Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto) | My Journey


"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.  This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this."

~ Black Elk, Oglala Lakota Wichasha Wakan

     I'm a contemplative photographer, who has a strong connection to the natural world, and as such, I believe in the sanctity of all creation. We are all, by nature, creations, and thus creative beings, and I bring this connected and intuitive approach to my photography-as-art and to the images I create. 

     My personal vision is one that integrates creativity in the field with ethical behavior toward the natural environment. One of my favorite quotes is the one by Edward Abbey (a pioneer in the environmental movement) on my home page, and my own personal code of ethics aligns with this quote (which he wrote in the 1950s). 

     About three years ago, I was compelled to visit Ireland (a place many of my ancestors came from, and a place I've long felt a connection to from afar) for the first time.  Since then, I've returned more than a half dozen times, to connect with the landscape and the people.  These experiences have also served to rejuvenate my creativity and to propel me onto a more creative path in my life journey.  I absolutely love to immerse myself in the Irish landscapes, and when I'm there, I spend much of my time doing just that...getting out to far reaches and edge-of-the-world connect with the land I love so much.  I truly hope my love and passion for the Irish landscape come through in the images I capture, because I want you to see Ireland through my eyes, and many of the images featured on my page here will be from Ireland.

     But, equally important is the journey I've been on away from inner journey that has taken me to new heights of creativity and has taught me so much about my own unique personal artistic vision.  Ireland rekindled my love for the artistic, however learning to do the 'work' wherever I am...whether that's in Ireland, Iowa, or some other far-flung place in the world...has been the critical element which has helped me grow by leaps and bounds, and which has enabled me to sustain the production of creative works in unusual and less than traditional ways.  

     I'm seeing the world around me in new ways, and realizing there is wondrous beauty wherever I am...all I have to do is open my eyes, heart, soul, and spirit to it. And, in the process, I’ve learned that part of my creative vision, part of my purpose, is to capture the world in more abstract, and less literal, ways.

     The beauty of life for me is that we can look out through the lens of our physical eyes and see a clear, focused vision of the world around us. But, we can also look out through the lens of our inner eyes (the heart, soul, spirit, whatever you want to call it) and see impressions of the world around us that are unique to each of us in individual ways.

     So, my goal is to capture the world around me in clear, focused ways, but also to create more abstract impressions of the world which will allow for individual interpretation by the viewer. There is an intimate part of me in every photo I make, and I hope you will enjoy sharing the journey with me as you view the images I create and present here. Thank you for taking a moment to spend time with me. I greatly appreciate your time, especially since I know you could very easily be somewhere else.