Joseph Sohm, photographer
Joseph Sohm, one of this country’s foremost photographers, graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in history and began his career teaching that subject. In the 1980s, Sohm turned his love and knowledge of history to photography, and he has since created a body of work almost unrivaled in capturing the range and essence of the American experience. In 1996, he created Visions of America, the world’s first global stock photography catalog on America and the first by one photographer, and his images have since appeared in books, magazines, newspapers, advertisements, CD covers, exhibitions, movies and television around the world — his work has been displayed internationally in American embassies, featured in former Vice President Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth and the adventure-comedy film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, seen throughout the Newseum Museum in Washington, D.C., and printed on the face of Bank of America’s “Official Credit Card” for the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Summer Olympics in 2008. He was commissioned by President Reagan’s U.S. Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution to photograph and produce a touring multi-media show titled We The People, and to create, produce and photograph the “Official Inaugural Video” of President Clinton’s 1993 Inauguration. Sohm has also lectured across the country at universities, colleges and trade associations, and is an ongoing contributor to the non-partisan, non-profit Close Up Foundation, which brings students from across the United States to Washington, D.C. to see how the federal government works.
In 2009, Sohm wrote, photographed and published Visions of America: Photographing Democracy, a 322-page, coffee-table book featuring 1,300 images taken across the country that was featured in a presentation at the National Press Club and won that year’s Independent Publishers Gold Medal Award for Best Tabletop Book. In conjunction with the book’s publication, Sohm collaborated with Oscar-nominated and Grammy Award-winning composer Roger Kellaway and Oscar-Grammy-Emmy-winning lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman in creating the “photo symphony” Visions of America, which was premiered on January 25, 2009 in Philadelphia by the Philly Pops and vocalist Patti Austin, conducted by Peter Nero.