Jim Richardson is an American photojournalist working primarily for the National Geographic Society and as a social documentary photographer recognized for his explorations of small-town life.
Richardson's first story for National Geographic magazine appeared in 1984. Since then, he has become one of the magazine's most productive contemporary contributing photographers, with more than 20 stories.
Richardson also is a contributing editor of National Geographic Traveler magazine, where he has contributed both writing and photographs. He also is a popular speaker and workshop leader in the U.S. and abroad.
His combined areas of expertise include volcanoes, agriculture, rivers and aquifers, and the United Kingdom, especially the people, culture, and landscape of Scotland, his Scotland, his family's native Cornwall, and the wider Celtic world.
In May 2004, National Geographic published Richardson's color story on the Great Plains alongside a retrospective of his 30 years of social documentary photography of Cuba, Kansas. Richardson's ongoing photography of Cuba, population 230, has been profiled twice by CBS's Sunday Morning, first in 1983 and again in 2004. Richardson's book, High School USA, a three-year photographic examination of adolescence in a small-town Kansas high school, is considered a photo documentary classic.
Richardson's audiovisual presentation about rural life, "Reflections From a Wide Spot in the Road," won the Crystal AMI Award and toured internationally.
In 2001, ABC News Nightline followed Richardson in the field and during editing at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., for a story called "Yellow Journalism: The Making of a National Geographic Story."