Now, more than 20 years later, Joseph is flying high above the city in a helicopter, capturing sweeping aerial images of the beloved skyline.
His newest book, "New York From Above", is an ode to One World Trade Center. Completed in July 2013, the newly finished structure was for Joseph — and many New Yorkers — a form of healing after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
"When One World Trade was finally completed, I felt that the city had been restored in some meaningful way, and I wanted to capture all-new cityscapes that featured this 'new' New York," Joseph told.
Ahead, 13 photos from the book that celebrates Joseph's cherished city.
Joseph has been flying above New York and capturing its fantastic views for over 10 years.
Midtown East and the United Nations building at sunrise
When the weather permits, he'll fly multiple days in a row.
Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Village at sunrise
His favorite time of day to shoot is at sunrise. "It's just sublime ... so still and full of anticipation," he said.
Roosevelt Island at sunrise
Joseph moved to New York in 1992 and has seen it go through a lot of changes — however, he says he's not nostalgic for the past.
The terrace of Tommy Hilfiger's dome penthouse at The Plaza, overlooking Central Park
"The constant change is the best part of New York," he said. "The city is different literally every single day, and this is what makes photographing it so much fun."
The Statue of Liberty at sunset
Back in 2001, Joseph had a downtown studio that was destroyed during 9/11. "[I was] very sensitive to the scars left by the tragedy, both in the landscape itself and in the psyche of this city I love," he said.
One World Trade Center at sunset
One World Trade Center inspired his newest book, "New York From Above".
Close-up view of One World Trade Center
While he loves going up in the air to shoot, Joseph makes it clear that he's up there to get a job done, which can be mentally demanding.
Looking up the East River on Saint Patrick's Day
"When I'm soaring above the city I'm working, and working hard," he said.
The United Nations building at dusk
"There are so many variables that I'm managing — from every manual feature of the cameras, to changing lenses in the dark at 2000 feet with the doors off, to just communicating with the pilot and with air traffic control," he said.
Empire State Building at dusk
While Joseph loves shooting all the classics, such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, one of his more recent "obsessions" is the Bank of America building at Bryant Park. "I love the geometry of that building and the way it's lit at night," he said.
Bank of America building at Bryant Park at night
He's also intrigued by the more historical architecture of New York, such as the Neo-Gothic-style St. Patrick's Cathedral, a building that dates back to 1858.
St Patrick's Cathedral at night
For Joseph, it's the resulting images from his helicopter rides that bring him the most joy.
Aerial view of lower Manhattan at dusk