Jonathan Mannion Gets Personal with Vice
We don’t have to tell you that Jonathan Mannion is one of the most influential photographers in hip hop history. But if you don’t know the details of his story, he recently teamed up with Vice to tell it. In his Vice “Autobiography” we got a full snapshot of who this photographer is and some of the landmarks along the way.
Born to two artists, Jonathan was creatively supported his whole life but didn’t pick up a camera until he was a senior in college. He went straight from assisting Richard Avedon during the day to bringing voice to the hip hop community at night, building inroads for a career that would define the rest of his life. It wasn’t the chance meeting with Notorious B.I.G. (while wearing rollerblades) that tipped him into his professional career, but rather shooting the infamous cover of Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt in his own apartment. He went on to create iconic images from a bloodied DMX who had his own hesitations, to photographing Aaliyah's last professional shoot.
For Jonathan, there’s something special about photographing for the musical world. It’s how they come together that makes it so exciting, “The function of visual mixed with the music,” he explains. He works in a form that is without auditory response to a form that is without visuals, creating a symbiosis of creative work that speaks for itself.
Check out the Vice piece here, some clips below, and enjoy a collection of some of Jonathan Mannion’s most iconic imagery.