Joel Grimes

Instructor Head Shot


In 1984, Joel graduated from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Photography and soon established a commercial studio in Denver, Colorado. 

For over 27 years, Joel has worked for many of the top advertising agencies and corporations across the globe for clients such as AARP, AES, Abbott Labs, Archer Daniels Midland, Arizona Office of Tourism,  AT&T, Broncos, Comcast, Febreze, Goldman Sachs, Hewlett Packard, Hyatt, Kodak, Nikon, Pentax, Phillips 66, Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Qwest, Sony, Sturm Ruger & Co, United Global, USA Boxing, Visa, Volvo, Xcel Energy, and most recently Red Bull.   Over the years his assignments have taken him to every state across the USA and to over fifty countries around the globe.

In 1990, Joel produced his first coffee table book, ‘Navajo, Portrait of a Nation,’ which received a number of photographic and design awards and produced an eighteen-month solo exhibit at the Smithsonian American History museum. 

Driven by the creative process, Joel views himself as an illusionist, creating portraits larger than life: “There is no face on the planet that is the same, and my vision as an artist is to capture that individual uniqueness through the creative photographic process.” 

Joel is also an ambassador for this process by teaching workshops and lectures across the country:  “I feel that by being an open book with my process I have an opportunity to inspire others to follow their dreams and passions to create."  

Joel currently has a photo studio located in Old Town Pasadena, California where he resides with his wife, Amy.  

Joel's Courses

  • Inspiration: Emphasizing the Creative Process

    Instructors: Joel Grimes
    Video: Come with Joel Grimes on this journey as he digs deep to examine, explore and encourage the creative process. Take a moment, step away from the fundamentals and immerse yourself in the creative process!
  • Inspiration: Just One You

    Instructors: Joel Grimes
    Video: PPA Instructor Joel Grimes inspires and motivates you to discover the person that you are -- and how this knowledge can impact your success as an artist. Anyone can blend in but a true artist finds a way to stand out – discover your way today!
  • Inspiration: Taking on the Creative Mindset

    Instructors: Joel Grimes
    Video: Many believe creativity and inspiration are things you’re born with, traits deep inside that you can’t coach or teach. But PPA Instructor Joel Grimes is here to tell you differently. He not only tells you that creativity is something you can develop, nurture and cultivate – he tells you how! You will walk away better informed about opportunities outside your door, how to take your tools and knowledge and use them to your advantage, and how to go with the flow, or swim in a completely different direction. The choices, the inspiration, the creativity are all yours to develop once you start to think like an artist!
  • Self-Assignments: Staying Creative

    Instructors: Joel Grimes
    Video: In this class, Instructor Joel Grimes addresses a fear that is in the heart of every photographer – how to stay current and not become yesterday’s news. And while Joel doesn’t have a magic potion, he does have a formula for staying ahead of the game. Change is not only good; it’s inevitable. Joel Grimes teaches you how to embrace change and use it to stay in the forefront of your industry.
  • Skin Retouching

    Instructors: Joel Grimes
    Video: With more and more advanced technology, the art of skin retouching has become extremely refined. In this class, PPA Instructor Joel Grimes provides very in-depth, detailed instruction that will raise your portraiture to a new level. Long gone are the days of over-retouching portraits. Yet with today’s fast pace of technology, it’s hard to stay current. This class is the perfect way to perfect your skills and stay ahead of the game!
  • The Truth about Marketing

    Instructors: Joel Grimes
    Video: In this class, PPA Instructor Joel Grimes says what some people don’t want to hear. It doesn’t matter how good you are if no one else knows! Bottom line – marketing is an essential aspect of being a successful photographer. Though sales and business development may not be your strong suit, Joel tells you how – and why – to make it a part of your business.
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