Photograph by Lynn Johnson
Photograph courtesy Lynn Johnson
Lynn Johnson photographs the human condition. A regular contributor to National Geographic, Johnson is known for finding beauty and meaning in elusive, difficult subjects, including threatened languages, zoonotic disease, rape in the military ranks, and the centrality of water in village life. She collaborates with the people she portrays to honor their visions as well as her own. She is not afraid to ask the tough questions. Hate Kills, her master's thesis as a Knight fellow at Ohio University, probed the impact of hate crimes. And as a teacher, Johnson also engages her students to ask tough questions. At National Geographic Photo Camps, she helps at-risk youth around the world find their creative voices. At Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications, she is helping to develop a program that challenges master's students in the multimedia, photography, and design department to push past their comfort levels in pursuit of their truth. She herself has committed to that hunt, frame by frame.
Over the years Johnson has been awarded many World Press awards, Pictures of the Year awards, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for highlighting social justice and human rights, among others. Her work has been shown at Visa Pour l'Image in Perpignan, France; included in Communication Arts annuals; and published in over a dozen books, most recently National Geographic's Women of Vision.
In Their Words
The people—the relationships and the experiences—are more important than the photographs. As journalists, our responsibility is not to manipulate people, but to honor them and their stories.
More of Lynn Johnson's Work
Lynn Johnson spent five years documenting the wreckage of hate's corrosive force.
They spread a new faith across thousands of miles—and still inspire pilgrims.
Maggie Steber and Lynn Johnson answer the question of whether women see differently than men.