Michael Joseph was born in Kimberly, the Capital of South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, in 1941. His father was heavily involved in anti-apartheid activism, especially fundraising, all of which gave Michael early exposure to politicians and social reportage from South Africa. Arriving in the UK in 1962, Michael studied at The London College of Printing and Graphic Arts.
During his time at university, he was sent to Vietnam to photograph the war, and, as a result, was commissioned to many advertising assignments, where he made his name as a photographer. In June 1968, Michael spent two days with the Rolling Stones at Sarum Chase in Hampstead and Swarkestone Hall Pavilion, Derbyshire, shooting a series of images that were intended to be used on the cover of the album Beggars Banquet. Due to a dispute between the band and their then record label, the photos were not used, but are today widely considered to be some of the best ever taken of the band. Michael went on to have a very successful career working on fashion and advertising campaigns. To this day he is still rarely seen without a camera.