James Hayman is a photographer as well as a film / television director, producer, and cinematographer based in Los Angeles.
After attending The American University for photojournalism, Hayman’s first photography assignment was to photograph Nixon and Brezhnev at the 1973 Washington Summit in the White House Rose Garden. Disenchanted with the paparazzi-like frenzy, Hayman went on to study film at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and post-graduate work at New York University, though his photojournalistic roots still inform his practice today.
Both his photojournalism and film education led him to travel around the world. He notably traveled to Central America, working for the UN’s disaster relief efforts after the 1976 earthquake in Guatemala. This led to several series of photographic work in the region.
Here is a selection of black-and-white images taken from 1976 in Guatemala and Mexico as well as 1989 in Wichita Falls / Texasville.
“I’ve always been a visual storyteller, interested in other people’s stories. When I first picked up a camera, I believed being a photographer meant staying hidden behind the camera, solely as an observer. As I’ve grown as an artist, I’ve since realized that it doesn’t need to end there, it can be so much more.
Photography is an interactive experience, an exchange between listener and storyteller. My photography aims to document these moments of exchange and is deeply rooted in the world communities I find myself drawn toward. And while these photographs might capture such specific moments, I also believe they transcend time and place. They negotiate between the ephemera of the moment and the timeless nature of the photograph.
No matter where I might be, or who I might be speaking with, the construction of narrative is what ultimately leads to a lasting image: a totality of human experience suspended within a single frame.”- James Hayman