Patrick Joust is an underrated Baltimore Street Photographer. He lives in Baltimore, and has more in common with John Waters, (also from Baltimore), than any other street photographer. Even his images of cars are cinematic. Almost like a ‘baby’ Gregory Crewdson. But he does it with no lights, no large format camera and no production. Just a gaggle of 35mm and medium format film cameras. Mostly Yashica Mat, Rolleiflex, Rollop, Ricohflex and Mamiya C330, Leica M3, Hexar and Olympus XA. The Mamiya does almost all his “night” shots.
Baltimore Street Photographer – Not a Luddite
He’s in his 30’s, but chooses film. That is the medium that produces the ‘look’ he’s after. He’s not a luddite,…he just considers digital like another emulsion. One that does not produce his artistic vision. That’s all. Plus, he’s a librarian by day, and a street photographer the rest of the time. Kind of like an amateur in the Ralph Eugene Meatyard tradition. However, like Meatyard, and even John Waters, I believe a larger audience awaits. But Baltimore is the perfect foil for the meantime.
But Patrick has begun to weave himself into the fabric of the city. Diversity and all. Although a little shy, just the simple awe inspired by a twin reflex camera makes taking public portraits not as bad as one would think. While he does get his fair share of rejection, pulling out this time capsule of a camera almost inspires some subjects. As if this little box can actually transport them to a kinder environment. That, and he’s just a nice guy. And I think most just feel that with him.
Portraits and Cars
Almost everyone of his shots, irrespective of subject, draws the viewer in. Even cars. Street shooters? This guy has talent,…librarian or not. He attributes much of his influence to Michael Wriston, who use to live in Baltimore, but his style is quite different. These days, besides his street work, he’s actually dedicating time to his son. But in the vein of a Jack Radcliffe, Cynthia Henebry, D. Fujio or Alaine Laboile. Sometimes the greatest of inspirations are right in front of you.
He says the first few years the images felt random. Like the snapshots your Mother took. It took him a while, but finally found his voice, and a consistency he became satisfied with. He has found his groove, so to speak, and I imagine his sphere of influence will grow. He felt like giving up more than once. We’re glad he didn’t.
Home for Now
Patrick Joust. A Baltimore Street Photographer. He loves Baltimore and considers it a special place, and hopes his photography is making a “difference”. But, alas, the world will call. I hope the residents of Baltimore appreciate his contributions to the city before he’s gone. Check out his website below. Find Mamiya C330