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Johnny Nunez

Celebrity Hip-Hop, Entertainment Photographer
Background

About

Johnny Nunez has been called one of Wire Image’s top five connected photographers.

More than just a photographer, his exuberant charm, love for music, masterful networking and commitment to
not posting an unflattering photo has endeared him to many celebrities. This sentiment is best expressed in the
words of Ice-T, noting in a New York Times article 2 , “When I see Johnny, I feel like I’m seeing an old friend,”,
“He’s a real cool cat and everybody, and I mean everybody, knows Mr. Nuñez.”


Born June 29, 1971 in Brooklyn, NY, he persevered the hardships of adoption and poverty, with a strong faith
in God and a dedication to succeed, to become a music industry legend.
Johnny was raised in Greenpoint Brooklyn where he attended PS 34. During his teenage years his family
moved to Long Island where Johnny graduated from Ross High School and went on to obtain a liberal arts
degree from Suffolk Community College.
He started shooting in 1997 and never looked back. He quickly came to the attention of music royalty and in
2002 began traveling the world as the personal photographer to Rocafella Records co-founder Damon Dash.
Other clients followed including Spike Lee, Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Drake, Sean “Diddy” Combs,
Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Naomi Campbell and Lebron James to name a
few.

“Groundbreaker.”
“Relentless.”
“Passionate.”
“Culture Shifter.”
“Authentic.”
“Legendary.”

These are merely a few of the countless compliments that have been spoken to describe the supremely
influential, world-renowned photographer Johnny Nuñez, whose body of work already spans more than two
decades. Best known for his fresh, candid photographs of musicians, politicians, socialites and other
celebrities, Johnny has helped redefine the role of the modern photographer, especially within the world of Hip
Hop and the optimal landscapes within its reach. Landing a spot in a published photograph by Johnny Nuñez is
viewed by many as a golden opportunity that garners greater exposure and interest; in many cases, it has
even proven to help launch someone’s career. There is no doubt that having Johnny Nuñez capture the photos
at an event adds significant credibility to the organizer(s) and/or talent, and it’s considered to be a salient part
of the protocol for success through promotion.

With every snap and every flash, Johnny gives us an insight into the world of the person portrayed in his photo.
While lesser known aspiring artists and influencers are constantly vying for the chance to be captured on
camera by Johnny, the respect Johnny gets is mainly evident in the exclusive access he gets to superstars
who are otherwise private. One of Nuñez’s great talents is in building the relationships of trust with the persons
he photographs, and as a result the audience encounters emotionally revelatory images of people who usually
strictly guard their privacy and prefer to face the world only through their carefully constructed public persona.
Whether it is Warren Buffet or Kanye West, Lil’ Kim or Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton or Spike Lee, Johnny Nuñez
uncovers a fresh, unexpected side to their personalities. Nuñez’s pictures are striking in the diversity of
subjects he portrays.
1
From exclusive parties in the Hamptons to the bustling nightclubs of Manhattan, the beaches of Cannes or the
streets of London, he is able to capture the richness of human emotion where others would miss it. Nuñez
brings us with particular generosity and panache a slice of American society that is fascinating yet elusive for
much of the world: the world of African-American celebrity, from Hip-Hop and R&B to film and television, from
fashion and entertainment industry to the world of politics. He crosses many boundaries in order to deliver an
authentic, honest moment.

What links Johnny Nuñez particularly poignantly to the people he portrays is the classic American story of the
rise of a self-made person. More than any other nation on our planet, the US epitomizes the chance for a
person to rise from humble beginnings, through perseverance, determination, and hard work, to the pinnacle of
fame. Growing up an adopted child and the only black kid in his neighborhood, Johnny Nuñez is particularly
sensitive to the many barriers and obstacles faced by someone of a minority background on such a journey.
Due to the visual nature of his art and his background as an adopted child, Johnny Nuñez supports charity
programs for the visually impaired and for children in foster care. His is, profoundly, a truly American story,
reflecting the ideal and the promise of this nation, showcasing what a person can reach “once upon a time in
America.”

When not taking photographs, Johnny is on the grind with a number of projects and business ventures
including managing artist Rah-C through his company Mighty Joy Mgmt, co-founding the website
FollowBack.com, modelling for LRG, Phat Farm and Rockport and being featured as a character in the video
game Def Jam: Icon. Future plans include collaborations with cutting edge artists to transform his images into
one of a kind works of art and a series of limited edition prints from his vast archives.



Works

EXHIBITIONS
● 2020 Art Apple NYC, B&H Photo & Dugal present New York Hip Hop the Photo Tribute Feb 20 – 23,
● 2020 International Center for Photography, New York, exhibition CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of
Hip-Hop, Jan 25, 2020 – May 18
● 2019 Art Basel Collaboration with artist Domingo Zapata, David Rosen Galleries & Prestige Imports
Hosts a Special VIP Reception With Domingo Zapata, Dec. 6

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
● 2019 Recipient Unlabelled Awards “Capture the Moment” Award
● 2018 Guest appearance in Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It Netflix series
● 2016 Appointed by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as a member of the
President’s Committee On The Arts And The Humanities Delegation to Cuba.
● Feature documentary ‘ Shooting Star (s) – The Rise of Hip Hop Photographer Johnny Nunez ‘, by
filmmakers Axel Ebermann and Daniel Frei (awarded ‘Best Documentary’ at the San Diego Black Film
Festival 2009).
● 2007 – 2011 E xclusive photographer for the Annual Jay-Z And Lebron James “Two Kings” Dinner And
After Party.
● 2003 Nelson Mandela’s 85th Birthday in South Africa, invited by Naomi Campbell to shoot the event.

COLLABORATIONS
● 2019 co-executive producer for the documentary “United Skates”, sold to HBO.
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● 2012 featured in New Balance’s “Where you Running to Next?”
● 2011 Event Photographer for the Reebok Classics And Swizz Beatz “Reethym Of Lite” Campaign
Unveiling
● 2010 Partners With New Era to Launch Limited Edition 59FIFTY Cap
● 2008 Featured in Rockport’s Are You Established campaign
● Def Jam ICON II EA Sports video game – Johnny became the first ever fixed character to play himself.
2007.
● 2007 “Johnny Nunez 10 Years of Entertainment Photography” Sponsored by Stoli Vodka at Home in
New York, New York

PRESS
Video Interviews
● 2019 Another Day at the Office by Terrance Tyson featuring Johnny Nunez
● 2019 PowerMove Makers Series
● 2018 Black Enterprise Our World Interview
● 2014 ArgyleLife Series
● 2013 Arise Entertainment 360 Interview
PRINT

● Vibe Magazine Celebrity Photographer Johnny Nunez Just Kicks It” , March 23, 2012 by Datwon
Thomas.
● The New York Times Johnny Nunez: A paparazzo who’s invited back, again and again By Lola
Ogunnaike Feb. 14, 2007
● New York Times A Paparazzo? Celebrities Smile and Say ‘Friend’ By Lola Ogunnaike Feb. 11, 2007

VOLUNTEER WORK INCLUDES:
● 2018 Keynote speaker NYC National Adoption Month Gala
● 2016 appointed as a mentor artist with Turnaround Arts, a public-private partnership led by the John F.
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to help turn around America’s struggling schools.
● 2015 Awarded a Proclamation from the Assembly State of New York and Assemblyman William
Scarborough for his contributions in the fields of media, arts and entertainment.
● 2013 honored at Ne-Yo’s Compound Foundation 2nd Annual Fostering a Legacy benefit
● 2013 Guest Speaker Compound Foundation Benefit
● Volunteer with The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery, a partnership between The Children’s Trust
and OurKids, the private agency responsible for foster care and adoption in Miami-Dade County and
the Florida Keys.
● Volunteer with Visions Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
● Raised $35,000 within 2 hours at the New Era Cap Launch to benefit Eye Can Foundation.
1 & 2 Johnny Nunez: A paparazzo who’s invited back, again and again By Lola Ogunnaike , New York Times,
Feb. 14, 2007


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