This fall, I was asked to photograph Bill George. Bill is a best-selling author, a Harvard Business School professor and widely known as the former CEO of Medtronic. His portrait was taken for the first-ever magazine for the BB&T Leadership Institute. It was a true pleasure to spend some time with Bill and I love how bold the design of this publication is around the photography. It really makes this portrait shine!
Eliesa Johnson Photography
We’re kicking off the year 2019 with a fantastic new cover + feature for the MSP Weddings Spring / Summer issue! We collaborated with the amazing team at Mpls / St Paul magazine for this fun spread that just screams spring! Girl Friday created the super-fun backdrop and the space at Studio 125 provided the perfect environment for this bridal shoot. Our goal was to create some gorgeous images that focused both on showing personality and a breath of fresh air to inspire brides! We also had a dream team for this project. Big thanks to the following people for working on this to make magic:
Editor: Emily Sefton
Art Direction: Michael Norseng
Styling: Madeline Nachbar
Hair & Makeup: Miki Mori from Wehmann
Talent: Isabella from Moore Talent
Flowers: Spruce Flowers and Events
Backdrop: Girl Friday
Studio: Studio 125
Photo Assistant: Melissa Hesse
I'm super excited to be the keynote speaker for Print The Love's 2018 benefit. If you're not familiar with the organization, I'd love to introduce you. Print The Love is a non profit that serves the world with instant photographs. They focus on celebrating the value and dignity of individuals in under-resourced communities through the gift of a photograph. Obviously, the mission of this organization resonates with me, because it is what I practice on a daily basis. I greatly believe that a photograph captures a valuable moment in time. I also believe that photographs are one of our most prized possessions that we have in life. Print the Love gives the gift of photography and moments to those who otherwise would not have access to ever having their lives documented - how cool is that?
In thinking about what to talk about for this evening, I landed on "The Power and Purpose of an Image". It will be a reflection upon creating images that have moment and the impact they can have on a community. This will be a great talk for artists who are professional photographers, as well as those who are hobbyists. All are welcome and I hope everyone can walk away a little inspired.
Proceeds from the evening will go towards Print the Love's work around the world as their team heads to Cambodia on November 1st! I look forward to seeing y'all there!
This past January, I photographed some portraits for Mpls / St. Paul Magazine's Made in the North story. It featured stories and profiles on the makers behind some of our favorite handcrafted food and products!
What I love about photographing stories like this is learning so much about the people behind the goods. There is so much thought, time and intention behind each of these businesses - it's inspiring. For this article we meet Tim Shore of Shoreboards, Jim Sannerud of J. Sannerud Studios, Mike Phillips of Red Table Meat Co. and Danielle Sakry of Danielle Sakry handbags.
Below are some of my favorite images from this feature - and you can read all about it here.
A recent feature we collaborated on with PLATE Magazine is out! It incorporates some of our favorite people behind the magic at Surly - both the Brewer's Table and the Brewery! Photographing food is obviously a big part of what I do, but I more enjoy the people behind it. For this shoot, we were able to focus on Jerrod, Ben and Jorge for this article and it was an absolute blast - and they let me put them in some rad light!
I am super excited to share the new identities of all of our companies! This is our eleventh year of business and as our work and businesses grow and become more refined, so do our brands. Last year, we took on the big project of updating all of our websites and this year brought along the next phase of that project, which was to unify all of the brands. We worked with the brilliant mind of David Schwen of Dschwen to bring this all together and I am SO happy with how it turned out! Each company still has it's own individual presence, while still feeling cohesive with all we do here in the studio.
The new logo for ELIESA JOHNSON was inspired by how I sign my prints. The old logo was my full signature, but how I really sign my work is simply with an 'e'. I love the simplicity of the logo and can't wait to roll our more design elements and portfolio books with this! You'll also notice that we have new fonts, which are easier to read on the site!
The Design 100 is one of my favorite stories to be a part of each year. It lives in the pages of Mpls / St Paul Home & Design magazine and I just always love how this turns out. The Design 100 is a story about the 100 best people, products and places that add style to home and design. This includes rad spaces, talented artists and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a lot of our favorite products. Maybe I love this story so much, because it is about the artists and where their hustle comes from.
The images below are from the 2015 Design 100 issue and I was able to photograph a few folks for this article. Big thank you to Ashley Mary Art, Keith Wyman of Concrete Pig, Erin Francois of Francois et Moi and the wonderful Lisa Balke and Susan Blankenship of Victory Vintage.
The 2016 James Beard Awards happened this week in Chicago and I was beyond honored and thrilled to be a part of documenting this night. Photographing an event at this caliber is a full production and I had an amazing time working with the James Beard Foundation and their team. I shot alongside 3 other photographers that night, as well as my assistant, Jackson Faith.
Our specific focus for the night was on the VIP dinner, which was made by Cosmo Goss of Publican, Erling Wu-Bower of Nico Osteria, Perry Hendrix of Avec and Nicole Guini of Blackbird. Their teams hustled to create some amazing dishes for the guests backstage as the awards, which were hosted by Carla Hall, began.
The night was an amazing experience and I wanted to share a few of my favorite moments. I especially wanted to give a little nod to our hometown of Minneapolis - and a big congratulations to Chef Paul Berglund of The Bachelor Farmer who won the award for Best Chef: Midwest. Beyond that, it was exciting to see so many faces from our city represented!