When Joe Crimmings started at Iowa State, he didn’t have aspirations to be a photographer. In fact, he didn’t even own a professional camera. After receiving his first DSLR camera for Christmas freshman year, Crimmings was hooked. Crimmings picked up some photo classes while pursuing a graphic design degree.
He eventually exhausted his photography options at the College of Design and turned to Greenlee. Crimmings started taking photojournalism classes and eventually tackled a degree in journalism.
During his time at ISU, Crimmings rose through the ranks at the Iowa State Daily, starting as a photographer and eventually becoming photo editor. Crimmings valued the experience he gained at the Daily.
“It was a lot of fun being able to be hands on every day,” Crimmings said of his time there. His work with Ethos, one of the campus magazines, is what really led him to where he is today.
Working with Ethos as a photo editor was extremely beneficial. Crimmings was on set and involved in shoots for the magazine, getting real-world experience that he says is very similar to what he’s experienced post-graduation. He left Ethos with more interest and experience in magazine work. That work also led him to discover how passionate he was about photography.
When Crimmings left Iowa State in 2006, he started an internship with the Meredith Corporation. From his internship, he continued work as a photography assistant with Meredith and then as an assistant to a Des Moines photographer. After bouncing around with PR work and other magazines, he found himself with Lane Bryant, a plus-size women’s fashion line.
Crimmings is currently working in Columbus, Ohio, as the senior art director in photography for the retailer. A typical day for him involves coordinating shoots, reviewing film and working with designers to create layouts for imagery on the site and in store. He’s also often on set, working with models and shooting.
Crimmings enjoys working the shoots and traveling, but says the best part of his job is that he’s proud of his work.
“We’re empowering women to be who they are, and it’s really beautiful.”