Introducing Photographer Jimmy Hayes

As regular readers know, I regularly collaborate with photographers to add some visual beauty to my weekly ramblings here and to enliven your desktop backgrounds or screensavers if you’re interested in looking at wine related imagery instead of pictures of your kids or whatever default image you’d prefer to replace. I’ve got mine rotating the images I feature here on Vinography as my desktop background every 10 minutes, for instance.

Today I’m pleased to announce my latest collaborator, photographer Jimmy Hayes.

Jimmy Hayes was born and raised in New York and happily found his way to the Napa Valley in 2008, where he lives with his wife Dina and young son, also named Jimmy. In the late 1990’s, while attending Tulane University, Jimmy accidentally discovered his passion for the restaurant industry, where he ended up working for the next 15 years. Most notably during that time, Jimmy spent seven years with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group—first as Head Sommelier at the Michelin three-star Per Se restaurant in New York City, then as Associate Wine and Beverage Director for the Keller Group nationwide.

In 2010, Jimmy transitioned into winery life and served in executive roles for two iconic properties – Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Araujo Estate Wines, and then Estate Director for Mayacamas Vineyards. Today, in addition to his work as a photographer, he operates a consulting business focused on winery marketing, operations, and sales.

Jimmy’s life as a photographer began as a hobby – diligently documenting his life and home in the Napa Valley as well as his travels around the world. In 2014 he formally launched JBH Photo — a commercial photography business focusing on long-term, process-oriented documentary projects for wineries.

Behind the camera, Jimmy uses his extensive, first-hand experience in and around winemaking and grape growing to embed deep within processes where he can capture immersive images that showcases a true insider’s perspective. Since starting the business, Jimmy has worked with a number of California’s iconic wine estates – Kistler, Dalla Valle, Schrader, Favia and many others.

As an artist, Jimmy strives to take moody, minimal, and structural photographs showcasing forms and negative space as strong, non-traditional subjects; he actively avoids traditional themes, visual beauty standards, and compositions. Whether shooting for a client, or making photographs for himself, Jimmy holds himself to a core philosophy – every finished image must stand alone visually as an individual, complete piece of art.

Jimmy’s work has appeared in numerous national and international publications. His first book – Veritas – will release in May 2021 from Abrams Books / Cameron + Company. The book will be a monograph pulled from 6 years of work documenting the California wine industry—a collection of images curated to present the soulful but at times unromantic reality of the industry as it exists everyday, not only on its best days.

For the next year, Vinography will be featuring one of Jimmy’s images each week. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Image of Jimmy Hayes at work courtesy of Matt Morris.