I picked up a camera in 1972 and have had one with me ever since. It was my good fortune to have been trained by some fine photographers. As a teen my first mentors were the great Benedict J. Fernandez at the New School for Social Research, and Michael Sabatelle at Kingsboro Community College. Ben taught me about lighting for black and white imagery and how to become intimate with a subject. Michael instilled the understanding of spontaneity.

During my twenties I worked for a few of the top fashion and illustration photographers in New York. Each encouraged me to continue testing and honing my skills. Dennis Chalkin and designer Frank Siciliano taught me about big production photography, and how to tell a story. Valerie Santagto, an eclectic fashion and beauty photographer taught me to appreciate small budgets and limited resources and that with one frame of film and one light a lasting image can be created. While I had the opportunity to work with others it was this quintet that etched their lessons into my film.

While photography did not become a principal career, it has supplemented all of my work over the decades and has enabled me to produce images for books, magazines, the web, and personal use. In addition it has taught me how to direct others who are producing images for projects I manage. Included are some of my favorite images.

Copyright: Joel Silverstein, all rights reserved.