Jon Goell

Jon Goell has been a publications photographer since his college days, shooting for magazines, corporations, ad agencies, architects, and the education community. While most of his assignments are in color, some of which are shown here, most of his personal work is in black and white, beginning with European street work from the Sixties and Seventies

Goell set out to be an artist, but during a year abroad at the American College in Paris, he discovered street photography and the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau. He used his dad’s 1935 Leica to get started, and never looked back.

At Boston University during the Sixties, Jon photographed for students and the college, free-lanced as a photo assistant, and shot Sunday Magazine stories for The Boston Globe.

In grad school for art at the University of Arizona, Jon staffed for the Tucson Daily Citizen, and photographed a personal documentary about urban Indians with writer Art Smith. After Tucson (with the MFA unfinished), Jon free-lanced as a photographer and photo assistant in San Francisco. Though not formally trained as a photographer, Jon read widely, photographed incessantly, bugged photographers for information, and learned the business end from the American Society of magazine Photographers.

For the next 30 years, Jon worked as an assignment photographer in Boston and later nationally, working up from news to magazine, corporate, and advertising, concentrating on people and in-camera (pre-Photoshop) special effects. Clients included Polaroid, Business Week, Inc Magazine, Fidelity, Washingtonian, The Boston Globe (as photographer and photo critic), USA Today, WGBH, Macworld, and many New England (and later Washington, DC) high-tech and design firms, magazines, ad agencies, corporations, and colleges.

During those years, Jon exhibited widely in professional galleries, colleges, and other venues. Many clients won awards for projects containing his work.

In Boston in 1978, Jon co-wrote and starred in “The Photo Show,” a how-to TV series for WGBH-TV. He also periodically taught professional photo courses at the Art Institute of Boston and the New England School of Photography.

In 2000, Jon joined the photography faculty at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD, teaching traditional, digital, and advanced professional photo courses, as well as Photoshop. He finished an art M.A. at George Mason University in 2004, and worked on a Montgomery College photo project called “Portraits of Life,” which documented Holocaust survivors living in Montgomery County.

Over the years Jon has worked on several documentary television films as an interview subject, photographer, and restorer of archival photographs. These projects have included Martha Lubell’s “Daring to Resist” and “Queen of the Mountain” (both NPT broadcasts), a History Channel film, “The Hidden Tomb of Antiochus”, and a similar film for Turkish television. These last three partly dealt with the work of his aunt, archeologist Theresa Goell.

Jon still shoots periodic professional assignments, most recently for the Smithsonian Institution.