John Gessner first picked up a camera in 2006 to document college life. Intrigued by art, John took some art history classes, but found out that he was a “complete dullard with a paint brush.” In January of 2010, John purchased his current camera, the Canon 450d, and began taking photography seriously later that fall.
John is a self-taught photographer and enjoys learning from other photographers as well as taking inspiration from classic works of art. John is either out on a photo shoot or in his “digital darkroom” daily. When asked about photography, John says, “Photography is a way of life. It’s more than a hobby, but it’s not a profession – although I do sell an occasional print or set of note cards (which has its benefits as photography is very expensive!). For those that really want to make great images, it’s a lifestyle – you’re up early or out late, traveling and scouting locations, laying in the mud, getting eaten by bugs, getting frozen stiff, and a lot of other discomforts. But it’s worth it!” When John is not behind the lens, you typically can find him hiking, boating, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing or hanging out with friends and his wife, Hilary, in Traverse City. John works for the Grand Traverse Conservation District in marketing and outreach, and occasionally gets to use his love of photography for work – “which is great!”
John describes Michigan as a “Land of Abundant Beauty.” His favorite things about Michigan are the woods, beaches, lakes, people, farms, food, sunrises, sunsets, birds, bugs, and the night sky.
John’s top 5 places to visit in Michigan are:
1. Mission Point Lighthouse/Farmland tour on Old Mission Peninsula
2. Fishtown/Village Cheese Shanty/Lake Leelanau boat cruise
3. Leelanau State Park
4. Mackinac Bridge
5. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
To see more of John Gessner’s photography or to purchase a print, you can visit his website at: www.johnagessner.com