Weather Forces Extreme-Weather Photographer to Reschedule at WWU

Ironically, a heavy, wet snowfall, freezing rain and sleet prevented an extreme-weather photographer from getting to Fulton last month to speak at William Woods University.

Jim Reed, recognized as one of the world’s most pioneering and accomplished extreme-weather photographers, has been rescheduled to speak at WWU March 20. Reed will present his photos and talk about his career at 6 p.m. in Cutlip Auditorium.

Part of the President’s Concert and Lecture Series, his presentation is free and open to the public.

Reed has documented record-setting storms for 21 years, capturing numerous meteorological phenomena, including tornadoes, blizzards, ice storms, and floods. He has documented 19 hurricanes, including Katrina. He is currently doing interviews for TV, radio and print regarding Hurricane Sandy.

In 2002, Reed was hired by Twentieth Century Fox to lead a special effects movie crew into hurricanes Isidore and Lili to capture footage for the motion picture, “The Day After Tomorrow.”

He has been featured in National Geographic, America Online, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Discovery Channel, Microsoft and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.  He has also been on every major television network to discuss his photography.  

Reed’s career as a photographer has its roots in his childhood fascination with severe weather. In 1969, when he was 8 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, Reed was shooting home movies of nature’s wrath.

His professional career began as a filmmaker and writer in Los Angeles in 1983, shortly after his graduation from the University of Southern California. For the first eight years of his career, he 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, Reed was drawn back to his childhood love of photographing storms. In 1992, he moved from Los Angeles to Wichita, Kan., where he turned his camera once again on the sky.

Author of the critically acclaimed photo book, “Storm Chaser: A Photographer’s Journey” (Abrams, New York), he is also co-author of the best-seller “Hurricane Katrina: Through the Eyes of Storm Chasers” (Farcountry Press; with Mike Theiss).

Reed’s work has been honored by Pictures of the Year International, Communication Arts, National Press Photographers Association, American Photography, Photo District News, American PHOTO, Applied Arts Magazine, New York Photo Festival, Prix De La Photographie Paris, Advertising Photographers of America, Editor & Publisher and MSNBC Readers’ Choice Picture of the Year.

The President’s Concert and Lecture Series brings speakers and top entertainment to campus for the enlightenment and enjoyment of students and the community. For more information, contact Brenda Foster at brenda.foster@williamwoods.edu.