[ October 20, 2008 ]
While never having been described as "inaccessible, elusive, unapproachable, or private," New York based photographer David Johnson was unavailable due to scheduling reasons within his control to sit down for a Q and A. Since he has no "people," his friends, clients, family and past subjects were tracked down instead to give their thoughts on working with David Johnson.
David's Mother on his move to New York:
We didn't really understand why David had to move all the way up to New York City. We always thought that he would come back to Fayetteville, GA and open a portrait studio. The pictures he took of his cousins were just so nice. He's certainly much better than the guy that has all of those pictures hanging up in the mall. We think he'd do great Easter Portraits, but of course, we think he's great at everything. But he insisted on moving to New York. Which is funny since he's never there. Whenever he calls, he's in some airport, or hotel, or in some other state. The other day he called and said something about a sailboat, a virgin, the statue of liberty, but then the phone cut out. I think he had a sitting with that Puffy rapper, too. And that movie guy with the round glasses. But we're always happy when he gets a shoot in Atlanta and stops in. Maybe one day he'll set up that studio here.
Clark Hook, CCO / Euforma on his first photo shoot with David:
I've been using David for at least 10 years. The first shoot I ever did with him involved elderly women in a swimming pool. An awkward situation to be sure, but the ladies didn't seem to mind when he got in the water with them, at all. And while I still find it a bit unusual that a grown man just happened to be wearing a gold speedo to a shoot, the pictures were beautiful. Since then, we've shot everything from burning guitars to factory workers, hospitals and musicians. In every case, David managed to make something special out of whatever we had to work with. I think that's why I still love working with him. He has an uncanny ability to make each shoot something special. That and the fact that I've never had to see that speedo again.
Anonymous Celebrity on Working with David:
He kept calling me "mister," Very nice and such a brillian- hold on, I really gotta take this call....
Best Friend Kevin on David being voted to Cosmo's Top 50 sexiest list:
[After recovering composure] NO, NO, NO - he photographed a guy on that list - A tiger trainer, I believe. HE wasn't on it!!! Come on, get it straight. My kids do say he should be on some Top 50 list though.
Club Pro at Augusta National Golf Course on David's Golf Ability:
We can certainly assure you that this David Johnson has never played here!
Coffee Cart Guy, Dumbo, NY, on seeing David each morning he's in town:
This guy? One sugar, just enough cream to make it light caramel- boom, you got a cup of coffee. Comes up every morning, gets a medium coffee, and just stares at the donuts. Just buy one, Buddy! Real nice guy, a little, I don't know..... just says funny things. Comes up one morning with this big old wooden camera thingy and says he wants to take my picture. I don't know nothin about modeling for no pictures, but he's a guy you can't say no to. That guy will talk to anyone who won't turn and walk away. Always on the phone cracking jokes and telling people where to get the best pie in the city... says just talkin' to someone about work. Ya believe those friggin' Mets.....
Santa Claus on being "documented" for Holiday Card by David:
It's unfortunate that I had to get a restraining order against David Johnson. Every year he made the "nice" list,. He holds doors for people, says "ma'am" and "sir" and really held on to those southern roots in the big city. Then one day I'm blindsided... there he is taking pictures of me doing my laundry. What can I say, I'm human! I gotta wear clean clothes too. What, you think the elves do everything for me? No sir, they're union. Eight hour work day with a lunch break at noon, and God forbid you ask them to run a quick personal errand for you. Those little guys have some nasty lawyers. Next thing I know I'm getting an unjust parking ticket and rightfully going all east north pole on the parking attendant and who's there to document this shameful moment. . . David Johnson. I'm sorry, but coal for that guy for a while. And a restraining order just for good measure. I don't need any photos of me getting my full body wax (I do it for the missus) showing up on his website.
David's brother on David's celebrity:
[Walked off laughing and shaking his head]
Former Stock Car Champion on Seeing David Work:
Boy, that guy got on set real fast with that Canon camera backed by those super-fast Red Line lenses and gotta give a ton of credit to the crew for being right there to fire up those Profoto strobes sitting up on the Bogen stands and the crew chief for getting the lighting -fast readings with that Sekonic 588. 'Course none of this would work without the tremendous radio firepower we're getting' from those dual Pocket Wizards... can't lose when you know that team's behind you. He was real pround o' them, guy, real proud. Yesssirr.
Megan Roy, Designer-in-Chief, Entrepreneur Magazine
David has been my go-to photographer for a couple years now. I think I got him, hook, line and sinker, under false pretenses: the first shoot he did for me I sent him down to St Croix. Little did he know he would spend a few years shooting giants of the ultra-sexy insurance industry. Luckily for me, David stuck around, snarky comments and all to shoot these sexy senior advisors-and man, did he do it well, always with a smile and a joke. Now that we've moved on to a more visual genre, I still consider him my best asset. The ace in my back pocket. But shhhhh, don't let him know that.
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