Mysterious photographs have begun appearing on walls of pubs and coffee tables across South Yorkshire
The images capture the world at its most exquisite – early morning dawns, fascinating creatures and birds, nature at its very best.
And they are the work of a mysterious photographer, known only to his growing legion of fans as Villager Jim.
Jim said: “Every day I get up at the crack of dawn and head out to take photographs of the world as it starts to wake up.
“From 4am to 7am, seven days a week. I’ve taken literally thousands of pictures, my photo library on my computer contains a quarter of a million images. I simply love photographs.”
Jim describes himself as a ‘simple country bumpkin’, living just outside his hometown of Sheffield in a Peak District farmhouse,
He said: “I run my own businesses and my working life keeps me busy, so photography is my escape and I get out to do it every chance I get.”
The 48-year-old began playing around with his camera a few years ago and – after nagging from his family and friends who insisted he had a flair for photography – decided to have photobooks of his work made up, which he displayed in his local pub.
He said: “The response was amazing and there really is nothing quite like sitting there quietly with a pint while you watch strangers admire your work. It was so exciting.
“From there, the landlord asked if I’d be happy for him to display some of my prints on his walls and they’ve been selling well.
“After that, everyone began pushing me to sell my work. I submitted images for calendars, which is lovely, as well as trays and table mats – there’s a big market for this stuff online.
“One image of mine, a photo I took of my labrador asleep on the chair, really hit a nerve with people. It went viral in America, with the image receiving five million views online and I’ve sold thousands of copies of that image alone.”
And Jim recently scooped an award from the British Wildlife Photography awards, receiving the Editor’s Choice 2013 award for one of his photographs, showing a skylark and a fly, under the name James Dobson.
Jim said: “That kind of recognition means a lot and it’s fantastic something I love so much is being so well received.”
The married father-of-two is now preparing to launch his Villager Jim brand online with a series of products bearing his images.
He said: “I like the fact nobody knows my face or anything about me, but truly love and embrace my images.”