Lives and Works: New York
John Isaac is an award-winning photojournalist and author who has traveled to more than 100 countries while capturing the struggles and triumphs of our changing world. From 1969 to 1998, Isaac worked for the United Nations and had a distinguished photography career in the Department of Public Information. In 1978, the UN promoted him to photographer and he retired as the chief of the Photo Unit in 1998. Throughout his career, Isaac has received numerous national and international awards for his work, as well as 13 awards from Nikon International Photo Contests. In 2000, the International Photographic Council named him the recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. John has authored many books including a series called Children in Crisis. Through this series, John gives a first hand account of the daily life of children and their families in troubled regions around the world. He coauthored Endangered Peoples with Art Davidson and Art Wolff for the Sierra Club. He also coauthored Coorg, Land of the Kodavaswith his wife Jeannette, about the Coorg region in Southern India.
John Isaac has lived in New York City for the better part of his career and life. In addition to being known for his work as a photojournalist for the United Nations, he is also known for his independent freelance work photographing celebrities, including Audrey Hepburn and Michael Jackson. More recently, he has been working mainly in wildlife and travel photography. Isaac began his career at the UN as a messenger, moving on to become a darkroom technician, and eventually a photojournalist. He held this role for 20 years, eventually rising to the post of chief of the photo unit prior to his retirement from the UN in 1998.
In 2008, he coauthored a book, The Vale of Kashmir, about the people and landscape of Kashmir. In 2009, Outdoor Photographer magazine published a feature story about the book and Isaac, noting, "The book was a daunting undertaking, especially for a retired photographer. In 2002, The Washington Post featured his photos from Africa on in the paper and on its website.
Isaac has been recognized for his work with the following awards:
PMDA's Photographer of the Year award
The University of Missouri School of Journalism's "Picture of the Year" award
The Photokina Gold Medal
International awards from Kodak, Minolta and Nikon
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