Joe O’Donnell – The Lost Life

At a time when Joe was feeling lost in life, photography served as an outlet to take his mind off of how “lost” he felt. Today, it’s become more than a distraction – it’s his passion and it keeps him creating. Check him out below.

Say hello to Joe:


Where are you from?  Where have you been?

I’m from Townsend, Massachusetts.  It’s a pretty small town that not a lot of people know about.  I’ve been all over the New England area, but I’ve also been up and down the East Coast a few times.  I’ve only been out of the U.S. once and that was a trip to South Korea.  Go far or go home, right?

What’s your favorite place in the world?

As much as I like going out and getting lost, I’d have to say being home is my favorite place in the world.  There are so many cool places within a short drive from home.  Here are a couple of shots from the Willard Brook State Forest, just up the road from my house.



What’s on your “bucket list” of ideas to create?

My bucket list of ideas is mostly just a bunch of places that I’ve always wanted to visit and shoot.  Almost too many.

How would you describe your visual style?

I’d describe my visual style as dark but colorful.  

Besides nature, in what other ways do you find your inspiration?

Music.  I tend to either listen to music while I’m out shooting or while I’m editing, and sometimes find myself editing to the mood of the song I’m listening to.

Do you get photographer’s block? If so, how do you overcome that?

Yes, all the time.  Either I can’t seem to get the shot I want, or the look I want while I’m editing.  Other times, I don’t even feel like going out to shoot.  But it always passes, just gotta drive through it.

Tell us the significance behind the name of your business, The Lost Life Photography.

The Lost Life has a couple meanings.  One being obvious, getting lost.  Going out and exploring and just taking in your surroundings.  The other, not so obvious.  When I started doing this, I didn’t really know what direction I wanted to take in life.  I had no idea.  So I started The Lost Life page to kinda distract me from how “lost” I was.  It went from being something to take my mind off of things to a full blown hobby.

What was the moment you decided to become a photographer?

I usually just shoot what I see and what I think looks cool.  This usually includes landscapes or other natural or man-made features.  But I’ve been wanting to get into shooting portraits or anything else really.  I just love taking pictures.

What is the strangest situation you’ve ever faced as a photographer?

I almost ended up on Wheel of Fortune while out shooting in Boston.  I wanted to get a better angle on a shot and almost wandered onto the set while they were recording.  They weren’t too happy about it.

Of the photos you’ve taken – which are your three favorites?

A shot of the French King Bridge in western MA. I think it’s a cool perspective that I haven’t seen many others shoot.

Second, a nice fall-themed shot of some train tracks. I just love the colors in this one.

Lastly, a shot from inside the Quincy Market in Boston. Love the contrast in tones in this one.

What’s the best advice you can think of for someone just starting in photography?

Being someone who has only been into photography for about a year, I’d say the best advice I can give is just have fun with it.  That’s all I do.

If you could photograph anywhere in the world, where would it be?

The misty forests of the Pacific Northwest.  Hands down.  Show me any shot from the PNW and tell me it doesn’t look like an adventure waiting to happen.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to being a great photographer?

Don’t take it too seriously.

What photography advice do you wish you had when you were first starting out?

I wish someone had told me to get Adobe Lightroom as soon as I started because that program can take your photos to a new level if you put in the time to learn it.  

What kind of gear do you have?

Nothing that special.  I use a Canon T6i with either the 18-55mm kit lens or the Canon 24mm and 50mm pancake lenses for when I need a lower f stop than the 18-55mm.

What’s one post-processing tip you’d like to share with other photographers?

Edit to music.  I think it helps.

What has photography done for you as a person?  How has it changed you?

Photography has been a creative outlet for me and a great way to take my mind of things.  It’s definitely changed the way I look at my surroundings.

What will you be doing five years from now?

Hopefully, exploring the world with my friends and taking pictures one place at a time.

What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?

A cross-country photography road trip with my friends.

For anyone who wants to get in touch with Joe, here’s some contact information:

FStop: Profile

Facebook: Profile

Instagram: @thelostlifephotography

Joe, thanks for opening up to us – we really enjoyed learning about you! 🙂

If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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