Welcome to SKJ Photography, the home of Shara K Johnson's photo archive. I’m a writer and amateur photographer living in the small mountain town of Nederland, Colorado. Though I consider photography a sideline, it grows into a deeper and deeper passion with time. I have displayed my travel photography along the Front Range in Colorado and been accepted into numerous juried shows. My photos have been published in several literary art journals, and recently I've branched out into guest posting on travel blog websites, which feature many of my photos both in photo essays and as accompaniment to text articles.

The photos in this website represent a handful of my favorites from my travels. Many more can be found in the posts on my travel blog, SKJ Travel. (and some have been transferred here directly from the blog) Here they are arranged into galleries by location. Coming soon, I'll also categorize by subject (wildlife, architecture, etc.). As I continue traveling, I hope to continually improve my photography as well.

So how did my pursuit of photography begin? Years ago, I shared an interest in it with my dad, and we once took an afternoon beginning photography class (about 4 hours) together. I bought a fancy Rebel camera… my finest hour from those days was a photo of a bunch of mushrooms my dad and I ran across hiking together. We called it the mushroom city. Otherwise, mostly my husband used the camera when we traveled, for he was a far more accomplished photographer.

My real interest in travel photography began in 2005 with my first trip to China. I traveled without my husband on a volunteer vacation, and spent two additional weeks sightseeing completely on my own. I saw so many amazing things I wanted to share with my family and friends, that, for the first time, I ended up spending a lot of time composing my shots in an effort to do the sights as much justice as possible within the confines of a photograph. I found that I very much enjoyed this process.

After that I realized I would never be content traveling without my own camera. Thanks to the digital age, which makes trial and error so easy, I spent the next couple years becoming more familiar with the mechanics of photography completely through trial and error, and taking composition guidance from my husband.

Though I like to hit many of the major tourist sights within a country, as they are often popular for a good reason, I prefer to spend the majority of a vacation off the beaten track. Not only does this lead to the best adventures, but also usually to the best photography.

I have also begun photographing flowers and using kaleidoscopes to capture images. In this endeavor, I often look for the whimsical, and I find that it’s a bit like looking for shapes in clouds—my favorite of these photos are ones in which the flower or kaleidoscope image looks like something else.

My passion for traveling lies at the heart of nearly every motivation in my life. I’m always scheming new trips (though only able to afford a fraction of them), and now I hope not only to see the world for myself but to share the nooks and crannies of the world with others.  You can follow my travels on

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I haven't really had time the last few years to pursue exhibits and art shows like I used to. Soon, I'd like to get into that again.

Past exhibits, publications, citations: (these don't include guest posts)

  • Very Nice Brewery - Nederland, CO (2013)
  • Answers Health - Longmont, CO (2012, 2013)
  • Northern Colorado Writers Association - Fort Collins, CO (2011)
  • Wild Mountain Brewery and Pub - Nederland, CO (2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Subliminal Interiors - online  (April 2011)
  • Third place winner at the Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference (2010)
  • Santa Fe Arts District First Friday Art Walk, “Kaleidoscope Eye” solo exhibit at Gallery 913 - Denver, CO (2010)
  • Splash of Red - online in the Red Gallery (April 2010)
  • Cafe 13 - Golden, CO (2009, 2010)
  • KepTone Music Store - Loveland, CO (2009)
  • Nederland Community Center - Nederland, CO (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)
  • Leap of Faith Gallery - Fort Collins, CO (2009)
  • The Sylvan Echo - online (April 2009)
  • Cha: An Asian Literary Journal – online (Feb 2009)
  • FLASH Gallery – Denver, CO (2008)
  • Gilpin County Arts Association - Central City, CO (2008)
  • National Greeley Art Exhibition – Greeley, CO (2008)
  • ArtWalk – Longmont, CO (2008)
  • The Great Frame Up – Longmont, CO (2008)
  • Pasquini’s – Denver, CO (2008)
  • Snarf’s on the Hill – Boulder, CO (2008)
  • Calvary Bible Church – Boulder, CO (2008)
  • Founding member of the Artists’ Niche Co-op Gallery – Nederland, CO (2007 - 2011)
  • Bear Brothers Bistro – Nederland, CO (2008 - 2009)
  • Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu – Boulder CO (2007)
  • North Boulder Rec Center – Boulder, CO (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 2013)
  • East Boulder Rec Center – Boulder, CO (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Louisville Art Association – Louisville, CO (2007)
  • Temple Buelle Theater – Denver, CO (2006)

Visit the SKJ Travel Blog