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James' Story

James' Story

"Seeing all of the smiling faces and capturing positive energy,” are the humble words of Volunteer Photographer, James L. Jones and what continues to inspire him each time that he takes photographs at a Habitat for Humanity worksite or event. A life-long lover of photography, James is motivated by being with and inspiring other people and sharing his gift of photography in hopes of capturing life’s most authentic and meaningful moments through his photographic images. 

James grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and after high school, spent 4 years in the Navy, followed by the Reserves, ultimately leading to a thirty-six year career with the Federal government. His service led him to Philadelphia in 1984 and upon retirement in 2009, James continued to serve others by volunteering his time to organizations he believed truly made a difference. Before he had even retired, James began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity as his vision of contribution was aligned with the work of Habitat in Philadelphia. For James, Habitat for Humanity is one of the most impactful humanitarian causes working to make a profound difference in the lives of others.

James’ journey from volunteer to volunteer photographer came after a conversation with fellow Habitat photographer, Ellie, and by volunteering as a photographer, he was able to use his gift to capture the magic of volunteers and partner families coming together in service. Habitat for Humanity is grateful for the time and dedication from volunteers like James, who believe that everyone deserves a safe place to live and a promising future. His work and dedication continue to help Habitat for Humanity improve the lives of others by empowerment through shelter.

James was recognized alongside fellow photographers Wayne Morra, Ellie Seif, Judy Levy, John Fried, and Joe Snow as Volunteers of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2017. 

If you are interested in capturing the impact of Habitat's work in Philadelphia as a volunteer photographer, reach out to