José Azel received a BA from Cornell University in 1976. There he began shooting pictures for the annual and for the Visual Service Department of the university. After completing his Masters in Journalism at the University of Missouri, he joined the staff of the Miami Herald, where he worked for four years. From 1981, until 1997, Azel freelanced as a photographer for international magazines such as, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Life, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and GEO Magazine, as well as shooting corporate assignments for the outdoor industry. In 1993 Azel began to divide his time between shooting and working for Aurora Photos.
As a founder of Aurora Photos and Novus Select, Azel has overseen the start-up and operations of both ventures. Novus Select does visual commissioned work in the form of photography and multimedia for corporate clients as well as editorial publications. At it’s heart Novus Select tells stories. Aurora Photos has grown from a staff of one to its present staff of 10, and from three core photographic contributors to today’s 300 plus photographers whose work spans the range of imagery from photo-documentary to high-end commercial stock photos. Novus Select represents a core group of photographers for assignments using traditional photography, video or most likely a mix of media for today’s changing media environment. Aurora Photos is based in Portland, Maine and Novus Select has a staff of 6 divided between Aurora Photos headquarters and a New York City office. In addition, Azel takes on some photographic work, most recently multimedia production as the storyteller and director of several projects.