Johnny Milano

Johnny Milano

Based
Long Island, New York
Born
Long Island, New York
Camera
Nikon D3
“However strong an image is, I believe photographers have an obligation to inform above all.”

Beat

I work on long-form visual stories continuously, while also freelancing for a local paper.

One Shot

. HENRY COUNTY, UNITED STATES. REUTERS/Johnny Milano
A Klansman participates with members of the Nordic Order Knights and the Rebel Brigade Knights in a ceremony on a fellow member's property.
“My favourite image was taken during a cross-lighting ceremony in my work for Reuters on white supremacist movements. A Klansman’s outstretched hand can be seen bearing a tattoo across his knuckles that reads “Love”. For me this represents the sheer disconnect between what the Klan believes their message reads and how it is.”

Profile

My earliest memory of photography is my father’s Nikonos, Nikon’s underwater camera. My father was a hobbyist scuba diver and had slide images of life under water from his travels when he was younger.

For the most part, my technical abilities were self-taught. In my third year of college I also took a photography class. I then did a one-year certificate program in photojournalism and documentary photography.

My first assignment was for a local newspaper to photograph an outdoor back-porch concert series on a farm on eastern Long Island. It probably could not have gone better, as everything was working in my favour: the light, weather, atmosphere and subjects were all jiving together incredibly well so it was very comfortable. By the end of the assignment I had gotten a feel for what the editors were looking for in terms of cover images and composition.

The work concerning the white supremacist movements has easily made the biggest mark on me. After spending over three years on this it has evolved into a much more expansive project than I had anticipated. Slowly but surely it has become a body of work that I am proud of.

Assignments that excite me the most are when I’m able to shoot freely in my own style, and in situations where the human condition is exposed in all its rawness.

I’m always learning something - every day. Among the most important lessons I have learned, though, is that patience and anticipation are crucial.

There are a plenty of incredible photographers that I admire and look up to; however it’s my friends and colleagues that I respect most. They too feel by turns anxious, nervous, hopeless, and also experience the success and sheer joys of photography – just as I do on a daily basis. It’s inspiring and motivational to work through or celebrate these experiences with close friends.