James Payne Photography

I have always seen myself as more of a documentarist than a commentator. I prefer to present images that are authentic recordings rather than arranged compositions. I find life fascinating enough visually to want to observe and capture the things I encounter regularly.

My environmental portraits reflect the people I have considered my friends, whether I met them as neighbors, coworkers, or family. I prefer preserving the naturalness of their surroundings, which reflect their tastes, histories, and comforts.

My street images reflect a similar fascination. I am continually intrigued by how people interact with the environments we all inhabit. I am thankful for the many times images form before me as people move through their daily activities.

While earning a degree in fine arts photography at Southern Illinois University in 1977, I realized after a lot of exploration of photo techniques that my primary interest was in what I could capture rather than what I could create in an image.