John Ganis earned a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, in 1972 and received an Master of Fine Arts in 1980 from the University of Arizona, Tucson.
John Ganis was a studio assistant to Irving Penn in 1971. He has been a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Arizona, Tucson, since 1978 and worked there as coordinator and instructor of a summer arts workshop in photography in 1979. In 1978 he was a special assistant to W. Eugene Smith at the university; from 1974 to 1977 John Ganis was adjunct lecturer at Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, New York.
John Ganis has concentrated his photography in and around water since 1974.