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Rising Stars: Meet Jimmy Galt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jimmy Galt.

Hi Jimmy, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
After college, I did what every aspiring photographer does: I crammed my mattress, camera, and surfboard into my 1997 Toyota 4 Runner and made a bee-line to LA. Unsure of which niche of photography I would succeed at, I spent a handful of years interning and assisting a variety of commercial photographers. This gave me lots of exposure to the photographic industry as a whole and as a result of proximity, I found myself gravitating towards fashion photography.

It seemed like the most appropriate path to take. There would never be a scarcity of clothing brands or new garments to photograph. As a young, starving artist, the prospect of infinite job security sounded too good to ignore. What’s more, the legions of drop-dead gorgeous models flocking to the LA fashion scene was not lost on me.

However, I eventually grew disillusioned with the egomaniacs, repetitive catalogs, and unethical manufacturing practices of the fashion industry. Taking inspiration from San Diego’s own SloMo, I decided I was going to “Do what you want to!”

Traveling overseas had always been a big part of my life. It was always while visiting developing countries I enjoyed photographing the most. Using the camera as a tool to meet and connect with strangers became a cherished hobby of mine and it dawned on me that I could leverage this skill for humanitarian organizations.

I’m still involved with commercial photography but am continuously expanding my network of amazing NGOs and non-profit organizations. I love shooting this type of work and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The COVID Pandemic has been a huge obstacle. This past year I was traveling through South America and photographing for a variety of organizations. The travel restrictions were really tough to navigate. Airlines were posting fake flights which would never materialize, land borders were shut down, and it eventually got to the point where entire countries were just closing their doors. What prompted the end of my traveling was when I looked at Google Earth and checked off each country which no longer held open borders at all.

For a lot of developing countries, when the borders close, the tourism industry dries up. When this happens, a huge percentage of the population goes without work or a way to feed their families. Unlike the United States, where we have a robust welfare system in place for every citizen to receive stimulus checks, those in less developed countries received absolutely no help. Even the organizations which are supposed to help relieve the effects of poverty pulled out. It was really frustrating wanting to partner with organizations and assist, but seeing time and time again those organizations abandon their responsibilities.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m a humanitarian photographer who shoots photos of hope in the most difficult places. I believe everyone carries God’s fingerprints on them and as such is naturally inclined towards beauty, love, and redemption. I try and show this in my work. My goal is to love God and love my neighbor with my camera and I think this approach sets me apart from other photographers.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Jesus is a trip! Orienting my life around his teachings have brought me places I never would have expected. I’m perpetually stoked to see where he leads me next.

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Image Credits
Jimmy Galt

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