Digital photography is not an “anyone-can-do” craft. To create more than just snapshots takes skill and talent from professionals who have studied this popular art form, and Jim Graham knows how to perfect the simplest of pictures.
A contributing Hunt photographer, Graham grew up in the Brandywine Valley, living in Wilmington, Unionville, and Chadds Ford. His father gave him the family’s camera when he was about 6 and never got it back, and Graham continued experimenting with the camera throughout school.
“I didn’t plan on becoming a photographer. I went to college and majored in history but took pictures throughout high school and college. Photography has been more of a mistake than a contemplative effort,” Graham says.
He trained at the Maine Photographic Workshop and, after a 6-month resident program, returned to Wilmington, where he began freelancing for the News Journal Papers. Graham went on to become a staff photographer there and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in News Photography. He was also named Southern Photographer of the year in 1990. Graham’s success comes from his ability to find meaning within the picture.
“I like looking at the image and adding a metaphor,” Graham says. “Does it speak to something? Can you conceptually take it somewhere else? Does it evoke a story or a memory? What does it mean to the viewer? There is more opportunity to be introspective. With all of my shots, all of the titles are metaphorical.”
Today, Graham operates his own photography business from his studio in Centreville and is a self-described generalist doing commercial/editorial photography, wedding photography, and fine art photography. He also travels internationally for assignments in all three fields of his practice, going to such places as Europe, South America, and all of the lower 48. His upcoming show, Adrift, only further proves the wonders of traveling for photography.
“I describe myself as an environmental artist. I”m like a painter. I record the light through a digital sensor and I take an image and move the camera around to paint light on the sensor. I”m adding light to the picture so that it transcends the idea of a snapshot.”
Adrift depicts the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. It culminates 10 years of travel and exploration and will be showcased at The Station Gallery.
“When I”m able to get away, I”m able to be productive and go out and take photographs. It’s a natural progression,” Graham says.
Much of what Graham learned comes from his mentor John Paul Caponigro with whom he worked on his first expedition, Along the Waterline. After a decade they are still working together and looking for that special light.
Adrift’s opening reception takes place on Friday, September 9 from 5pm-8pm. For more information, please visit The Station Gallery website.
To view more of Grahams photography, please visit www.jimgrahamphotography.com or contact Graham at
Jim Graham Photography
P.O. Box 567
Montchanin, Delaware 19710