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Meet Duncan Wilder Johnson of DWJ Creative

Today we’d like to introduce you to Duncan Wilder Johnson.

Duncan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The common thread that dominates my life is punk rock. Not just the music or the lifestyle, but many of the ideas, like “Do It Yourself”, “Make Your Own Thing”, and “Question Everything”. After being in bands, performing solo, working for a record label (Wonderdrug Records), and making own documentary (The Sam Black Church Documentary – Leave Behind A Groove In The Earth) it made sense to create my own photography and video company. I’ve had day jobs over the years, and when I was laid off from my last one, I wanted to have a day job where I was as excited and proud of what I was doing as I was with my “after work” work. DWJ Creative started by photographing real estate with my friend Dave Ward (also a great photographer). From there I expanded to creating head shots, custom photo retouching, and making marketing videos for bands, Whole Foods Market, and fitness professionals. I’m looking to grow into more advertising and marketing for brands like Converse and Doc Martens.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not. I knew the technical stuff of photography and video, and I’m great at creating the managerial structures as needed, but the entrepreneur in me had to come alive. I had to think about the grand vision of my company and ultimately figure out how to get clients. After a couple of years I learned that helping others in their businesses lead to people helping me in mine. Organizations like Business Networking International (BNI), my network of Boston music people, and my contacts from my alma mater, Mass Art got me the referrals I needed to create a growing client base. As I grow, I’m looking to hire more camera people, more post production people, and basically have the thing run more or less by itself.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about DWJ Creative – what should we know?
I don’t take pictures, I MAKE pictures. That means that it’s not just putting a camera on auto, and clicking away. It’s listening to a client, and solving their visual/storytelling problem with my 20 years of experience.

I’m known to be easy to work with, honest, and dedicated to my clients and my craft.

I create a lot of different kinds of work. I find being diverse gets me more gigs. I also do a lot of work in the music industry.

I’m constantly educating myself, learning each and every new digital technique. I look outside of the Arts to bring my practice to the next level. Areas like leadership, business development, and ontology (the art and science of being) have all informed my business, and I’m grateful for it.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Determination without force.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All Photos by Duncan Wilder Johnson

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