Interview with Stella Johnson
I am a photographer and educator known for my passionate and honest documentary projects.
I starting photographing in Mexico for my personal projects and continued onto Cameroon and Nicaragua. My monograph, Al Sol: Photographs from Mexico, Cameroon, and Nicaragua, was published in 2008. After the publication of my book, I returned to my roots and have been photographing in Greece.
I have been photographing for over 40 years. About 15 years into my professional career and personal image making, I felt visually frustrated and took a class with Constantine Manos. He taught me how to make a strong image and has been my mentor and friend ever since.
I investigate culture, community, and family while developing lifelong relationships with the people I photograph. I received a Core Fulbright Scholar Grant to photograph in Mexico in 2003, and Fulbright Senior Specialist grants to teach in Mexico in 2006 and in Colombia in 2018.
I have always been interested in people and culture and how we live. I visited the Greek villages my grandparents grew up in without running water and electricity and this set me on a quest to see how people survive with so little, first in Mexico, then the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, on to Cameroon, West Africa and finally in Lesbos and Crete, Greece. Although I love making images, the photographs are incidental to the friendships I make.