Josef Hanuš comes from the family of cimenatographer Václav Hanuš. He studied on the elementary school of graphic photography and later studied on Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He gained his first experience as a camera assistant and started working with his father. He participated as a chief cinematographer on movies such as Florian (1961) and Crime at the girls school (1965). In the late 90’s he focused his career on documentaries. He, together with Zdeněk Smíšek, is a coautor of a commemorative publication Život s kamerou a bez ní (2003), which received the E. E. Kisch Award in 2004. He was the president of the Association of Czech Cinematographers.