top step


Joseph McDougall is an American photographer. Born in Athens, Georgia and based in Venice, California he photographs his life and travels around the country and around the globe.

Whether taking a celebrity portrait, snapping skateboarders on the beach, documenting street vendors in India or shooting the changing seasons, McDougall always seems to be in the right place at the right time. His images capture the humor, humility, and humanity of the people and places around us with a penetrating eye and an elevated sense of synchronicity.

Joseph McDougall's photographs have been shown in galleries across the United States and can be found in numerous personal collections. His photo book "No Life Guard" is available world-wide.

When not behind the lens, Joe can be found in the director's chair refining his passion for the moving image.






Artist Statement

One day a cable guy showed up at my home to correct a problem. I had recently taken down a show of my work and photographs were scattered across my living room. He began to comment and compliment me on the work. Not feeling very proud and probably feeling a little depressed from the show ending, my response was, "You know, I'm only pushing a button. The camera is doing everything else." His reply was, "Well, a piano makes a sound when you press its keys but it is when and how those keys are pressed that make the music." I was humbled by his words to say the least. I must admit photography has always been an escape for me, an escape that could take me out of the past, out of worries for the future, an escape that would finally ground me in the present. When I'm out with my camera I am in my most conscious state. Whether surrounded by strangers or in unfamiliar territory, I become a part of that moment.

Through my lens I have experienced things and become a part of situations that most likely, I would not have otherwise. With my camera in hand I have no fear, only a desire to reflect what I'm experiencing at the time. Hopefully, this results in an image that tells its unique story and can be understood from a common perspective.

I've been given the ability to speak through my photographs. With that comes a responsibility. I must remain humble and at the same time courageous. I must stay the course and explore this gift, no matter the consequences. - Joseph McDougall