DJ Johns was born in Illinois but grew up in rural Southwest Minnesota. DJ was twelve when his attention to detail and impeccable work ethic emerged. He worked alongside his father in his family’s custom cabinet business. Not only did he gain creative skills and embody all the qualities of “Minnesota Nice,” DJ’s creativity and talents soon extended beyond cabinet making, as he discovered a passion for cinematography. Frequently using his mom’s camcorder, DJ recorded and edited himself and his friends playing pranks, goofing off and telling stories. These homemade videos led DJ to study media and mass communications in college.
With a Major in Mass Communications from Bemidji State and a Diploma Degree in Digital Video Production from Minnesota School of Business, DJ emerged into the production industry after some freelance work as a Production Assistant for Shari Brochhausen. He became a Studio Manager for HDMG working as a grip, camera operator, AD, camera assistant and editor, just to name a few.
An introduction to Craig Peterschmidt and Jillian Nodland, owners of Picture Factory, jumpstarted DJ’s freelance career. He currently operates specialty camera gear including large cranes, jibs, remote heads and gimbals. DJ obtained his Part 107 Drone Pilot’s License to fly various types of drones and has also been trained as a Steadicam Operator. He has experience in various types of media production: commercials, films, live broadcast, sports, concerts and more.
DJ’s career as a freelance cinematographer has allowed him to travel all over the country and work with numerous smart and creative people with different ideas and perspectives. These opportunities have helped broaden his knowledge and experience in visual storytelling.
When he’s not behind a camera or remote control, DJ spends most of his time with his family and friends. He enjoys reading, watching TV shows and movies, and playing video games, hockey, golf and guitar. Home is where your heart is; though a current MN resident, DJ roots for the Blackhawks, Cubs, Bulls and Da Bears.