Through The Viewfinder

How photography changed my perspective


Senior Evan Johnson looks through a lens April 28 in Room 151.

Evan Johnson

The four of us stood in front of a golden yellow background dressed head to toe in business formal attire. “We’ll try this shot one more time,” I say to my friends as I examine the screen of my camera. Michael Houser, Micah Reeves, Ian O’Neal and I arrange ourselves for the third time, this time with our chins down, backs straight and our props in frame. 


1/80 shutter, 2000 ISO, 5.6 aperture. These were the settings used to capture the front cover of my editorial magazine known as “Well Dressed Wednesday,” a 32-page self-published photography project dedicated to the brotherhood of me and my close friends. 

Photography has always been about connecting with others, regardless of whether I’ve been conscious of it. During my first year in my high school’s photojournalism program, I viewed shooting sports and events merely as a task to document the event. 

What’s the score? Who scored a goal? Whose cheering the loudest?

In spite of a less-than-personal mindset, I was inadvertently telling stories. As I matured as a photographer in the following years, my perspective broadened and I began to notice the stories I was telling. This realization helped me understand and enjoy not just my journalistic work, but my personal creative projects as well. When my hands were on a camera, new questions replaced the old ones. 

What’s unseen? Who is going unnoticed? Whose story should I tell?

Maybe it’s photographing the school district’s football announcer who was merely a booming voice prior to this coverage. Maybe it’s capturing a senior soccer player shedding bittersweet tears with his teammates after his final varsity match . Maybe it’s documenting my closest friends sharing the gift of simply being together for a homemade magazine. 

Through my passion, I’ve been able to tell the stories of those I may only see from a distance, as well as the ones closest to me.