Camera Jesus, Detroit Photography Staple, Puts Pieces of City Together

Camera Jesus’ stunning photos of Detroit are not only images to admire, but prove to be challenging jigsaw puzzles as well.

With his long hair and beard, Detroit photographer Joe Gall began shooting musicians and bands while in the “pit” at the Royal Oak Music Theater.

It was fans that noted his long hair and beard who gave him the sobriquet that he’s come to be known: Camera Jesus. 

“You’ll see what heaven would be with just the tops of the Penobscot and Guardian Buildings poking through the clouds.” — Joe Gall, known as Camera Jesus

“My fascination with Detroit probably is from the history, and looking back, how fast things have changed,” Gall says. “I like seeing things change rapidly instead of staying still for a long time, and Detroit to me seems like the perfect place to be if you want to see some things progress and change.”  

Click here to see Camera Jesus’ work on Instagram.

Some of his most remarkable photos were taken in Detroit, including a composite photo of countless Detroit churches. Two of his most notable photographs, “Heaven’s Gate” and “Rise Up” depict historic Detroit buildings that appear to be floating among the clouds. 

With the coronavirus pandemic, his traveling came to a halt. But with that came the opportunity to begin creating jigsaw puzzles from his photos. After some research and experimentation, he’s come up with high-quality puzzles that he’s proud of

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  • Ann Delisi
    Ann Delisi hosts Essential Music, the Essential Conversations podcast series and the Essential Cooking broadcast and podcast. Born and raised in the Motor City, Ann is a broadcaster, interviewer, producer, music host, storyteller and proud Detroiter.