The Eclectic Portrait: Photography of Jim Britt

Published: Jan. 19, 2016 at 6:04 PM MST
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The Eclectic Portrait: Photography of Jim Britt in currently on display in the lecture room at The Community Library.

Britt’s early career was spent singing in jazz clubs across the United States. It was while traveling with the band that he first developed an interest in photography.

In 1969, with many jazz clubs struggling, Britt retired from his singing profession to concentrate full time on his new passion for photography.

“When I was learning to sing with jazz musicians they said so you want to be a jazzer, well here’s how you do it. Woodshed, learn your acts, bring it to the gig, never play what you practiced, and never play the tune the same way again. Which as an aesthetic discipline means that, learn everything you can, when you go to photograph someone, be in the moment and see and just don’t have yourself locked into something that’s all about you. But rather being able to interface with the dynamic that’s going on right there with the person,” said Jim Britt, photographer.

Britt has an extensive collection of eclectic portraits he’s shot during his career, many of which are of recognizable celebrities.

He says he first shot images of Michael Jackson when Jackson was only 14 years old. He then ended up shooting three of Michael Jackson’s album covers.

“To look at his photographs of these people we all feel like we know, but don’t know, because of their celebrity, is to get a new glimpse into their humanity I think,” said Jenny Davis Emerson, Executive Director at The Community Library.

The exhibit will be on display through April.