Jim Fiscus is a visual storyteller who builds his narratives using conceptual photography, his unusually vivid imagination, and a strict dedication to delivering the greatest number of options with the least amount of fuss. “I would describe my work as a series of environmental portraits,” he says. “I’m lucky in that I get to create most of the environments. The goal is to tell a complete story within one frame.”
His clients include a broad range of advertising and entertainment companies, with recent assignments including campaigns for Jameson, British Telecom, and Credit Suisse, as well as key art for Showtime, HBO, A&E, FX, and others. And that flexibility is evident in his book. “When I’m on a call with an art director, I talk with them about how I can create a look that represents them and their client. And they know from my book that there are any number of directions we can travel,” he says.
Jim is as comfortable traveling to the Deep South to shoot the bearded stars of Duck Dynasty as he is flying to England to photograph Dame Maggie Smith for Downton Abbey key art or to New York City to shoot comedian Louis C.K. on busy Bleecker Street for his TV show, Louie. And his sense of calm on a shoot puts the actors he works with at ease. “These people work crazy long hours and put everything into their jobs, and when they show up for a photo shoot it is usually on their day off,” he notes. “I try to keep the production very organized and quick.”
For a look at what a Jim Fiscus shoot is like, visit the Miles Traveled link at his website, fiscusphoto.com. It’s filled with behind-the-scenes videos that show how much goes into producing his images. “It also,” says Jim, “shows how much fun we have on my jobs.”