On developing as a photographer:
“In my younger mind I believed that I wanted to be in the presence of hard news – that that’s where intensity lived – to some extent that’s true. Now I understand it lives everywhere.”
“I don’t think of images I’ve done in terms of relationship to history as much as in relationship to first and foremost hoping it changed the life of the person that allowed me to photograph them, because they have to go through a process of self awareness and reflection.”
Johnson's ego never gets in the way of allowing the people in front of her lens to tell their story. In her most recent story for National Geographic magazine, she put away her medium format camera in favor of her smaller, less intrusive iPhone, as her friends mother passed away before her. For a story on crossing over, she went against the instructions of her editors to honor the people that invited her to witness such a profound and moving moment.Her images frequently grace the pages of National Geographic magazine, and she was recently awarded a National Geographic fellowship.