About John Joseph Dowling Jr.

Scroll down to content

Commercial photography and advertising photography are both used for promotional purposes rather than preserving memories as in fine art photography and photojournalism. The purpose and intent of the crafts are different, as are the tools professionals in each style use to accomplish the goals of those photographs. The goals of those photographs are determined by the client or in some cases by the artist. Different styles of photographs provide different tangible results depending on the purpose for which they are intended.

In order to be a world class photographer in any one of the genres of photography it can take decades. It is not something you are born with or you can learn quickly, it simply takes practice. It takes creative knowledge, the ability to create spontaneously, and to create perfect images. After all for certain assignments really most all of them, the image is everything.

Commercial photography takes incredible understanding of the clients value proposition and brand. Fine art photography incredible instinct technical knowhow and creativity, and candid portraits the ability to build instant rapport in any situation or lighting. Each style of photography takes its own disciplines to become a master photographer at. After three decades of shooting I only now feel I am a master photographer of all disciplines because I have taken millions of photographs executing each discipline and the desired results match the actual results, and I have entertained tens of thousands of subjects while doing it.

In addition to knowing the difference between the different disciplines of photography I have also developed a unique routine which I ‘ve developed as deeply as any performer. Many of my clients who book me for events book me because they want the photographs to be unique as any fine art photograph, developed at the speed of a photojournalist, and the rapport that comedians, politicians, and professional actors develop instantaneously.

When my clients and subjects see the photographs I have taken of them they know their image has been captured by a fine artist and at the same time they have enjoyed the experience. The experience is more along the lines of what a performance artist would provide despite the fact the end product is most typically the quality you find in museums and international advertising campaigns. Often my clients choose when they prefer I shoot covertly and create that fine art with the same techniques of a photojournalist (using long lenses and often with subjects not even knowing they are being photographed) or in other instances my clients want the same experience as if they hired a performance artist.

Performance art is a performance presented to an audience within a fine art context, traditionally interdisciplinary. My personal form of performance may be scripted but are mostly unscripted, random or carefully orchestrated, spontaneous or otherwise carefully planned, with or without audience active participation. That being said I promise you that if you want the audience participation or as I describe it the “Paparazzi Experience” for the event, I have my own way of providing a great time with improvisational “Hollywood Style” red carpet entertainment. And of course at other shoots I am the discrete fly on the wall photojournalist capturing the event covertly. In each instance I developed the ability to create fine art almost instantly and instinctively. My performance or execution really depends on the preferences of the host or my client and often can be both at times during a production.

My interest in moving pictures and storytelling started when I was just a little boy as the light man for my fathers 8mm black and white home movies. Later when video cameras became available commercially I was always shooting video for my friends and eventually for others. As a young teenager I started photographing and videoing everything. As a fitness model in NYC I knew that fashion and advertising paid a fortune to the best photographers in the world who gravitated to NYC. I enjoyed being on both sides of the camera focusing on fashion and the entertainment industries, then became an apprentice to the masters of fine art photography and portrait photography while I was working at the largest traditional professional darkroom and film lab in the world – New York Film Works.

Whenever I would photograph subjects one-on-one or in small groups I would build rapport by interviewing them on camera. Those informal interviews I later recorded to great accolades until not only was I photographing everyone I knew and everywhere I went, but also capturing interviews along with those photographs.

In many cases I provided both the photography and the video footage for productions and in others I would perform my interviews as the primary purpose of the project.  I have over 50,000 photojournalistic posts shared throughout the Internet, and over 100,000 loyal followers of my work. It is so heartwarming I am truly moved that my skills as a producer and artist would create so many friendships for me around the world. I am truly blessed.

So while my basis for being a master photographer started with home movies and fitness modeling, I gravitated to fashion and advertising and have spent more time in traditional and digital darkrooms than most anywhere else in my life. Telling others stories initially in model portfolios and fashion, and then for some of the largest companies in the world for world wide international advertising campaigns.

I’ve been published so many times I do not even keep track of it anymore. Many who see my moving pictures tell me that they have the same fine art quality as my photographs. When still image 35mm digital cameras developed the ability to switch back and forth between taking video and stills, I took both. I took both for ten years even creating digital animations of my photographs for animated flicks. The more and more I took video the more I started studying editing until my photography clients were also retaining me for video content creation. As with my photography they expected the resulting video to be advertising and fine are quality. I spent ten years developing master editing skills and edited over 1000 videos adding soundtracks, voiceovers, doing all of the pre-production and post production and eventually even directed and produced a SAG Feature film.

Later I went on to shoot weddings and events at some of the most iconic venues in the world. At the same time I created TV commercials and thousands of hours of reality series and unscripted series footage for branded content and OTT networks. I literally love telling other peoples stories. I spend at least ten times as much time in post production as I spend shooting. Editing and retouching is truly a labor of love. I even wrote a novel to tell my own stories. Spoiler- it’s naughty. (ChaptersOfLove.com)

Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone is unique and their life is unique. I love being the individual who helps share those stories in authentic and genuine ways. People genuinely seem to enjoy viewing and sharing my content and I often share stories of others just to pay it forward. At least for the time being I will continue to contribute my time to as many charities as possible, but to truly continue creating art (the finest quality in my career) I will need to be well compensated.

My art is proven to develop the best analytical and statistical TANGIBLE RESULTS when used in advertising and marketing. When preserving life stories and for framed prints, respected as much as any photographic fine art ever developed with equivalent budgets. I love my job. I feel so very fortunate to be able to create art, tell my clients stories, entertain, and serve my community as a master storyteller.

Please see a small portion of my art in the pages of this website and my multimedia blog (I will post more and more as time allows). From January through March each year I will be sharing more of my fine art photographs in art galleries, and will be spending more time developing content for feature films and television. However, from April 1 through December 23rd I will again be taking on new clients, telling their stories, providing tangible results, entertaining, and preserving memories for generations to come.