Beloved Photographer Neil Johnson Passes Away
Word of Johnson’s death spread rapidly in the Shreveport-Bossier area - in a mixture of shock and sadness that he is gone so soon.
A beloved photographer will be laid to rest on Friday [December 29]. Neil Johnson passed away Saturday, December 23, after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Word of Johnson’s death spread rapidly in the Shreveport-Bossier area - in a mixture of shock and sadness that he is gone so soon.
Friends, family, colleagues, and the general public are mourning Johnson’s death as a large figure in the artistic community.
Longtime friend John Prime describes Johnson’s work as transformative, showing the beauty of northwest Louisiana to the rest of the world. “Everybody knows who Bill Joyce is. And they know who James Burton is. I would say that Neil was like a photographic equivalent of those two.” Prime describes how “Somebody could see a flower or a landscape or a person’s situation and think ‘ha!’ And Neil would look at that, frame it in his mind and come up with a picture that told a story.”
Johnson was far more than an accomplished photographer. He became an author and photographer of books including Louisiana Journey and Shreveport and Bossier City. Local writer, artist, and longtime educator – Robert Trudeau – describes Neil Johnson as a very generous and kind friend to so many people. Trudeau especially remembers Johnson’s unassuming, low-key presence. “You never heard from him how much his camera cost or anything like that. He was not that kind of a fella. He was all about being friendly, warm, and getting a great image or a great piece of writing.”
A service to celebrate Neil’s life and faith will be held at First Presbyterian Church at 900 Jordan Street in Shreveport at 11:00 a.m. on Friday. Johnson was 69.