Icon Photographer Jim Britt

Jim Britt

Jim Britt’s love of music stems from his early career singing in jazz clubs across the United States. It was here that he first developed an interest in photography and honed his skills capturing on-stage performance photos using only available light. In 1969—with many jazz clubs struggling—Jim retired from his singing career to pursue his newfound passion.

In the early ’70s, Jim took on the role of art director/head photographer at Motown Records. He began designing and photographing album covers for many of Motown’s top artists, including Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. One of his portraits of Gaye is also in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.—just one of the many highlights of his successful 40-year career.

After departing Motown in 1975, Jim began to work as a highly in-demand editorial and commercial photographer producing memorable images such as the “Why Roots Hit Home” cover for Time magazine. According to Jim, it is the interconnection of music, performance, and photography in his work that has given him his own distinct visual “voice.”

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