Joel Handwerk was born in Richmond, Virginia, and received his initial photography education at Clover Hill High School. It was here that he first learned 35mm film photography, including darkroom work, infrared photography, and night photography. In 2005, he received a degree in psychology from Asbury University. He enjoys photographing automobiles, cities at night, infrared landscapes, and occasionally dabbling in the retro practice of film photography. He lives in Richmond, Virginia, with his motorcycles and collection of film cameras.