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A native of Princeton, NJ, Jim Dratfield grew up in a theatrical family, acting from the age of six and leaving college to pursue stardom in New York and Hollywood. After a successful run in the Broadway revival of “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” in which Jim prophetically played the role of the son who oddly enough runs off to become a photographer, he moved to Los Angeles, where he landed the recurring role of Bud Keiser, obnoxious paramedic extraordinaire in the critically-acclaimed television series, “St. Elsewhere.” He also formed his own theatrical production company, O Drat! Productions, which received Honorable Mention by the Los Angeles Time Critics as Best Revival of 1986 (for Lanford Wilson’s “Fifth of July).
Jim moved back to the East Coast, never imagining his life was about to take a new direction that combined his passion for photography with his great love of animals. It was while dreaming up concepts for a promotional mailing he was sending to casting directors, one of which was a series of photos of him with his best friend- Kuma, an Akita- that an idea began to form in Jim’s head. He realized other people had the same deep affection for their pets, and would cherish portraits that captured a certain, time, place, mood—forever.
In February 1993, Jim co-founded Petography, Inc., an animal portrait studio specializing in fine art photographs of pets of all sizes, shapes, and species often with their people. The concept and the company were an instant success. Soon Jim was flying around the country to capture rabbits and hedgehogs, monkeys and cockatiels, on film. At home on his small farm; Jim and his wife Chiara can be found being walked by their canine companion, Sawyer, “The Great Vacuum dog,” who is more of a labrador eater rather than retriever or playing with his adopted cat Teo and constantly being reminded of the wonders of life by his six year old son, Phineas.