John’s interest in photography began when he was thirteen during a trip to see his father in New York City. He was given a Pentax Spotmatic, a bicycle and ten dollars a day. Roaming the streets of New York while his dad was at work, John shot thirty rolls of film.
Once in High School, Father James Vorwoldt, his art teacher, saw John’s talent and pushed him to pursue photography. After high school, John was offered a scholarship to the School of Visual Arts in New York, but he declined, opting instead to attend Parsons School of Design and the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he studied fine art, photography, and sculpture. While finishing his degree in New York City, he had the privilege of assisting John Coplans, former editor and co-creator of Artforum Magazine.
In the early nineties, while pursuing a career as a fine artist and showing his work in numerous gallery exhibitions, John began working in the film world. During this time, he worked to integrate his fine art aesthetic into his documentary and commercial work and established himself as a cinematographer.
John’s work in documentaries, commercials and promos has taken him all over the world. He has worked in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America, and the Arctic. He has been awarded 8 Emmys for his work over the last 10 years.
John has had a critical role in shaping HBO Sports’ series, 24/7, which documents days in the lives of athletes in boxing, auto racing and hockey. The show has redefined sports documentary and has been recognized by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences numerous times. 24/7 has won over 20 Emmys with 2 in Cinematography. His work has also been nominated 13 times.
John never developed those thirty rolls of film. After years in his mother’s freezer, they were accidentally thrown away. The mystery of what was on those rolls has informed his professional career to this day.