Name: Terris A. Johnson
Alias: Jon Aton
19-year-old intermediate photographer
Sophomore Journalism major at Hampton University (Deans List)
I don't want to get too deep in my personal life on this quick autobiography, but what I do want everyone to know is that I greatly appreciate their support. That's first and foremost. Simple retweets, likes, favs, and positive comments really keep me going as far as photography. I don't think I would've even gotten this far without a lot of you. So yea, thank you. My brother, Tim, got me into this art, and I thank him for that because it was like I finally found a huge part of myself. I started when I was about 11, picked up my own cam when I was 15 in September of 2014, and I've just been progressing ever since. The first couple months I owned my own camera were actually very rewarding for me. I gained recognition from the Baltimore Aquarium for some pictures that I took of their posters, making them "come to life", and I placed third in the art category at the Omega Psi Phi Talent Hunt program back in March of 2015. I promised myself I'd place 1st in the 2016 Talent Hunt Program, and it turns out I did. I've also been featured in an article on Syracuse.com for my pictures of Carmelo Anthony marching in Baltimore, in protest for Freddie Gray. Recently I've even been featured in the National Building Museum as part of their annual IWWL program. Two of my pieces will be up until July of 2017. I'm currently taking classes at school, with great teachers who helped me understand the actual elements of photography, and I'm always going on blogs and websites and stuff like that to just gain knowledge and learn from other photographers in my area (there's like 15 of them so I never get bored). A huge inspiration for me is Gordon Parks, an African-American photographer who was revolutionary for his time. Please take time to research him.
If you've already gone through the art show galleries (which I hope you did because The Root is my favorite) you can probably tell that I like going to art shows. They're the events I go to most, right after marches and protests. The DMV has art and artists like no other, the culture here is absolutely amazing. So I try to attend every show I can, to be able to experience all the DMV has to offer. Because I frequent these types of events, I sometimes consider myself a photojournalist more than an independent artist (DISCLAIMER: I do not condone nor prohibit any actions seen in my videos, I'm there to observe and capture). Being an artist in the DMV has its ups and downs. There's the group of people who support you and encourages you to keep doing what you're doing, and tries to push you to the top, and then there's the rest. I hope I'm not sounding selfish and saying that just because you practice an art, and are good at it, that people should just automatically support you, because that's not true at all. The "rest" I was referring to were the people who try to drag you down while simultaneously trying to push themselves up. This area has 2x as much hate than it does love and support, which is why we get compared to ATL a lot.
Honestly, if you've read everything up to this point, you're the real mvp. Enjoy the site.