I'm a photographer, writer and media strategist based in Washington, D.C. I'm also the executive director and founder of Focus on the Story, a non-profit organization that supports and encourages visual storytelling that brings attention to critical issues, bridges cultural gaps and sparks social change.

Photography is my passion. It has been at the center of almost everything I've done since starting my own business in 2016. During that time, I have worked as the U.S. media strategist for a German lens manufacturer, led several photography workshops in Cuba, published two photo books financed through Kickstarter campaigns, taken on photography assignments for various NGO clients, and founded the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival.

As a veteran journalist, I bring a passion for storytelling to my editorial, event, family and portraiture  photography. I love working with organizations and individuals to document important events, milestones and moments. If you are interested in working with me, get in touch at  newman@cosmicsmudgemedia.com or call me at (202) 445-1391.

Creating a non-profit organization with a mission to support visual storytelling that has a social impact was a natural transition after having spent  my career working for the public interest. Until 2016, I served as the director of communications at the Project On Government Oversight, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, independent watchdog that investigates corruption in the federal government and champions good government reforms.

And prior to that, I was the deputy director of communications at Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, where I helped develop the organization’s social media strategy. I started my career in Florida, where I spent many years as an award-winning journalist writing about urban design, Florida's rapidly changing demographics and its endangered environment.


Leica Store DC, "From Dusk to Dawn," Juried Exhibit, Washington, D.C., August 2017

11th Annual Exposed DC, Juried Exhibit, Washington, D.C., March 2017

10th Annual Exposed DC, Juried Exhibit, Washington, D.C., March 2016

"Faces of DC," 2nd Prize, FotoWeek DC, Washington, D.C., November 2015

Exposed DC / Instant DC Fall Review, Juried Exhibit, Washington, D.C., October 2014


Chasing the Great American Eclipse: Images and Essays from Totality (May 2018), Editor and Contributor.

UnPresidented: The Inauguration of Donald J. Trump and the People's Response (March 2017), Co-Editor and Contributor.

Cuba: Seven in 10 (July 2016), Contributor


Medium: What if you invited Martin Parr, Joel-Peter Witkin and Duane Michals to hang out and they all said ‘yes’?

Medium: Seeing the World through the Lens of a Three-Year-old Photographer

NPPA:  Photography Is In Flux, But Eddie Adams Workshops Endure

Medium: The great D.C. cannabis giveaway is happening inauguration day


Show Me Podcast: Joe Newman on Colin Kaepernick GQ versus Nike Photos and Storytelling

Shutterbug Life: How Creating a Photography Community & Meetup Made Me a Better Photographer

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