There aren’t many photographers out there that I feel both inspired by and connected to on a human level. Sure, I have many photog favorites that inspire me with their work but Joe Buissink is one of few where I feel connected with not only his images but also with him personally.
Last year was the first time I ever saw Joe Buissink speak in person. It was at a NYC PUG meeting at the Hilton near Times Square. I had been following his work for some time and was anxious to see him in person. I remember ascending the grandiose hotel staircase to the second floor. I was by myself and feeling a bit intimidated as a new still-getting-my-feet-wet-photographer. I went into the lecture hall and took a seat in the back and listened as Joe began his presentation. For the first time, I got to know the man behind the brilliant imagery and just like that, I felt connected.
Last night, I had the opportunity to see Joe Buissink again as he presented his latest work. I was at another PUG meeting held at Calumet Photo. I wasn’t as intimated this time around but I was excited to see the full house of photographers who had come out to watch Joe speak. As usual, his photography blew my mind. But what I really took notice of was the thing that drew me to his work initially; his warmness. There were three things about Joe Buissink that are defining. His style: Simple; black t-shirt and jeans. His energy: high, personable, lively, and confident. His passion: Strongly committed to his artistry, dedication to his clients and the photography community. I admired that. Joe’s art represents something so human and heartfelt. He can capture the beauty of even the simplest fleeting moment. I was always drawn to this his remarkable ability to see with his heart and create an image based on that vision.
I’ve always been fascinated by the different ways we see things. Whether we have a camera drawn to our eye or just walking down the street, we see with our eyes but our heart allows us to see with emotion beyond the surface. It’s really a gift to be able to see a form of beauty in every day life.
I will always be an admirer of Joe Buissink’s work but mostly out of appreciation for his human nature to speak, act, and see with his heart.