Jim Reed is recognized as one of the world's most accomplished weather photographers for his one-of-a-kind images of America's changing climate. A veteran full-time storm chaser, Jim has spent nearly two decades documenting almost every type of meteorological phenomena -- including tornadoes, blizzards, electrical storms and floods. He has documented 17 hurricanes, including Hurricane Katrina -- the costliest tropical cyclone ever to strike the United States. In 2004, he penetrated the eye of all four major hurricanes to strike Florida. He most recently penetrated the eye of Hurricane Ike in Galveston, Texas.
Jim's approach to weather photography has been singled out as one of the most unique and interpretive amongst photographers today. His credits include America Online, Microsoft, National Geographic, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Nikon, The New York Times, Reader's Digest, Time Magazine, Discovery Channel, and the World Meteorological Organization. He has appeared live on every major American television network to discuss severe weather, storm chasing and global warming.
Jim has written cover stories and feature articles about our changing weather for Scientific American, Popular Science, Weatherwise, and Men's Journal. He is author of the award-winning photo book, "Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey" (Abrams, New York; www.stormchaserbook.com). He is also co-author of the best-seller "Hurricane Katrina: Through the Eyes of Storm Chasers" (Farcountry Press; with Mike Theiss), and "The Wonders of Weather" (Farcountry Press).
Born in Albany, Georgia in 1961, Jim was raised in Springfield, Illinois by his mother and grandmother. He then attended the University of Southern California where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.
Jim's career as a photographer has its roots in his childhood fascination with severe weather. In 1969, when Jim was eight years old, he and his mother unwittingly drove through the outer bands of Hurricane Camille while returning from a family vacation to Florida. By age 11, Jim was shooting home movies of nature's wrath.
Jim's professional career began as a filmmaker and writer in Los Angeles in 1983, shortly after his graduation from USC. For the first eight years of his career, Jim found himself writing everything from TV commercials and music videos to feature articles and motion pictures. His spec screenplay "Trouble on 162" was purchased by producer Norman Jewison and led to a two year writing contract with Warner Bros. Pictures.
But despite his early success as a writer, Jim was drawn back to his childhood love of photographing storms. In 1992, he moved from Los Angeles to Wichita, Kansas where he turned his camera once again on the sky.
Jim's work has been honored by Pictures of the Year International, Communication Arts, National Press Photographers Association, American Photography, Photo District News, American PHOTO, New York Photo Festival, Prix De La Photographie Paris, Advertising Photographers of America, Editor & Publisher, and MSNBC Readers' Choice Picture of the Year. He has been invited as a guest speaker by a variety of organizations and universities. He currently lives in Tornado Alley and encourages everyone to use a NOAA weather radio.