Perhaps one of the most versatile,innovative and forward thinking photojournalists in America’s news and entertainment industries.
John Glenn has a rich background in location and in-studio photography, newsroom management, editorial leadership and online production. Well known and well respected, his over two decades long photo career in recent years met a new crescendo. One that has peaked the interest and intrigue among the famous and their fans. His website brimming with vibrant photographic moments and memories of never to be repeated encounters.
Not everybody can say, in between frames, they helped Carlos Santana choose sunglasses, were serenaded by Aaron Neville (at Aaron’s home), teamed with Francis Ford Coppola and Dean Tavalouris to hitchhike a ride, almost backed an SUV over one of the Five Blind Boys, chased Al Green around a photo pit, hip-checked Annie Leibowitz, met Keith Richards (without understanding a word he said) and noshed with Big Joe Williams in Miss McKay’s backyard.
These are just a few things that happened to John Glenn while he was shooting thousands of colorful photographs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Over the past 18 years, John has been a fly-on-the-wall, or stage, at the festival — an exuberant musical feast featuring 12 stages, all simultaneously alive with music, ranging from blues to jazz to gospel to world, folk, rap and rock. Since his first foray into the fest as a staff-photographer for USA Today, he’s captured greats from the late Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, the late Gatemouth Brown, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (which played at the first fest in 1970) and Miles Davis to Sting, Rosie Ledet, Chris Botti, Willie Nelson, Joss Stone, Lenny Kravitz, Bruce Springsteen. The list goes on forever.
So does John’s one-of-a-kind photographic stockpile, arguably one of the largest collections of Jazz Fest moments around. Recently, his photos formed the centerpiece of five exhibits, three of which raised money for the New Orleans Musicians Clinic post-Katrina. His photos adorn the walls of Jazz Fest headquarters in New Orleans and brighten the lobby of the popular and posh International House Hotel during the festival.
John’s rare photo collection is a tribute to the music, the artists, the culture, and the spirit of a 29-year tradition in the big easy. That history embodies what New Orleans always has been and now — post hurricane Katrina — still is, at least once a year. Aside from New Orleans, his photo album is also a window to the world and the many slices of life. From Greece to Mexico to Italy, Jamaica, Japan and China.
Now based in Atlanta, John’s 25-year career has spanned work at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Gannett News Service and the Airline Pilots Association Magazine. His expertise comes from positions held as associate editor, assistant managing editor, director of photography, photo editor, photographer and lab technician. His knowledge of how to cover and how to direct, coordinate and distribute coverage was especially sharpened during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, numerous Masters Tournaments, World Series, Superbowls, Grammys, Oscars, Emmys, Country Music Awards and other big news and entertainment events.
John has served as a Pulitzer and Best Of Photojournalism – Photo Editing judge, on the board and past president of the Atlanta Press Club, a founding member of the Associated Press Photo Managers group, a visiting coach at Poynter Institute and chairperson for the Visual Task Force of the NABJ.
In 2007 John coached and consulted journalists in Beijing, China in preparation for the 2008 Olympic games. He also introduced Chinese journalists in Guangzhou to new media and online trends to help modernize their newspapers.
John Glenn’s photos speak volumes. And so does his enduring commitment to the craft of journalism, which he enthusiastically shares, teaches and celebrates.