‘His monochrome photographs grace the houses of many’: farewell to legendary photographer


  • Jim Meads, the hunting photographer extraordinaire, has died, aged 93.

    For anyone to be called “a legend in their own lifetime” is seldom appropriate, but in Jim’s case, it is genuinely deserved. His reputation was earned on both sides of the Atlantic and his remarkable fitness and deep knowledge of hunting enabled him to take action shots that would have been impossible for most. He hunted with 520 packs in the UK, Ireland and the US.

    Jim learned the skills of hunting photography from his father, Frank H Meads, and it was his action shots that were so unique. His classic monochrome photographs, which demonstrate the atmosphere of the field so well, grace the houses of many hunting people.

    Jim’s most famous photograph, published worldwide in 1962, was of a jet fighter about to crash, the pilot having just ejected. Jim knew the test pilot, who had told him where they would be testing the new jet. Jim took his two small sons to watch, and his camera.

    Jim left school at 16 and joined the De Havilland Aircraft Company as trainee photographer. At weekends he accompanied his father out hunting.

    Following national service with the RAF he went to work for his father as a sporting photographer. When he travelled with former H&H editor Michael Clayton he was introduced to US hunting where he enjoyed enormous popularity and was commissioned to photograph many hunts and hound shows.

    Point-to-pointing was his speciality, and at the 1996 Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show he was presented with a painting of him taking photographs at the show to mark his 50th consecutive year as Peterborough photographer.
    In 1979 Jim published his first book, They Still Meet at Eleven. For his second of five books, the foreword was written by the Prince of Wales, now King Charles.

    The Masters of Foxhounds Associations of the UK and US obtained the remarkable collection of Jim’s pictures, which is now in the safe hands of the British Sporting Art Trust.

    Jim always had the support of his loyal wife Pauline.

    His funeral is to be at the Emstry Crematorium, Shrewsbury, on Wednesday, 10 July at 12.30pm and all are welcome.

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