John Francis Wehrheim is an award-winning American photographer, writer and filmmaker best known for his arresting portraiture and documentation of unique subjects such as the Hawai‘i hippie community “Taylor Camp” and the country of Bhutan. He currently lives on the island of Kaua‘i with his family.
Wehrheim was born in 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. At an early age, he began to regularly visit the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was captivated by portraiture and fine art photography. In 1991, Wehrheim traveled to the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan as a hydropower consultant. He began to document the Bhutanese people and landscapes in his signature black- and-white style. In 2002 a collection of these photographs was exhibited at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. The success of this exhibit led to the publication of the hardcover photography book “Bhutan: Hidden Land of Happiness” (Serindia Press, 2008).
Because of the exhibit, Wehrheim was contacted by an independent filmmaker who pitched a documentary film- “Bhutan: Taking the Middle Path to Happiness” was released in 2007 to critical acclaim. In over 30 years of regular travel to Bhutan, Wehrheim has taken more than 20,000 photographs of a country that is integrated with the rest of the world while striving to preserve its unique culture and spiritual traditions. Wehrheim is currently working with Bhutan’s central Buddhist monastic body, the Zhung Dratshang, to create a digital archive of the country’s great living lamas, yogis and hermits.
Wehrheim’s photography has been featured in solo exhibits in Hawai‘i, Prague, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Thimphu. His work has appeared in numerous publications around the world, including the Sierra Club Bulletin, Geo, MARE, Der Spiegel, The Tibet Journal (India), MAGNUS (Czech Republic), FORBES Czech, the Smithsonian Magazine, Honolulu Magazine, Huffington Post, London Daily Mail, Slate, Buzz Feed, Trip, The Sun, SF Gate, Honolulu Civil Beat, and The Surfer’s Journal, and others.
John Wehrheim Photography website: https://wehrheimphotography.com