Our on-staff, local photographer Jamaal Porter, with Massive Motives, has been working with us for a year now. The JCVB is so grateful to him for capturing what makes Johnston County special so that we as a bureau can share that with potential visitors.

As a JoCo resident, we asked Jamaal to share his experience with us this past year getting to explore the area through a different lens (haha, get it?). In this photo essay, Jamaal reveals what he loves about JoCo, what he learned about JoCo, and what he thinks our downtowns, businesses, and people have to offer visitors.

Slide down the large tube slide at Sonlight Farms, Kenly NC.

"Johnston County, also called JoCo by many locals, is a rocket roaring off the launch pad making its way into orbit. Most of the fuel powering the rise of Johnston County is certain economic, professional and social boons, but some of the fuel for this rocket comes from the Johnston County Visitor’s Bureau. The Bureau works online, in person, in print, as well as on radio and TV to educate visitors on why they should visit Johnston County, and to let locals know what there is to explore and experience at home. JoCo has a lot to offer and I find most things right here at home.

Working with the Bureau allows me to travel and explore right where I enjoy living and am proud to call home.  Living, working, playing in Johnston County, USA is unlike anywhere in our great nation. We have world class entertainment, dining, night life, festivals and celebrations. We’re even well on our way to hosting the largest Rugby tournament on the east coast. Johnston County really has it all and it’s growing rapidly.

Employees of Double Barley Brewery at the establishment in Johnston County, NC.

Over the last year I’ve been fortunate to travel to all four corners of Johnston County. I would like to share with you a few of my favorite moments, places, and captures so far this year."

In Johnston county there are countless stories of small businesses reaching for big dreams. Growing with Johnston County is something I consider an honor. 

Red Neck BBQ Sandwich

The dinning experiences in JoCo have always been delicious and local, but now there are more of them! This is great for foodies like myself. (Redneck BBQ Lab)

Clayton Rugby

In keeping with Johnston County's history, going "outlaw" and doing it big are synonymous. While some would say Rugby is not a traditional American sport, it is certainly the fastest growing sport in America right now. The Bootleggers attract some of the most talented players from all over the eastern seaboard to Johnston County. It's really quite a sight to see. (East Clayton Community Park)

Strawberry Festival Sign

My family's creed is: Faith, Family, Country, Community. This photo compasses all of them. (Greater-Cleveland Strawberry Festival)

Revival 1869

The nightlife in JoCo has significantly improved. With establishments like Revival 1869, First Street Tavern, Deep River, the list goes on. It's easy to see why more and more people enjoy coming here. (Revival 1869 - A Drinkery)

Boulevard West

This is my coffee shop, Boulevard West. Every employee knows me by name, they know my drink, and the espresso is the best. I literally mean they know me by name. I walk through the door, I'm greeted by the cashier, then I'm asked with a smile "hot or iced?" I love it here! (Boulevard West)

Kenly 95 Petro Car Show Jamboree

I love going to places specifically to see or eat the things that are slightly off the beaten path. Johnston County is full of amazing and curious happenings. I suggest a little planned "getting lost" time every month. You will find a few gems! (Kenly 95 Petro)


I've made so many friends working with Visit Johnston County and some of them have the most adorable fur babies.