James Fisher

Between my Freshman and Sophomore years of High School, I was inspired by the teen paperback book, “Shutterbug.” In the book, the protagonist, after an injury, discovers photography. The character resonated with me and, like the main character, I took up photography. I crafted a rudimentary enlarger from a Pringle’s Potato Chip can and a lens from a magnifying glass, I set up a darkroom in the lone bathroom of my parent’s house.

With great encouragement from my parents, I quickly moved my home darkroom out of that sole bathroom and into a corner of the basement. I soon began shooting my own photographs rather than just printing the stored negatives of old family vacation snapshots. My father bought me my first real camera, a Kalamar 660. Shortly after he bought himself an Olympus OM-1 35mm camera that I quickly adopted as my own. I knew that I wanted to make photography my life’s work and soon I began taking classes in Visual Communications at our local Vocational School. While still attending school, I was hired by the local newspaper as the staff photographer. 

Working at the newspaper opened many doors into other avenues of professional photography, and soon I was photographing weddings, reunions, and more. At the age of 19, I was offered a studio location in the basement area of an interior decorating firm. I left my job at a men’s clothing store and launched my full-time photography business. Within 12 months another location opened up, one that had been a photography studio since 1906.

Through the 1980’s I photographed thousands of high school seniors, couples, families and weddings at that historic location. I earned the title of CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) from the Professional Photographers of America and PPM/CP from the Professional Photographers of Michigan.

I sold the studio in 1990 with plans to move to Colorado and become a ski-bum, but ultimately family ties kept me in Michigan.

After many other ventures, I now primarily do photographic travel and teachings on my YouTube channel. I am currently planning future photography workshops, teachings, and events across the United States.