Senior Living: Pursuing a Lifelong Passion
The day Everett Johnson’s father gave him a brownie box camera is one he will always remember. That was the day he realized his lifelong passion.
In his second career as a photographer, he has worked for different photo stock agencies and even had his work appear on the covers of ADC Map Books.
Having shot for more than 90 covers, Everett said it all started six years ago when he saw the Prince William County map book.
“It was a really lousy picture,” Everett told the Manassas Journal Messenger.
After realizing the photographer was from California, he contacted the picture editor. From then on, he competed against photographers from all over the Atlantic region and had his work grace every Prince William County cover.
Everett and his wife of 65 years, Eethel, came to Washington D.C. before World War II, during which he tried to enlist in the Navy and instead worked for the Office of Strategic Services. After the war, he worked at the Pentagon and studied Psychology at George Washington University. During his career with the CIA, Everett entered weekly photo contests in which he would he would win large cash prizes. The success of his side-job allowed him to leave his job with the CIA early.
While Everett’s second career has enabled him to travel to several locations with his wife, he said it has undergone some recent changes with the stock photo business.
“The company that I worked with merged with another company,” said Everett, “In a cross-cutting move they decided not to use photos from local photographers and are now going to stock agencies in New York.”
Everett now works for two stock photo agencies out of the eight he previously worked with. These changes, however, have in no way stopped him from pursuing his lifelong hobby. In fact, his photography can be seen on display in the gallery of Westminster at Lake Ridge, the continuing care community Everett calls home.
He and his wife have enjoyed every bit of the 14 years they have lived in the community.
“There are only two other individuals in the community who have lived here longer than we have,” said Everett.
The couple wanted a transition from their four-bedroom home as well as the yard work and other tasks that accompanied such a large place. According to Everett, the community presented them with an ideal location.
“Our family lives in Richmond and it’s much easier for us to visit them now that we’re on the southern side of the Washington metro area,” he said.
The couple enjoys the various activities that the community offers. While helping his wife garden, Everett’s current project is promoting the bluebird population, which he said has not been as active compared to past years.
Most importantly, however, he can still work in his studio, where he is currently working on stock photography and focusing on still life subjects in his free time.