Jason Miccolo Johnson is a national award-winning independent photojournalist. He is perhaps best recognized for his trademark visual call-and-response shooting style where the focus is on the subject's eyes and hands. He is the author of the bestselling book Soul Sanctuary: Images of the African American Worship Experience (foreword by Gordon Parks). His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the St. Louis Art Museum, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Johnson has taken exclusive photos of some of the world's most recognizable persons including President Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Princess Diana, Fidel Castro, and Oprah Winfrey. His assignments have taken him to the White House, the Supreme Court, two Olympics and five presidential inaugurations. In fact, he has photographed the last six U.S. presidents and more than 15 heads of state.
With 42 years of professional photographic experience, Johnson’s images have appeared in 33 books, over 65 magazines, and numerous national newspapers. Some of the books include Picturing Children, Through The African American Lens, Songs of My People, Standing in the Need of Prayer, Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones, Cooking Up South, and Committed to the Image. Selected magazines include Time, Essence, Financial World, Smithsonian, Entrepreneur, Glamour, Washingtonian, Black Enterprise, and Washington Post Magazine.
Johnson has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN Book TV, NPR, RADIO ONE, and WSAV's THE BRIDGE. In addition to participating in major exhibitions on four continents, including four Smithsonian Institution exhibitions, Johnson’s photos have been seen in feature films and documentaries such as Guess Who and W.E.B. DuBois: A Biography in Four Voices.
As a speaker, Johnson regularly speaks at conferences and universities on photojournalism, documentary photography, entrepreneurship, and the Black Church. He has lectured at the Library of Congress, theological seminaries, and museums nationwide. In 2002, Johnson was the visionary behind a special tribute to his mentor, legendary photographer Gordon Parks, on Park’s 90th birthday. He invited 90 of America’s top photographers to gather with Parks for a historic group photo and dinner in New York City.
Johnson formerly worked for USA TODAY, ABC Network News and Good Morning America. Since 1990, he has been the official annual convention photographer for the National Association of Black Journalists. He is the recipient of an ArtMaker award from the HistoryMakers, the Photographer of the Year award from The Exposure Group professional photographers association, and an Outstanding Alumni Award from Howard University. Johnson earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Howard.
Johnson is now teaching photography at Savannah State University, touring a national exhibition on natural hairstyles titled Yours Naturally: Beauty That Grows on You, and finishing his next book, Legends of our Lifetime: 100 Black Men Who Influenced America. He also has a photo in the latest Smithsonian Institution exhibition, More Than A Picture.