Justin Cohen ’06 combines his love for sports and communication as a top sports photographer.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Cohen grew up with a keen interest in sports, specifically tennis, which he began competing in at the young age of nine. He continued playing throughout college, joining Lynn’s men’s tennis team and helping the team earn second-place honors at the 2006 NCAA Division II national championship tournament. A standout in the classroom as well, he graduated summa cum laude.
Cohen chose Lynn for its small class size and individualized education. He says working closely with professors helped him succeed not only in the classroom but also in the real world immediately after graduating.
Starting out, Cohen explored multiple professions related to his communication degree, working in marketing, sports communications and even sales. It wasn’t until 2012 that Cohen decided to focus on his passion, photography.
“Through hard work and tons of networking, I was able to turn my passion for photography into a career,” Cohen said. “I’ve been passionate about photography since I was a little kid. I was able to turn my hobby into a job by traveling across the United States the entire year to photograph some of the biggest professional and college sporting events in the country.”
On Jan. 1, 2018, Cohen was named the Official Photographer for the Tournament of Roses’ 129th Roses Parade and Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California. The Rose Bowl Game is the country’s most prestigious college football game. He also covers Women’s Tennis Association tours, Atlantic Coast Conference football, Big Ten Conference basketball, and the Southeastern Conference’s basketball and football.
When asked about his success in his self-made photography career, Cohen credits the skills he learned as a student at Lynn. “There are tons of sports photographers in the world trying to land the most important gigs. I have been fortunate enough to network and market myself in a way that has allowed me to land almost every gig that I have dreamed of working.”
Outside of his career, Cohen enjoys travel and spending time with family. He is also a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, which pairs children facing adversity with adult mentors. Cohen says spending time with his “little brother” each week is one of the most rewarding things he does.
To current students at Lynn, Cohen gives this advice: “Network and meet as many people as possible. It is not what you know, but who you know. Connecting with the right people can help you get to where you ultimately want to be in life—whether it’s at work or in your personal life.”