The Art of Commercial Photography with Jon Eric Johnson

Few people have the opportunity to live out their passion.  Jon Eric Johnson is one of those few.

Growing up in rural Ivanhoe, NC, Jon Eric had two loves—music and drawing.  “Music was my first love,” he said.  “I was accepted to the UNC-G music program, and I started majoring in music education. However, after a few semesters and discussions with a couple of my mentors, I realized that wasn’t the right career for me. I did minor in music.

“While I was in school,” he continued, “I revisited my artwork and began to develop an interest in graphic design.  As part of my new art curriculum, I took a photography class and discovered my passion.”

Photography became a calling for Jon Eric.  His natural artistic abilities combined with an insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge has resulted in a successful career path with unlimited potential.

“I love that photography is a collaborative art form,” shared Jon Eric.  “I am thankful that while I was a student at UNC-G, I was able to apprentice with, and later work for, a wonderful photography studio—Aesthetic Images—and through them, I was introduced to a variety of photo opportunities, including commercial photography.”

Jon Eric continued, “After four years or so, I decided to return to school to focus on it. I kept hearing about Randolph Community College and its excellent photography program, so I enrolled and earned an additional degree in commercial photography.”

As he was earning his degree in 2015, Jon Eric began a partnership with Forsyth Magazines and has been responsible for many photos that appear in print.  “I love to tell people’s stories through pictures,” said Jon Eric.  “My education has given me a technical foundation that I can apply creatively to a variety of purposes.”

Indeed, Jon Eric has a great love for learning and is always eager to learn from others.  “I’ve worked with some incredibly gifted and talented photographers in the last nine years, among them the legendary Jimmy Williams.  I’ve learned so much from them—about both style and technique.  Photography is an art in which one continues to learn, grow, and develop, even after years of experience.

While I work towards being a national photographer,” said Jon Eric, “I also see a need to close the gap between large scale commercial work and the needs of small business.  I’m trying to bring the quality of high-caliber photography to the local business community.”

When asked what he loves most about photography, Jon Eric reemphasized his love for working with people, but he shared that he also loves to play with lighting.  “There is a true science behind lighting.  Yet, it’s still artistic, and there are so many different ways to use it.  Combining those two elements is what makes photography fun for me,” revealed Jon Eric.

“I’ve been able to apply those elements quite a bit during my work with the Greensboro Fashion Week.  I was the head photographer in 2018 and am again this year. We have had a lot of fun working to make interesting photography as well as adding a bit of drama through light-shaping and creative effects.”

“As I continue to build my portfolio, I’ve realized the need to sub-brand, and I recently created two additional websites,” noted Jon Eric.  “In addition to, which is primarily a portfolio of fashion and dramatic portraiture, I’ve created and JEJ.Photos to showcase my broader commercial work.  I have been in this business since 2010, and one of my main goals is to create a cohesive style, no matter which genre I’m shooting.”

Jon Eric’s attention to detail and passion are the core elements of a tremendous photographic artist.

Jon Eric lives in Winston-Salem with his wife, Jordan and their dog, Maci.  Learn more about Jon Eric’s work by visiting him online at JEJ.Photos.  Be sure to also follow him on Instagram, @jonericjohnson, @jejweddings, and @jej_photos.


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