John Haynes started taking photographs in 1963 after seeing Henri Cartier-Bresson’s book The Europeans (Les Européens), teaching himself photography with the aid of the American photographer Andreas Feininger’s book Manual of Advanced Photography whose focus was on the thought behind the taking of a picture, rather than on any technical aspect.
After working for two years with The Sunday Times he decided to specialize in Theatre Photography.
He was the in-house photographer for The Royal Court Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, and Michael Codron Ltd, from 1970 – 1994. During that time he also worked regularly for: Cheek by Jowl, Joint Stock /Out of Joint. LAMDA, Robert Fox Ltd, RSC, The Tricycle Theatre and for many other London managements, including Shakespeare’s Globe.
He has photographed over 200 productions for The National Theatre under the artistic direction of Laurence Olivier, Peter Hall, Richard Eyre and Trevor Nunn.
1972: "Up North": an exhibition of photographs of the West Riding of Yorkshire influenced by the novels and plays of David Storey. Photo-essay of psychiatrist R.D. Laing published in Life Magazine.
1986: "Taking the Stage": (Thames & Hudson) With an introduction by Lindsay Anderson was published, accompanied by an exhibition at The National Theatre, which travelled to the Colnaghi Gallery in New York and The Moscow Arts Theatre, where the entire exhibit was stolen.
1998: Was made Annenberg Fellow by The Beckett International Foundation at Reading University, accompanied by an exhibition at the University.
1999: Exhibition "Beckett on Stage", Barbican Concourse Gallery
2003: "Images of Beckett": in collaboration with Samuel Beckett’s biographer James Knowlson: (Cambridge University Press), and accompanied by an exhibition at "The National Theatre"
2012: Exhibition: Portraits of R.D Laing at Inverleith House, Edinburgh, as part of Scottish artist Luke Fowler’s Turner Prize nominated exhibition, "All Divided Selves"
2015: November 2nd - 6th KING’S COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE – SAMUEL BECKETT – IN DIALOGUE WITH KINGS COLLEGE CHAPEL, a multi media event. Projections of John Haynes’s photographs of Samuel Beckett and his plays onto the Chapel walls.
2015: December: BUENOS AIRES – 10th FESTIVAL OF BECKETT exhibiting John Haynes’s collection of photographs. Awarded the "Premio Godot" award.
Currently, he continues to take photographs and is particularly interested in shadow, light and the random.
Married to the psychotherapist and writer Jane Haynes since 1965. He has two children Tanya and Alexander.