Moderator: Brian Storm


Have we become too selfie aware—turning the phone/camera toward us more often than away? We are living in a time of transformation, both public and personal: how does our selfie obsession connect us with one another as we are challenged to hold our ground in empathy, tolerance and inclusion? Photography can help us navigate this new landscape. But perhaps one must begin by pointing the camera toward the rest of the world.

After the presentation moderator Brian Storm with follow up with and interview and Q&A with the audience


Lynn Johnson at Palo Alto Photography Forum“I’m short,” says Lynn Johnson. “That’s one of the things I pack in my camera bag.” Also invisibility, compassion, a contrarian disregard for convention, dedication, curiosity and wanderlust”.

A regular contributor to National Geographic, Johnson is known for finding beauty and meaning in difficult subjects—threatened languages, zoonotic disease, rape in the military ranks, the brain, the centrality of water in village life. She collaborates with the people she portrays to honor their visions as well as her own, and she is not afraid to ask the tough questions. Her master’s thesis, as a Knight Fellow at Ohio University, probed the impact of hate crimes. As a teacher, Johnson encourages her students to ask tough questions too. At National Geographic Photo Camps she teaches at-risk youth worldwide. With Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications she has developed a program that urges master’s students to push past their comfort levels. But for most of the year, she pursues her own vision, spending two months a year in her home base of Pittsburgh, where she packs that camera bag over and over.

Her work has been honored by World Press Photo, the Open Society Institute and the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, among others.
Johnson was one of 11 female photographer included in the 2014 National Geographic project ‘Women of Vision’, that highlighted how “these women of vision have taken millions with them on assignment through the pages of National Geographic–and in the process have set a new standard for excellence that will continue to inspire for decades to come”.


Brian Storm - Palo Alto Photography ForumBrian Storm is the founder and executive producer of MediaStorm. MediaStorm publishes diverse narratives, offers advanced training seminars and collaborates with a diverse group of clients. MediaStorm’s stories and interactive applications have received numerous honors including two duPont Awards, four Emmys, and five Online Journalism Awards.

Prior to launching MediaStorm in 2005, Storm spent two years as vice president of News, Multimedia & Assignment Services for Corbis, a digital media agency founded and owned by Bill Gates. From 1995 to 2002, Storm was the first director of multimedia at MSNBC, a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC News.

Storm received his master’s degree in photojournalism in 1995 from the University of Missouri School of Journalism where he ran the New Media Lab and taught Electronic Photojournalism

Storm serves on the Advisory Board for the W. Eugene Smith Fund, the Alexia Foundation for World Peace, the Stan Kalish Picture Editing Workshop, and Pictures of the Year. He is a frequent speaker on the subject of multimedia storytelling.


CLick here to see photos from this event by Kristin Little Photography.


April 26, 2017

Mitchell Park Community Center
El Palo Alto Room
3700 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA