Capturing Beautiful Light With Janice Johnson Behind The Lens

It’s February.

The season of love, chocolate, and flowers.

And there’s a photographer in our group that if you haven’t already fallen in love with her style, her gorgeous still lifes, and her ability to make the most ordinary objects just plain gorgeous, you will after this post.

Her name is Janice Johnson and she is simply amazing!

How long have you been with CY365?  I

I just completed my fourth year in 2017

What motivated you to begin a 365 Project?

What motivated me to begin was a friend in my local photo club who had done a Photo-a-Day project and challenged the rest of us to give it a try. I think 30+ folks began on January 1, 2013 and 11 made it through the year- but I’ve kept going!


What equipment do you use the MOST in your project?

I’m a Canon girl and use both the Canon 5d Mark IV and the 7d Mark II. My favorite lens is my 100mm Macro lens- most of my still life and flower images are shot with that lens. I also use the 35-128mm lens and my 100-400 mm lens a lot when I’m out and about.


How do you get such beautiful light and clean whites that you are so well known for?

When I began shooting, my images were much darker, but over time, I have come to prefer the lighter look.

I use only natural light (I have a flash but would have to Google how to use it!) and have learned which of my windows to use at what time of the day. I rarely shoot in direct sun.

I use white boards to reflect light into my still life images and tape cheesecloth to my window to filter the light coming in so it isn’t as harsh. My set ups are NOT professional looking at all…most of the time they make me laugh! At times I use textures in Photoshop to enhance or change the quality of the light.



What is your FAVORITE aspect of doing a 365 project?

What I love about doing a 365 Project is the daily creativity! My creativity has grown over the years along with my technical photography skills by using them each day. I’ll finish today’s photo and immediately be thinking about tomorrow’s.



What have you learned about yourself or photography through doing a 365? 

The most important thing I’ve learned through doing a 365 project is the value of daily practice. After the first year, I could see such a difference in my photography skills that it made me think about other areas in my life that I could improve by practicing things daily.

I’ve also learned how helpful it is to share my images.

There are many days when I’m not happy with my image.

I only see what I did wrong or where I fell short of what I was trying to achieve.

I dread hitting the “Post” button.

But after I have posted my photo, others see what I’ve done right and help me to see it as well.


What motivates you to pick up your camera every day? 

The joy of photography. I love to shoot! Even if I have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, if I force myself to pick up my camera and take my daily photo I’ve inserted joy into that day and I feel good.



Your Still Life are amazing! Where do you get your ideas?

I get my ideas from looking at photography. I have an extensive collection of favorites on Flickr, Pinterest, and Instagram. When I’m looking for inspiration, all I have to do is scroll through some of those images and my creative juices start flowing.

Sometimes it’s simply the placement of a coffee cup and then I build on that. I also keep a list of things to shoot (Back light, blue hour, leading lines, etc) that helps me think about things to practice when I’m feeling uninspired.



What is ONE piece of advice that you have for someone new to doing a 365 project? 

Make your 365 Project your own.

Shoot what YOU want to shoot.

Learn from others, but don’t compare yourself to others.

I keep the following quote above my desk— “Comparison is the thief of Joy.”– Theodore Roosevelt



Are you inspired by Janice’s images? Leave her some love in the comments below.



  1. Susie Leon

    Good Morning, I was so happy to see this post this morning, Thank-you Emily for posting it.I have been so sad lately, we have experienced three deaths in a matter of 4 days. My heart was hurting so much for my Family, I just felt numb and I took the FB book app off of my phone and was using that time for prayer instead. This morning I opened my laptop and found this article, so well written. Again, Thank-you for sharing, I never knew about this blog. I live in San Diego and every day I look for Janice’s pictures. Janice makes me feel closer to my Friends in Orange County, it is a way of connecting and I so enjoy all of her pictures, now when I read her responses to your questions it makes me feel even closer to her. I loved when she said “shoot what YOU want to shoot”. Again, Thank-you for helping me thru this sad period, lovely article, and I so enjoyed reading all of the comments.

    • Janice Johnson

      Susan – Thank you so much for commenting here. I’m so sorry about the loss you’ve experienced and I’m keeping you in my prayers. I so appreciate your friendship.

  2. John Moya

    So glad you to see you featured, well deserved friend! I am a big fan, love your work!

    John Moya

  3. It is great to get a peak at the person behind your photos! I always look forward to seeing your take on the daily prompt. Thank you for sharing your photos and yourself with the CY365 community!

  4. Susan Blackburn

    So wonderful to see Janice Johnson in Behind the Lens. I truly love her photos and they have inspired me since my very first year, 2015. Also, since we both live in Orange County, CA, I have had the pleasure of Janice’s company on four photo safaris. Lucky me. And yes she is super nice and encouraging in person, too.

    • Janice Johnson

      Thank you Susan! We are about due for another photo outing…the flowers are beginning to bloom!

  5. Amy Jordan

    Janice you are such an amazing talent and inspiration! It was such a treat seeing you featured – Your photos are definitely a daily fave of mine!!

  6. Julie Bush

    You are such an inspiration. You have such a talent and an eye for creating the most beautiful images. It was such a pleasure to read your feature here. I look forward to seeing more of your wonderful creativity.

  7. Carol Elliott

    Love Janice’s photography. Ah, just beautiful and such an inspiration … both she and her photography!

  8. Clara Vanderpool

    Janice, I’m not a photographer…but I know you have a special talent. You see things through Gods eyes. What a blessing for all of us.

  9. I love your lighting! Its light an airy without losing detail. I’m curious…would you mind sharing where on the light meter you consider “correct” exposure when shooting and if you brighten in LR, do you try to balance the histogram or do you tip it towards the light side?

    • Janice Johnson

      Hi Jenell – I’m always happy to share. I usually bracket when I shoot. I start at the center mark and then adjust my shutter speed to the lighter side five or six times. When I shoot high key, I go even higher than that. I only use Photoshop in my post processing and I would always rather darken an image there than lighten it.

  10. Danette Badger

    So love your behind the lens feature!! You are such an amazing and talented photographer and I am so glad I get to share this project with you!

    • Janice Johnson

      Thanks Danette. It’s such a privilege to be featured here with so many talented photographers.

  11. Raminder Kaur

    Everyday I wait for photo , You create magic in each and every photo . Love your work !

    • Janice Johnson

      Thank you so much Raminder! One of the best times of my day is scrolling through the images in the feed and seeing everyone’s creativity and interpretation of the prompt. There is so much inspiration in this community.

  12. I so enjoy your photos. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Susan Ashley

    As soon as I saw this posting featuring Janice I stopped flicking through photos to learn more about her. I’m attracted to the beauty of light and colours in her photos.

  14. I always love looking at your light, airy photos Janice! So interesting to read about you and your inspiration.

  15. Lori Rowland

    I look forward to Janice’s photos. They are always so beautiful!

    • Janice Johnson

      Thank you Lori! It is always so much fun to scroll through the feed each day and be inspired so many beautiful images.

  16. I LOVE Janice. Her talent is beyond amazing and she is such a beautiful person! She is always willing to share and help and give a sweet word. She’s the bestest and epic to infinity!

    • Janice Johnson

      Thanks Rhadonda! Just think, without this community we would never have met (I guess we still haven’t met in person) and I count you as a special friend and always an inspiration!

  17. Garnett Hutchinson

    One of my all time favorite photographers! Every image is beautiful!

    • Janice Johnson

      Thank you Garnett! That is high praise indeed from a great photographer.

  18. I just love your pictures– so full of light and beauty!!! It was a JOY to get to know you more!!!!

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