I am the son of a soldier, or more specifically, a Green Beret. This makes me an "Army Brat," and those who know what that is, know what it means. Born in Japan, I almost died on the return boat trip back to the USA, only to be saved by a last ditch shot of Penicillin. At eight, my three brothers and I traveled to the orient, this time for a four-year stay on the island of Okinawa, where one of the most heavily contested battles of WWII occurred. My school building was literally a steel "quonset hut," near enough to the beach to smell the ocean and hear the surf.

When my dad retired in 1969, we continued to move (often). As such, I went to four different high schools, and was always "the new guy." Let me tell you, learning playbooks from three different football coaches is tough. On the plus side, I always had the opportunity to date different girls though.

Growing up this way can lead to a serious case of wanderlust, which I still suffer from today. Of course, I had to give the military a try, to see if it was all it's cracked up to be. It's cracked all right, but it did allow me to live (camp?) for almost five years in West Germany, before the wall came down. I should know...I saw it, touched it, and photographed it too! This is when I developed a taste for darkroom chemicals and learned the fine art of waiting for film to come back in little envelopes...sometimes with surprisingly good results!

To say this wandering life has led to some unique situations would be putting it mildly. For instance, the first Catholic mass I ever attended was with Pope John Paul II in Vatican Square. I've stood shoulder-to-shoulder with an East German Captain in a little store in East Berlin. The first time I attempted the Heimlich Maneuver, it worked, and the fat lady lived to tell the tale. The first golf course I ever set foot on was at Augusta National, during the Masters Golf Tournament. I've had dinner with Charles Lindbergh's grand-daughter, shaken hands with a guy who gave flowers to Hitler, and, well...you get the idea.

How this stuff keeps happening to me, is anyone's guess. I've done non-profit work, lots of editorial, corporate, and advertising work, and won some awards too (for photography!), including twice being named to ASMP's "Best Of...image list. If you need an image created, let me know and we'll create some art. I'll conjure up a story from my past too (most of 'em true) and we'll see if we can make an excellent memory in the process!

I'm a former member of the American Society of Media Photographers National Board, and an active member of ISAP (the International Society for Aviation Photography), EAA and AOPA.

My work is represented by Soho Myriad, Corporate Division, Atlanta, and by Graphic Encounter Fine Art in Aspen, Colorado. My images proudly hang in several Marriott hotels, as well as FBO's, public and corporate collections, and private homes.

John Slemp Portrait