• PROOF:
  • October 15, 2013

Lynn Johnson on the Heroic Nature of Humanity

“It is an addiction… to see the incredible beauty and desperate circumstances that people are able to survive in.” — Lynn Johnson

Peruvian woman holding a heart-shaped dragon blood tree leaf.
Peruvian woman holding a heart-shaped dragon blood tree leaf.

Lynn Johnson first recognized the extraordinary power of photography huddled in her school library as a child, looking through the Farm Security Administration’s iconic photographs of the Great Depression. She remembers feeling a physical connection to those people’s lives and has strived to create that again and again through her own photography. From the impact of hate crimes in America, to the lives of Long Island fishermen, to a family struggling with AIDS,  she has had the ability to step aside and allow her subjects to tell their story through her. “It’s not really about me, it’s hopefully never about me. It’s hopefully about them and about what they have to teach the world,” said Johnson. Her work has won numerous awards including seven Golden Quills for Photojournalism, four World Press Photography Awards, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Outstanding Coverage of the Disadvantaged, and Picture of the Year Award from the National Press Photographer Association.—Spencer Bakalar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This video portrait was produced by National Geographic magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is part of an ongoing series of conversations with the photographers of the magazine, exploring the power of photography and why this life of imagemaking suits them so well. Learn more about the making of the series and watch the full trailer here.

Follow Lynn Johnson on her website.

Video Production Credits
Photographer: Lynn Johnson
Producers: Pamela Chen, NGM
Chad A. Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Producer: Elyse Lipman, NGM
Editors: Spencer Bakalar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Camera and Sound: Spencer Millsap, NGM, Shannon Sanders, NGM

There are 13 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. JAYESH CHAKARAPANI
    August 6, 2014

    LOVE YOUR WORK & YOUR PASSION.

  2. Nancy Truluck
    August 3, 2014

    Love your photos. I am going to Bhutan with Nat Geo in Nov and need a new camera. I am not a techie type so I need something uncomplicated. But I love to record details of people, places. Sony RX 100 has been recommended to me. I am only interested in compact cameras but wonder about limited telephoto . What do you advise?

  3. siddharth
    July 31, 2014

    I love photography I like to do photography job.

  4. Raju Sinha
    July 27, 2014

    The photographers are on right lines,geometricallywith NGO. These images are of high standard. They are achieving their goals. I like you!

  5. NDITECK ERIC KEMANEN
    July 27, 2014

    hello dear you are doing a wonderful work .i really enjoy your pictures.please i am also a photographer but i really want to join you so that you can teach me more .i am a Cameroonian base in bamenda north west region of Cameroon.

  6. Sazid Khan
    July 6, 2014

    Really inspiration
    can i work with you i know i know i’m not able to do this but i am trying
    good work man best of luck

  7. Julian John
    May 16, 2014

    Inspirational stuff, the message was short but very strong. beautiful work that takes photography beyond an indulgence into a force for good. Thank you Lynn

  8. bobby singh
    March 14, 2014

    nice……….

  9. knh771
    October 21, 2013

    I’ve really been enjoying all of the photographer videos on PROOF. My only complaint? That they’re so short! The commentary and perspectives have been so interesting… I’m sure they have more than three minutes worth to say.

  10. Colleen Clark
    October 18, 2013

    My sister you are one of the most remarkable people I know! Your images transcend so much more than words ever could. I love you-

  11. Blanca Pinon
    October 16, 2013

    so very true …

  12. ابو مريم العزاوي
    October 15, 2013

    انا شاكر لكم أهتمامكم بي ..وان كل ما تقدمه هو شيء جميل ومميز …وفيه من الاحتراف الشء الكثير …شكرا

  13. Miguel Legazpi
    October 15, 2013

    I WISH SHE WILL LIKE TO COME TO BAKERSFIELD ADULT SCHOOL AND GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET A CONFERENCE, I VERY CONCERN ABOUT OUR FUTURE IN THIS BEAUTIFUL PLANET WERE WE LIVE.

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