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Michael Joseph was born in Kimberly, South Africa in 1941. Joseph began photographing his surroundings in reportage style, exposed to political events through his father who was involved in Anti-Apartheid activities. During university, Joseph was sent to Vietnam to photograph the war and was later commissioned to several advertising assignments for companies such as Christies, Pirelli, Schweppes and White Horse. He arrived in London in 1962 and studied at The London College of Printing and Graphic Arts. It was Joseph’s visual style and technical capabilities which made him photographer of choice for ‘Beggars Banquet’.

A second shoot with the band and Michael Joseph took place the following day, outdoors at Swarkestone Hall Pavilion in Derbyshire. The photographs were intended to be the cover images for ‘Beggars Banquet’, but a dispute between the band and the record company meant neither were used, and instead a typographic cover reading ‘Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet RSVP’ existed before the now infamous image of a graffitied toilet. Joseph’s banqueting table photograph was used inside the album sleeve. Joseph had printed his image, shot on Kodak Kodalith 35 mm black and white film, the night after the shoot, which Jagger hand-coloured, as Joseph described, “To my horror, very garishly”. Jagger’s rendition of the image is how it appeared on the album sleeve. As Michael Joseph concluded, “The rest is history.”


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