Joseph Johnson

Joseph Johnson is a filmmaker and photographer from the UK. He lived in China from 2010-2014

Posts by Joseph Johnson

School's In

A photo essay by Joseph Johnson


English teachers have a certain reputation among China expats. Whether or not that is warranted is another question entirely. But I found that teaching in China gave me the opportunity to explore a new country, develop my photography skills, and interact with hundreds of local people in my students. I taught English and Art at a bilingual school in Shanghai from 2013 to 2014. During the academic year, I took a number of informal portraits of students in the classroom, at break time and on school trips. This are a selection of the photographs from that series, ”Students”.


He's Behind You!

Surprise attack – a photo essay by Joseph Johnson


When I arrived in China in late 2010, I was both overwhelmed and in awe. Like anyone experiencing an environment for the first time, I was fascinated by the new sights all around me – the landscapes, the architecture, the people.

He’s Behind You (身后) is a photography series that came about as a result of two things: the language barrier, and my general reluctance to point my camera in strangers’ faces (although locals on the Shanghai metro had no problem with it). Rather than not photographing people at all, I made the best of my self-imposed limits and started shooting subjects from behind.