Pittsburgh Editorial Photographers

You see a lot of wedding photos on this site. After all, there’s a whole lot of different kinds of photos from a wedding that require a broad skill set to capture. But that’s far from the only kind of work that I do. With over 25 years of experience as one of the top Pittsburgh Editorial Photographers it’s my first love.


Recently I got a call from the publisher of New Mobility magazine to photograph Rory Cooper, the founder and director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) at the University of Pittsburgh. HERL’s research is behind many of the innovations that impact wheelchair users around the world.

Dr. Cooper is a busy guy. That meant I had a brief window of time to make a large number of photos for both the story inside of the magazine and the cover. The HERL lab is in an old bakery that has been redeveloped as a modern industrial park. The offices are modern and brightly lit. The area that I would be photographing in is a very plain industrial place with no natural lighting. I came up with a lighting scheme that enabled me to separate the subject from the background as well as move quickly from scene to scene.

Photographing Dr. Cooper

The client emphasized that they wanted dynamic photos featuring the capabilities of HERL‘s all-terrain MEBot chair:

magazine cover from an editorial photo shoot in pittsburgh by Pittsburgh Editorial Photographers Joe Appel Photography. the cover features a man on a yellow all-terrain motorized wheelchair riding the chair off of a step.Inside spread of a magazine featuring photos of a man in a yellow motorized wheelchair by Pittsburgh Editorial Photographers Joe Appel Photography.

There’s a lot more than mobility research going on at the lab. Here Cooper demonstrates the dexterity of a robotic arm to help out in the kitchen:

a man smiles as he manipulates a robotic arm to pour salt into a measuring cup by Pittsburgh Editorial Photographers Joe Appel Photography.

In another part of the lab, a testing platform served as a place for a portrait:

A man in a wheelchair smiles at the camera while sitting on a deck with words projected on the screen behind him by Pittsburgh Editorial Photographers Joe Appel Photography.

Please don’t hesitate to call (I answer my phone!) if you’re in need of an experienced, creative editorial photographer who is accustomed to solving problems. My newspaper experience taught me to keep to deadlines and deliver excellent imagery that compliments the story.