Longtime Jackson photographer displays on profession – WLBT

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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Whenever you see Jay Johnson, you’ll probably see a digital camera in his arms, snapping images of massive occasions, historic locations, and other people in and across the state, particularly in Jackson.

Johnson credit his ardour for pictures to his father, James R. Johnson.

He was the primary African American to function a member of the Jackson Public School Board, and he was additionally the photographer.

“I got a chance to travel the state at an early age taking pictures for daycares in schools,” mentioned Johnson. “I really didn’t have an interest in photography until I got to Jackson State University and realized having a camera in my hand has advantages.”

Johnson hasn’t put the digital camera down since then. He began working on the Jackson Police Department as a photographer and Media Coordinator Specialist in 1987.

His expertise then opened extra doorways, and he started to assist as a photographer in Jackson, capturing political figures, celebrities, and presidential visits. In reality, he served as unique photographer for former President Barack Obama throughout a marketing campaign go to to Jackson. He additionally captured his spouse, former First Lady Michelle Obama, throughout Jackson State’s commencement. He has numerous images of civil rights leaders and their households through the years.

“Medgar Evers’ Homecoming has always been a milestone in Jackson where we remember the murder of Medger Evers,” Johnson mentioned. “His family still has roots here, and I was able to photograph a lot of those memories for the Evers’ family.”

After snapping 1000’s and 1000’s of images and dealing on wonderful and memorable assignments, Johnson is now retiring. He is grateful he was in a position to reside out his ardour.

“My hope and prayer is that memories that I have gotten a chance to capture over the years will be archived, and those persons maybe 50,60, 70 years from now will be able to look back and say this is what Jackson was all about,” Johnson mentioned.

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