A Cleveland, Ohio native, Jonathan Mannion began capturing images of up-and-coming urban music superstars after working for a year with world-renowned photographer Richard Avedon. In 1996, he launched his professional career by shooting the photographs for the classic hip-hop album “Reasonable Doubt” by Jay-Z. In the years since, Jonathan’s photography has grown alongside the culture he so loves, helping to visually define an era of urban music.
As DJ Quik once pointed out to him, the world sees hip-hop through his eyes. However, he is modestly circumspect about his role. “I’m just a messenger,” he observes, “and I’ve been given a talent to document an extremely important era of music history. I have a love for hip-hop that goes back to when I was a teenager, and I feel blessed to have had the chance to shoot the artists I’ve worked with. I’ve had the opportunity to grow with them and the photos I’ve shot over the years have become visual bullet points of their creative evolution and mine.”