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Photographer, night designer from Utah joins Daily Record

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After moving 900 miles from Ogden, Utah, Justin Johnson has joined the Roswell Daily Record as the night designer.

Johnson said he is a sports fanatic and worked for the Standard-Examiner for the last 20 years, where he has covered sports for Weber State University. He graduated high school and started freelance writing at 18. Starting with the bottom of the barrel stories, he said his time at the newspaper went from one to five to 20 years and became a career.

“I love to write and read,” Johnson said. “I actually learned how to read from my grandmother handing me a phonebook.”

In his free time, Johnson, 39, enjoys photography, especially landscapes and astrophotography. He said he is excited to get out and shoot the New Mexican night sky. Prior to moving here, he said he had only visited Las Cruces and Albuquerque.

“I grew up in the mountains and it is strange to see as far as the eye can see,” he said.

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Johnson said leaving his home and his family behind for the unknown was a challenge. Recalling his childhood, he said he was a spoiled only-child and first grandchild. Johnson was adopted but met his biological family in his early 20s.

For Roswell, he said he really did not know what to expect and that it was difficult to research the city. On Dec. 14, he moved here with his girlfriend Jessica and their pets. He said he is looking forward to getting out to use his camera and learn more about Roswell.

“Justin has a lot of professional experience that will be an asset,” Managing Editor Misty Choy said. “He had a lot of sports and photography experience as well as designing. When he said he could handle eight pages at once — that was one of the big things that made me say yes. I think he is a very nice guy, very personable to be around, and very willing to do everything he can to help everyone out.”

Johnson said it has been a good start at the RDR and that his coworkers are welcoming and warm. He says although his job is behind the scenes, he wants everyone to know every newspaper has a designer. He also said that he is excited to work at the newspaper that covered the UFO incident in 1947, which he said was one of the top five to 10 viewed newspapers in history.

Night designer Justin Johnson can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 300, or at news@rdrnews.com.