Heather Elder Represents
Reps Journal

David W. Johnson Joins Our Roster as a Story Keeper and Brings Imagery Full of Nostalgia and Soul

The new year can be full of resolutions, deep cleans and big goals. For us, 2023 started off on a high by adding new talent to our roster. We are thrilled to announce that we are now representing Chicago-based Photographer and Director David W. Johnson. David captivates his viewers through his imagery by going past "the moment" and communicating the complete stories of those on set and in his daily life. Proclaimed "the story keeper" by friends and family, his responsibility to preserve memories and experiences is reflected in his imagery. 

Caring deeply for his community, David is also the founder of the non-profit True Chicago, with a mission to educate, energize, and expand the arts for black and brown youth. His passion translates to his imagery by capturing authentic experiences and turning them into powerful visual narratives. We asked David a few questions to get to know him, but there is so much more to him that we will explore and we can't wait to share that with you soon. 


What are you known for?

In photography: creating a feeling of connection on set, making soulful portraits that feel approachable, bringing a sense of familiarity and nostalgia in the images I create, both through the expression and the colors that I incorporate in my work.

In life: being a story keeper within my family and among my closest friends, also ready for a healthy debate on what people should watch next on Netflix, having a deep love of great food, and being the last one at the table, finding the perfect dinner spot, being a go-to friend when someone close to me has to make a big decision.

Describe your photography style in three words.

Human. Soulful. Empathetic. 

What is one thing people don’t know about you?

Wow…tough…I have three things

1- I am 120 pages into a memoir that I plan to finish in 2023 and publish shortly after. 

2 - My family has owned land in Cotton plant Mississippi that was purchased by my great-great grandfather who fought in the civil war.

3- I am Black, Jewish, Native American, and had a great-grandmother on my dad’s side that was 100% Chinese

What’s your comfort meal?

My mother’s pound cake and fancy vanilla ice cream…also Virtue my favorite restaurant in Chicago. 

What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday?

Grill with friends on my pellet wood smoker or go on an outdoor adventure with my kids. They are 3 and 5, so every trail feels like a mystery or a pioneer-level expedition, which is the best.

Travel location on your bucket list?

I'd love to go to Egypt. I want to swim with my wife Elena in the Red Sea for my 40th

What is your favorite movie?

The Godfather 1 or 2

Who would play you in a movie?

I feel like I could pull off a great Black John Snow from Game of Thrones

What’s your word for 2023?

Presence - the more I find myself in the present, the more I grow in self-awareness, around my purpose and the work that is uniquely mine to do.