John Happel (b. Weymouth, Massachusetts. 1982) is a documentary photographer and photographic essayist.

He received his B.A. degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University in 2005 and an M.A. degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri in 2017. His work has been honored by College Photographer of the Year, Photographer's Forum, The Missouri Press Association, and The Society for Professional Journalists. 

John accepts both editorial and commercial commissions and resides in southeastern Massachusetts with his wife and newborn daughter. 

For commissions, licensing, or print editions, please contact John directly:

+1 781-264-5655



This is my personal voyage… 

For most of my life, I read, watched, and listened like most people do. But, even when I was young, I sensed a flawed and incomplete understanding of the conditions of the world.  I always thought of it in necessary terms as an orientation for some kind of experiment or test of will laying ahead that could potentially deepen my understanding. In time, I found that I was missing a medium for scrutiny. Everything that I’ve ever read about people or places or conditions has conjured an image in my head in some way. Perhaps despite our better instincts, humans can’t help but apply images and symbols to help rationalize the complexity that surrounds us. In my practice, I voyage to move beyond those perceptions to whatever extent it may be possible. Documentary photography and oral history are the mediums I use to test those possibilities. This leg of the voyage is about instincts, early experimentation, and at times coping with failure.