A really good photo tells you a story. It elicits a response — maybe it makes you smile, maybe it makes you think. Maybe, it makes you cringe. If you’re flipping the pages and the photo makes you stop, it was successful. Are you intrigued by the product? Maybe it sends you a message. Especially when taking a photograph of a person, a connection is needed so that the story comes across in the picture. A level of creativity is necessary and the ability to make you stop and look. As you can imagine, writing and photography complement each other.
Earle Kimel has both skill sets and this has allowed him to have success in both fields. He has spent his entire professional career as a writer but he immediately saw the connection to photography in his teenage years when taking photojournalism in college. He furthered his interest with art photography courses as well.
Even before that, at 15, he traveled to England for a school exchange program and shot lots of 110 film while there. He found that photography was a natural progression of storytelling and he describes it as “visual words.”
Over the years, writing for newspapers, he found that it was necessary for him to be able to take photos when covering an event or conducting interviews. He found himself heavily working in portrait, sports photography and even sunsets. He became fascinated with light and started studying lighting and taking training videos to hone his skill.
Although not an athlete himself, he really enjoys shooting sports when covering a sporting event for work. His favorite thing about photography is the challenge. He explained how this became quite apparent when shooting Track and Volleyball. “There is a lot of grace (to be captured) in a running shot,” Earle says. “The challenge is the timing. So much has to do with expression and movement.”
Outside of his primary career as a photojournalist, he started networking. Earle has met some amazing people in the industry that have helped him to grow and develop into the photographer that he is today. Through these networking events, Earle began working with more and more models. He found that models can portray many different emotions for the camera, allowing him to tell a story with his images and speak to the viewer.
Currently his job with the paper has him shooting about 20 percent of the time and writing about 80 percent. This has fluctuated over the years depending on the newspaper resources and demand. So he fulfills his passion for photography by shooting a side business and hobby. He enjoys shooting glamour and promotional models and does so with reasonable rates or as a TFP (trade for pics agreement). Many models Earle has worked with have made lifetime connections with him. Earle finds such enjoyment in creating a “speaking story” and he explains it makes him “tickled pink” to see his work displayed on a professional model’s websites.
He has such a strong respect for so many people in the industry and has made many mentors and friends in the business over his many years as a photographer. Earle really enjoys socially shooting with other photographers as well and has met and befriended many on his journey. He enjoys the camaraderie that is involved in working as a team and/or an assistant on a project. For example, he studied at a workshop conducted by GW Burns in Sarasota and learned many techniques from him and continues to see him both a friend and mentor.
Earle also edits his photos. Not all photographers have this skill. He is very detailed oriented and a perfectionist in this area. He is meticulous and will ensure that the horizon is straight or shiny spots in the water are removed. Not all photographers pay attention to such details but Earle has eagerness for such specific characteristics.
Earle has shot promotional work that was displayed on billboards and shot some concert venues. He worked closely with the rock band Vixen in the early 1980s, and was given full access to their stage for photos. He really enjoyed the freedom he had, which allowed him to capture shots from various angles throughout the performance. He also has had press passes to shoot many other concerts, including The Clash, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw.
Earle strives to capture emotion and tell a story with each photograph. He connects with both the models he works with and the viewers of his images. The writer in him speaks with each and every click of the camera.