James Fox has enjoyed success in a number of ventures, as a musician, a teacher, administrator, gallery director, and photographer. He has brought his talent and creativity to each of those fields, but it is photography that has been a constant part of his life since he was eleven years old when he borrowed a friend’s camera to take on a family vacation to Corpus Christi. He promptly lost that camera, but he never lost the urge to take photographs. After replacing his friend’s camera, he bought one of his own and a camera has not been far from his reach ever since.
In 1971, he decided to push his hobby into a more serious direction and began taking pictures in the “hope of making art.” He said, “Making images became a passion. I make images because I must, it is as essential to me as eating.” Today, having retired from his other careers, Jim indulges his passion for making images. He travels throughout the Texas Hill Country around Fredericksburg where he makes his home and often ventures into the mountains of New Mexico or the breezy marshes of South Texas. Where ever he travels his camera is with him as he continually looks for the perfect image. He quotes an Indian sage who said, “Look at the world twice if you wish to see all there is to see.”
Jim often goes well beyond that advice in his photographic quests. He said, “Second looks easily become fourth, tenth, even twentieth, and often take many years to acquire and even then the vision is complete and vague. Second looks are necessary for the artist. Over the years I would look at various locations or subjects and wonder how to make what I see accessible to me as a photographer and how to translate what I feel to an image. Responding to feelings is what I most wish to accomplish for myself as well as the viewer. My second looks begin once a scene has sparked my imagination and demands action. Like most artist, especially painters, I enjoy returning to a favorite location several times. Visiting a favorite location many times is like visiting an old friend something new is always discovered.”
Taking a closer look at his surroundings is second nature to Jim Fox. Each photograph he makes is the culmination of a lifetime of looking. He says, “Often I am asked ‘How long did it take to create that image.’ My reply generally is, about 40 years. An image made yesterday really began in 1971 when I made the decision to be a photographic artist.”