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wedding, portrait & event photography • oregon's midwillamette valley


Jim Folts has been an active professional photographer for 35 years. His career began in photojournalism as a newspaper photographer and magazine freelance photographer. He is a faculty member at Oregon State University, having taught photojournalism and art photography for 30 years. He is the author of one of the standard national textbooks on the techniques of photography and another on the history of photography. His work has been published in newspapers and national magazines.

"My real interest has always been in photographing people. I like the challenge of attempting to capture people in action, not posed, doing what they actually do. I like the authenticity of the resulting images. But I am equally challenged by the collaborative portrait, where I work with the subject not only to capture their likeness, but also something of their personality, of what makes them a unique human being.

"My wife Jeanene and I love shooting weddings. Each wedding is a celebration of two people who are beginning a new life together, and it is a privilege for us to participate. We always shoot engagement photographs because it gives us a chance to get to know the couple and what they want to see in their wedding pictures. We also like to attend the rehearsal so we can meet the wedding participants and see how the wedding day will unfold. My overall approach to a wedding is photojournalistic because I think real images are more memorable. But we always expect to shoot a series of formal group shots. Despite the fact that these photographs seem comparatively less lively, they are often highly prized decades in the future and become important visual documents in a family's history.

"Many people are interested in my equipment and techniques. I shot film—35mm, medium format, and large format—for many years. While there something satisfying about film, I have shot digitally almost exclusively for the past few years. I find the digital camera more capable in low-level light, and I like to shoot without flash whenever possible because I think existing light makes for more evocative and authentic images. I shoot with Canon 5D bodies, the finest available light cameras I've ever seen. I have a selection of Canon "L" lenses, all of them very fast, again beause they make it possible to work in low level light."