Michael Joseph

Michael Joseph is a street portrait and documentary photographer. Raised just outside of New York City, his inspirations are drawn from interactions with strangers on city streets and aims to afford his audience the same experience through his photographs. His portraits are made on the street, unplanned and up close to enable the viewer to explore the immediate and unseen.

Michael’s work has been exhibited nationally, notably at Daniel Cooney Fine Art, (New York, NY), the Aperture Gallery (New York, NY), Project Basho Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) as well as the Rayko Gallery (San Francisco, CA). He has lectured for Amy Arbus at the International Center of Photography (New York, NY) in portraiture classes at the New England School of Photography (Boston, MA) and taught at the Light Factory (Charlotte, NC). The artist’s portraits are held in the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana and private collections. Michael is a 2016 Photolucida Top 50 winner, LensCulture Portrait Award Finalist and a recipient of the fellowship in photography from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He is represented by Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York City.

Lost and Found

Lost and Found is a portrait series that examines the individual spirit of lost youth who have abandoned home to travel the country by hitchhiking or freight train hopping. Within their personal journey driven by wanderlust, escapism or a search for transient jobs, they find unexpected kin in traveling friends.

For this body of work, each individual is photographed on public streets using the natural light of the space in which they are found. Like graffiti on the walls of the city streets they inhabit, their bodies and faces become the visual storybook of their lives. Clothing is often a mismatch of found items. Jackets, pants and vests are self-made like a patchwork quilt – using fabric pieces from fellow traveler’s clothing – embellished by metal bottle caps, buttons, safety pins, lighter parts, syringe caps, and patches.

Though each traveler’s story is unique, they are bound by a sense of community. Often unseen or mistaken by their appearance, many of these individuals have a kind spirit. Their souls are open and their gift is time. As one states, “They will give you their time because time is all they have.” And in some cases, in the family they have lost, they have found each other.

To view more of Michael Joseph’s work please visit his website.