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Meet Jim Donnelly of Jim Donnelly Photo in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Donnelly.

Jim, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My journey in photography started a long time ago when I was four years old and started modeling/acting. I worked in front of the camera for a good deal of my childhood and I definitely think a passion and understanding for it started from all of that. Similarly, I started learning music when I was seven and attended my first concert when I was eight, and that started an interest in being a part of that culture in some way.

I always enjoyed shooting things and having a camera in my hand as a child and young adult. In college, I bought my first DSLR, and that is probably where things really took off. I always wanted to shoot; my friend’s bands, portraits, landscapes, events, pretty much anything I thought I could get something interesting.

While I was in graduate school, I had the opportunity to shoot my first “real show” for one of my favorite bands, MuteMath. And from there I was hooked. Along the way, I’ve met some amazing people that all started to throw opportunities my way, and I’ve worked to find new ways to shoot the different things I’m interested (events, autos, cosplay, etc).

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Because I have a day job, many of the opportunities would just come my way and I would shoot them as I could. But working especially with music and automotive industries, they both are certainly not easy. For both there are is a lot of competition, a lot of gatekeepers, and a fairly steep learning curve to be competent and distinct.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Jim Donnelly Photo story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m interested in a lot of different topics and enjoy shooting a lot of different things, but I feel like my passion and style come from a very commercial style (especially given my past). The main categories I shoot are Music, Automotive, Commercial/Editorial, Event, Portrait, and Cosplay.

Because of my many focuses, I try my best to develop as well as I can in every area but also to bring techniques and style from one into the other. Because of that direction, I have become very skilled in my editing and compositing skills (which is something I’m pretty proud of). I enjoy comments from my clients and trying to exceed expectations.

It’s not always an easy task but something I am consistently driven by and has been pretty successful at this point.

I feel what sets me apart is the fact that I can shoot anything from portraits to an automotive race, to a concert, and I can turn out very high-quality work with a unique perspective in those diverse situations.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I would say it played a bit of a big role for me. I wouldn’t so much call it “luck” as much as being in the right place at the right time. Many fantastic opportunities have come my way from some of the most amazing people I’ve been able to work with. So much of that I would say wasn’t much of my doing, except for being a skilled photographer, being as professional as possible, and taking a genuine interest in my colleagues.

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