jsbillingsphoto.com: Bio

Portrait: Johanna S. BillingsJohanna S. Billings is an award-winning photographer who has been shooting seriously for about 12 years.

She got her start in 1986 while working as a reporter at her first newspaper. The editor handed her an SLR camera and instructed her to take a photo to go with a story. Her response? "What button do I push?"

Before long, Johanna was developing her own photos in the darkroom. She won her first photo award for "Cat and Mouse" (key photo for the "Cats" album in the gallery) while processing her first roll of film. She had trouble getting the whole roll of film on one reel and finally decided to cut it and put it on two reels. The negative for the winning photo was right next to where she cut!

After moving on to a newspaper that didn't have a darkroom, Johanna found herself doing very little photography. In addition to developing black and white photos, she had worked part time in a lab in order to learn color processing. She was frustrated by commercial processing and the accompanying color failure (when photos came out pink or too green) as well as by the fact that commercial labs no longer wanted to process black and white film.

The advent of digital changed things. She quickly outgrew a high-end point and shoot camera and advanced to a DSLR. Since then, she has won numerous awards from organizations such as the National Federation of Press Women, the North American Butterfly Association and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association's Keystone Press Awards.

She now lives in Maine where she freelances as both a writer and photographer, shooting everything from weddings and senior portraits to product photos and still life.