WASHINGTON, DC – Award-winning photographer Jason Miccolo Johnson will preview his national photographic exhibition focusing on the beauty of natural hairstyles during a special VIP preview from 7 – 9 pm on Saturday, June 14 in the gallery of The Leica Store (977 F St. NW, Washington, DC). The project, titled Yours Naturally, celebrates the beauty of women of the African Diaspora and will change not only the way they see themselves, but how others perceive them.
The exhibition consists of large-scale portraits featuring a variety of creative hairstyles that bring out the natural beauty of its wearers. Yours Naturally documents women of all ages, sizes, professions and complexions wearing stunning natural hairstyles. The women were photographed in the studio and various everyday settings.
A national traveling exhibition is expected to launch this Fall and will tour Historical Black Colleges and Universities as well as museums and cultural centers throughout the U.S. "This will be a perfect vehicle for generating serious discussions around issues of healthy hair; self-esteem; fitness and nutrition; and what really defines beautiful hair," said Johnson. Complementing the touring exhibition will be a series of seminars and live demonstrations.
Most importantly, Yours Naturally will, for the first time in a national exhibition, pay homage to the growing natural hair movement that is quietly spreading across America. This photographic collaboration will allow women of the African Diaspora an opportunity to celebrate the awesomeness of their God-given hair in their own way, unapologetically.
The preview exhibition and reception is made possible by the generous support of The Leica Store and Walls & Associates. Nearly all of the photographs in the exhibition were shot with the Leica S, Johnson’s camera of choice.
Jason Miccolo Johnson is a nationally known award-winning photojournalist perhaps best recognized for his trademark visual call-and-response shooting style where the focus is on the subject’s eyes and hands.
He is the author of the bestseller, Soul Sanctuary: Images of the African American Worship Experience (foreword by Gordon Parks). Johnson has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN Book TV, WUSA-TV, WAVY-TV, FOX5-TV, WSIU-TV, NPR, and Radio One. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, the St. Louis Art Museum, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Johnson has taken exclusive photos of some of the world’s most recognizable persons including Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Princess Diana, and Oprah Winfrey. In 2003, Johnson received the ArtMaker award from the national History Makers organization and in 2000, the Photographer of the Year award from The Exposure Group professional photographers association.
He has contributed to more than 25 books and 58 magazines. The books include Cooking Up South, Songs of My People, Standing in the Need of Prayer, Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones, Black Mothers: Songs of Praise and Celebration, and Committed to the Image. Some of the magazines include Time, Newsweek, Smithsonian, Glamour, Essence, Washingtonian, Financial World, Travel & Leisure, Entrepreneur, Black Enterprise, and Ebony.
His photos have also appeared in three documentaries and the feature film Guess Who. His work has been exhibited in two Smithsonian Institution exhibitions, Reflections in Black and Speak to My Heart.
He is highly respected for his professionalism and knowledge of book publishing and entrepreneurship. He gives talks at conferences and universities on photojournalism, documentary photography, entrepreneurship, and the Black Church and has lectured at the Library of Congress. Johnson earned a journalism degree from Howard University.
Johnson is a former photo editor for USA Today’s Sports Weekly, photo lab director for USA TODAY, and desk assistant for ABC Network News. Since 1990, he has been the official annual convention photographer for the National Association of Black Journalists. He was the visionary and organizer of the 90th birthday tribute to legendary photographer Gordon Parks in 2002 that brought together 90 of America’s top photographers for a historic group photo with Parks in Harlem.