Joseph Termini was born in Huntington, NY in 1983. He spent the majority of his childhood living on a small sailboat with his family during summer. Growing up for him was a family matter and he had 2 brothers that he forged close bonds with. They grew up with reckless abandon and oftentimes stayed outside as long as possible. He says: “[The] outside would tame us. Mother nature was the greatest guardian of three boys.” His father was a pastor and his mother spent most of her time taking care of him and his brothers. His dad was often busy with his ministry but would always find himself there to support his sons at sporting events and other highlights of their young lives. He grew up close to his grandparents often staying on their acres of land in Melville, Long Island, blissfully avoiding poison ivy and building tree houses.
School for Termini was a troubled affair. He often had trouble concentrating on the topics the schools dictated and was more drawn to the stories his mom would read to him and the bibliophile that was present in his family. He learned from the people around him much more naturally than the rigid demands of a common core curriculum. During the summer his family would pile onto their old sailboat and live there. Termini found solace in the ocean and discovered a love of surfing that continues to be his greatest passion. His interest in photography began during this time and he fondly recalls stories about Peter Beard, and Jacque Cousteau he heard as a child. He fondly remember hearing about these larger than life figures that would go out into the world and capture moments and he took that inspiration and ran with it. He would take photos of his friends and environment around them and preserve them in a visual form. The real start of his life’s work would began a little later when his mother took him down a dusty path onto a old barge in Amagansett. The name of the vessel was simply Art Barge and he met a man named Ramesh, and an older man named Alex. Little did he know his mom had secretly signed him up for nature photography classes. They would travel around in old pick up trucks to isolated beaches, bluffs, and destinations around the eastern most point of Montauk. He was by far the youngest person in the group but his passion was not less than the others. He learned a lot during this time and experienced things not many people have. He learned about the plants and vegetation indigenous to Montauk. Those great glaciers melted long before our time creating rocky landscapes. The difference between birds, and he also came to photograph horses on the oldest cattle ranch in America. The camera was his tool for understanding the world around him. He still remembers distinctly sitting around in a room watching the work projected as the old slide projector clicked and reloaded and slide from one still to the next. Termini’s first venture into the world of professional photography started by happenstance when he met a man named Larry. He got offered a job as a PA for a photo production that happened to be for W magazine with Naomi Campbell and Steven Klein. Termini credits much of his foundation in the professional world, and his process now with fashion photography. He has worked with Levis, Gucci, Prada, Nike, Vogue, and W to name a few. He attended school part time at FIT in NYC but left before he completed his degree because he found himself restricted at school, just like when he was younger. His skillset was earned from the experiences he earned outside and the people he met along the way, not sitting in a classroom.