Bernadette Johnston teaches Family Pictures, Documentary Photography, and Introduction to Photo Journalism for the Photography: Images and Techniques certificate program. Bernadette is a San Diego based photographer who is interested in the intersection of visual aesthetics and story telling. After studying Photography and Sociology at Ithaca College in New York, Bernadette began her career in San Diego over 15 years ago. Interested in the refugee experience, Bernadette became Program Manager at the AjA Project, a local non-profit that uses photography to empower recently resettled refugee and immigrant youth. At AjA, she developed photography curriculum that enabled San Diego youth to think critically about their stories, hone photography and writing skills and share their images and stories in public exhibits in an effort to foster understanding and create positive change in their new communities. With AjA, she also had the opportunity to travel to Bogota, Colombia to work with internally displaced youth there.
In 2006, Bernadette founded Narrative Images with her husband and fellow photographer, Richard Unis. Narrative Images started as a wedding photography company, approaching weddings from a journalistic, documentary perspective and has since grown into 4 distinct brands covering weddings, corporate events, portraiture and social documentary. Bernadette and Rick have photographed events and projects all over the US and internationally and enjoy the challenges that come with the variety of the work they do. Their corporate clients include IBM, Starbucks, HP, the Washington Post, Toyota, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Bernadette especially loves when her Sociology background intersects with photography in her work with non-profit organizations like Father Joe’s Villages and in her Healthcare in America Project (done in partnership with San Diego Organizing Project) where she photographed people across the country as they told their healthcare stories. The photos were eventually displayed in the Capitol Building during the debate and eventual passing of the Affordable Care Act.
Bernadette’s BA in Sociology and Photography includes black and white and color darkroom experience, photojournalism, documentary, fine art and studio photography.