John Anderson began working in the alternative press in 1988 as a photographer with the Washington City Paper in Washington, D.C. In 1989, he studied with Magnum documentary photographer Eugene Richards and graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in photojournalism in 1995. He has worked as a staff photographer at The Austin Chronicle since 2000.

Throughout his career, he has extensively documented protests, rallies and other political events. He also has written articles on social media monitoring software, fusion centers, cell site simulators known as Stingrays and more. His photographs have appeared in Rolling Stone, Ms. Magazine, The Intercept, Mother Jones, Texas Monthly, and Texas Observer, among many others. He is based in Austin, Texas