me a better shooter today. The passion and love
to create the strongest images I can and the study of others’ work led me to being
a professional photographer. When my friends were talking about being a doctor or
lawyer, I remember thinking that I wanted to express myself in a different way.
I have always looked at photographs and gained inspiration from them.
How has Zenfolio helped your business?
Zenfolio is such a powerful tool for my business as it allows me the peace of mind of
knowing my images are safe while also allowing simple amendments and sales-management on
the fly. Recently I was away on assignment right in the middle of a large commercial
contract in Denver. The interior designer contacted me urgently needing an image file
for a meeting with the board of directors that was scheduled immediately. I was able to
log in and allow gallery specific downloads from my phone in a matter of seconds.
Tell us about your work flow, what editing program do you use?
Adobe Lightroom is with me every step along the way from import to export. I also
use Adobe Photoshop in limited instances when fine detail work is a must.
Do you have brand loyalty for Canon, Nikon or something completely different?
What is the best part of being a professional photographer?
The realization when the alarm goes off every morning that I am able to put my energies
into what I love and translate that into an income. It is a truly humbling feeling.
Are your photography skills self-taught or were you classically trained?
I suppose I would say self-taught though I have spent countless hours studying photographs
from other photographers whom I admire and respect. This, in a way, is being
taught by another.
What advice would you give a new photographer just starting out?
Find your photographic passion, what inspires you to pick up a camera, and follow
your instincts. Push yourself harder than anyone you know in reading and work ethic
and without a shred of a doubt — find a mentor. This last bit of advice is so critical
to growth I cannot stress it enough. “To find a mentor is to stand on the shoulders
of giants” — David DuChemin.
What was your first published work?
I had an image published in AFAR of some older men and women sitting on benches
in Italy. I vividly recall the day I photographed them and the twinge of inspiration
that made me press the shutter. I never knew it would get picked up, but it’s that
instinct thing we always talk about.
What inspires you as a photographer? Or who?
What inspires me is the ability for me to create something for others. There are
so many people that would love to see the furthest reaches of the earth and are
unable to. Knowing I can bring to them a strong image gets me pretty pumped. I have
so many photographers that I look to for style techniques and inspiration: Marc
Adamus, Zach Arias, Guy Tal, to name a few.
Is there a trade secret you care to share with us?
Mayonnaise instead of mustard. Joking. Spend your money on education, not on new
gear. Read, take workshops, dive with sharks — anything that will help you to push
your own limits.
What is the very first camera you ever owned?
My first camera was a Nikon FM10. Padres gifted it to me when I was in high school.
I took that guy with me to Scotland a couple of months afterward with the belief
I was a pro from birth. Boy was I wrong and when I look at those images today, I
get sharp pains.
Tell us something about yourself that we would never guess.
I’m a polyglot; I speak English, French and Spanish fluently.
What piece of equipment or doohickey do you have with you on every shoot?
I use my 17-35mm lens for nearly every kind of shooting situation from landscapes
to portraits. I have found this lens to be my lifeline. I also keep several granola
bars in the bag just in case I wander off-trail.
Do you have any final words of wisdom on being a first class shooter?
No photographer, from Ansel Adams to Steve McCurry, was ever born with any more
talent than the next. Good photographs are the result of years of bad photographs.
Keep working and never give up.