Joe Fretz Photography | About

Joe Fretz


Ever since I snapped my first picture with a Brownie box camera as a child, or “discovered” pinhole imagery in a makeshift tent, I've been fascinated with the magic of capturing light and creating images. This has manifest itself in various ways over the years, including drawing, painting, graphic design, and photography. What really got me hooked on photography was the backpacking trip into Oregon's Mt. Jefferson Wilderness that I took as a teen-ager with my first SLR film camera, my aunt Sadie's Mamiya/Sekor 500 TL. I couldn't find enough ways to use all the various options and adjustments, but got blissfully immersed in the process of trying! 

As I practiced photography I discovered its unique expressive potential, particularly when combined with my growing interest in painting. This was enriched by studying the work of such masters as Charles Sheeler, Edward HopperAnsel Adams, and Richard Estes. My passion for visually capturing my experience of the city around me grew out of photography. The camera has become my most useful tool with which to fashion a personal interpretation of my subjects.

For much of my artistic career I also taught art at the high school or college level, constantly working towards the satisfaction of seeing the spark of creativity get ignited for a young photographer or designer. I recently retired from teaching, though I like to think that I continue to teach through imagery that expands viewers' visual and perceptual understanding of the world. I am thankful for the time I now have to invest in my own photography.

I investigate the urban environment in my photographs. I believe I'll never run out of subject matter as long as I'm able to respond honestly to the truth revealed through the camera's viewfinder, and to infuse my finished images with that vision.

I take great joy in sharing my work with viewers...I hope you experience some of this by viewing it.