Joe Picard is a director of photography, and a photographer. He specializes in innovative approaches to narrative, documentary and commercial. In his pursuits he has developed highly specialized techniques using motion-control, projection mapping, forced perspective, full-spectrum cinematography, laser projector anomalies, High speed cameras, bullet time, stop motion and light painting while staying focused on the simple elegance of composition, lighting and motion to push a narrative.
Picard began making films in childhood, which inspired him to explore his passion as a career. He studied still photography and film production at Fitchburg State University, earning his degree in 2000.
He spent seven years in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he deeply explored experimental art, and co-founded High Mayhem Emerging Arts. Through that venture, he created works of music and still photography, documentary film, analogue video art, film projection installations, improvised visual music, and film design for stage performance.
Joe relocated to San Francisco in 2009, and joined Autofuss as Director of Photography. Autofuss soon spun off to create Bot & Dolly, who developed a robotic motion control system that updated the VFX industry. There, he shot countless commercials and VFX demo films including “BOX,” which entranced the internet and won several awards including “Best of Show” at SIGGRAPH 2014.
Bot&Dolly and Autofuss were acquired by Google in 2013. Picard was then positioned as part of the world's most accredited robotics team. While with Google, he developed a seemingly impossible technique that bewilders lighting experts. Using laser scanners and digital cinema cameras, he suspended dancing fragments of volumetric light in midair. He used this technique for the promo film of the 2015 YouTube Music Video Awards.
In 2015 he started working independently. With Gmunk, he created the Windows 10 identity image which is seen millions of times daily.
Today Joe lives in LA and shoots a variety of work such as beauty, products, documentary, high speed, and innovative VFX techniques. He shots for brands such as Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Vice, Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, Starbucks, Toyota, Lexus, and companies like Autofuss, Bot & Dolly, GMUNK, Logan and Sons, Psyop, General Population, Milk, Tool of North America, smashbox and Big Block Live.