John Betancourt, self-taught as a photographer, was born in NYC, NY in 1949 to Puertorrican parents who had moved there after the second world war in search of work.. He lived in NYC until 1965 when his parents decided to return to Puerto Rico.
He entered the University of Puerto Rico in 1967 where he majored in plitical science and urban geography. His interest in photography began there. He left UPR in 1970 to work with the government in the Enviromental Quality Board as a writer of audio-visual presentations for public school students. While there he became staff photographer for the EQB.
In 1972 he left the EQB and worked as a freelancer until he joined the Leo Burnett advertising agency as staff photographer. In1974 he returned to NYC.
From 1974 until 1979 he worked asa a freelance photgrapher with works published in Nuestro magazine, Time magazine and the New York Times, as well as photographing jazz and salsa music artists. Concurrently he worked at The New School/Parsons photography department as a teachers and photo-lab assistant.
In 1978 he started working with El Museo Del Barrio photographing fine arts works which has become a specialty in his career as well as teaching photography there.
Since 1980 he has been living and working in Puerto Rico. He established ZOOM Photographic, a custom black and white film lab, framing studio and gallery with two fellow artists. He has taught in various institutions such as Casa Aboy, Liga de Arte de San Juan, Escuela de Artes Plasticas de San Juan, and el Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico where he was also staff photograopher and digital images archivist.
At present he owns Imaging Arts, a digital photograpy and printing studio in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
He has exhibited in New York, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
His works are in the permanent collection of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de San Juan, The Shell Corporation, Westin Riomar as well as in private collections.