As a member of the legendary LIFE Magazine photographers staff for over 25 years, YALE JOEL's work appeared on LIFE covers, in news stories, and many memorable photo essays.
In a career that spanned the years from 1939 to the late 1980s,Joel photographed many of the world’s most famous (and infamous) individuals, as well as significant moments in history, now captured forever in his images.
He pioneered the exploration of extreme wide angle photography and the use of strobe light, creating special effects and carefully orchestrating setups to communicate the essential nature of a subject. He developed a reputation as the "photographer of the impossible".
Joel twice won the esteemed “Magazine Photographer of the Year” award from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, plus numerous other awards over the years. The New York Times, reviewing his one-man show at The Overseas Press Club noted: “Whatever the topic for the photographer, whether taken flat-on or with flashy technique, Mr. Joel says something.”
A perfectionist when it came to the print quality of photographs, and an expert printer himself, he would spend hours in the "lab’, making many prints of a single image until he was satisfied it reflected exactly what he had in mind. The photographs reproduced here, from Yale Joel’s personal collection, are images from his most engaging photo stories. They reflect not only his artistic sensibilities but also his understanding of and empathy for his subjects.
YALE JOEL died at 87 years old in New York City in 2006.