By Janet Alexander–
Known for integrating conceptual photography and computer-generated imagery, the photography of Jim Fiscus varies between entertainment advertising for shows such as HBO’s Treme and Showtime’s Dexter, to photojournalism for publications such as ESPN the Magazine. Jim, however, simply describes his work as, “a series of environmental portraits.”
Born in Texas, but now based in Athens, Georgia, Jim seems to simultaneously know no bounds while remaining particularly mindful of the limitations inherent to his craft. Says Jim, “The goal is to tell a complete story within one frame.” Jim’s images are not exactly naturally occurring. For example, shooting professional tennis player, Roger Federer for Credit Suisse took place in a studio in Zurich, Switzerland, but would eventually need to look like Federer had been shot in the sunny outdoors of California.
NBC recently approached Jim to shoot the key art for their series Awake. Jim said about the job, “Each shot was very different from the others—a living room lit with car headlights, a 3D Mondrian installation, four portrait sets, and an outdoor rain scene—so I guess the concept was to shoot a lot of concepts.” And as if in an attempt to outdo even himself, for the Showtime television series Borgias, Jim photographed seven concepts in a single shoot day, in Budapest no less.
With so much creative license comes an even greater amount of responsibility. “The thing about entertainment advertising,” he says, “is that everybody’s ass is on the line every time. I feel I owe the actors a very solid and organized shoot.”
This sort of job performance under pressure is nothing new to Jim, who got his start in photography back in high school photographing marathon runners crossing the finish line. “It was thrilling, with the only stress being the issue of focusing when everybody’s in motion.”
Ultimately, even with high-profile, high-concept, high-stress shoots, Jim maintains an adaptable approach that has served him well throughout the years. Even so, he has a remarkable ability to control his surroundings, and it’s a control that he extends to how he presents his work in his custom liveBooks website.
Says Jim, “The drag-and-drop liveBooks platform gives me the freedom to change and update the site as and when I wish.” The site’s Miles Traveled section enables Jim to include custom multi-media elements, including behind-the-scenes videos for recent shoots for Jameson Irish Whiskey, Schick razors, and Louie C.K. In addition to acting as a sort of online media journal, Jim is quick to point out that the videos are also “intended to show how much fun we have on my jobs.”
Jim’s liveBooks website also features a Galleries section that functions as a quick overview for the visitor, enabling one to scan the different types of projects he worked on and quickly focus in on things that are of interest.
Visit Fiscusphoto.com to experience the working life and times of Jim Fiscus for yourself. To view a series of other liveBooks custom-designed websites, click here. To schedule a free custom design consultation of your own, click here.