Johnny Sundby

Meet Johnny Sundby! Owner of Johnny Sundby Photography. One thing some may not know about Johnny is he has been singing and playing guitar in a country band called the Lonely Rangers for 22 years with friend, Ross Johnson. Read below to learn more about this interesting guy!


Q. Please tell us a little bit about your family.

A son who is a senior at Northern Arizona University studying Ecology/Biology.  Daughter who is a sophomore at U of MT studying pre-physical therapy and golfing for the GRIZ!

Q. Please tell us about your current career. Thing you love most about what you do.

I am a full-time commercial and portrait photographer.  I love creating images for customers and expanding my skills.

Q. What inspired you or led you to your current career?

I was a photojournalist for 7 years after graduating from college.

Q. What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community? 

The new Mexican one in the Old Fireside Inn, and Kol is another favorite.

Q. How long have you lived or worked in our community?

Nearly half century

Q. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?

Ray Hillenbrand, Matt Jackson

Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why? *

Alaska, I just love open spaces and mountains.

Q. What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows? 

I enjoy most movies, I think because I studied Literature in college. For TV Shows, Longmire and Yellowstone are tough to beat!

Q. What advice would you give to people?

Never miss a chance to do something nice for someone to brighten up their days.  That’s all you can take with you from this world, that which you have given away.

Q. What is something on your bucket list?

Golf at world class golf courses.

Q. What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to? 

Indigo Girls or Zach Brown Band

Q. What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?

Well, I guess the Meller Drama foundation that you can still see behind the Golden Phoenix Restaurant that dates back to the early 70’s when that building housed Randy’s Pizza Barrel.  Also, the office for the Rushmore Aerial Tramway in Keystone was constructed under direction of my father who flew helicopters over Mt. Rushmore from 1960-1964.

Q. If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would you meet for this lunch? 

Any LPGA star to learn how they did it for my daughter, Kol Restaurant

Q. What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community? 

I love the western feel, cowboys/ranches, wildlife, mountains, etc.

Q. Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?

Quasi-retiring, traveling, working out, playing music, and golfing more.

Q. (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?

I was a newspaper photographer for the Associated Press and also the Rapid City Journal for the first seven years following college graduation, where I studied English and Business Administration, and worked on the college paper all four years, I also have been singing and playing guitar in a country band called the Lonely Rangers for 22 years with friend, Ross Johnson.  One of my three coffee table books, “In God’s Country” has sold around 44,000 copies to date.

Q. What is the most beautiful place you have ever been? 

Definitely the fjord tour in Norway.  (Norway in a Nutshell)

Q. If you were cast in a movie and could choose your costar, who would it be? 

Definitely Jennifer Lawrence or Emily Blunt, but I probably would be too star-struck to do any acting myself!

Q. Favorite month?

September holiday? Fall Break or Spring Break time, and best single day on the calendar? Easy …….. Sunday, my only day off.

Q. What would you rate a 10 out of 10? 

Steaks on the grill and a cold beer

Q. Who inspires you to be better? 

Two friends, Matt Jackson and Evan Gallentine

Q. What is one or two of your favorite smells? 

baking bread, rainy rocks

Q. If a movie was made of your life, who would you want to play you? 

It’d have to be Kevin Bacon, who has at least some vague similarities of appearance.

Q. Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?

Stephanie, Evan, and Emmy

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