Jimmy Thomas was raised in a small west Texas town where he started his journey of becoming a modern-day renaissance man by receiving his first religious training from a cowboy chuck wagon cook, Richard Bolt, who became a self-taught Baptist preacher. Jimmy’s introduction to photography was with a black & white camera he received in junior high during the 1960’s where he soon progressed to developing and printing his photos. He enjoyed his free time during his high school days outdoors hunting and enjoying wildlife, however, his free time was limited due to his working at the local grocery store sacking and stocking which started at 7am by mopping the store and then ended at 7pm most days for a full 67-hour week which was only interrupted with his high school classes during the school year.
After finishing high school Jimmy tried attending electronics school and junior college but he ended up enlisting in the U.S. Air Force where he was trained in electronic instrument systems and worked KC-135’s and B-52’s. He continued to carry a camera and was able to photograph much of his adventures during this time, along with increasing his photography skills. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1974, he went back to working in the grocery business, mostly at night, then started attending college and with no focused degree plan, he changed his degree from Oceanography, to Philosophy, to Business, to Science thus he tended to study whatever was his interest at the time.
Jimmy decided to change his career in 1978 from the grocery business and tried working in the health insurance business with his uncle. Selling health policies was very unpleasant but he was able to become partners with his uncle and started working more in management and marketing. Being unhappy with the health insurance business he discovered the oil and gas exploration business. After raising funds for another company, he started his own exploration company in 1983 and successfully drilled and developed a small gas field just before gas prices declined. With gas prices down, Jimmy focused on his education and completed a General Studies degree, Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Geology at Texas Christian University while operating his small oil and gas company.
Jimmy has since successfully consulted on large exploration projects in Parker County, TX which have produced well over $180 million in natural gas. Jimmy has given many professional talks throughout the country on oil & gas exploration where he was awarded the I.A. Levorsen Memorial Award in 2003 for one of his presentations. He was also the founding Chairman for the Fort Worth Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientist and was reelected for an unheard of second term. Jimmy later sold some natural gas interest and went on to again form his own company where he developed a successful oil field in 2008 located in Cottle & King Counties, TX which he still operates.
During his oil and gas career he was also able to become a Purple Belt in American Karate, earn EMT license, Level II Cave Rescue, and Master Scuba Diver certifications. Then after studying wilderness first aid and working with the local fire departments, he was awarded Fire Fighter of the Year by the Hudson Oaks Volunteer Fire Department and Parker County Fire Fighters Association where he worked in search & rescue, EMS, and firefighting as a volunteer. Also add a FCC Amateur Extra (Ham) Radio license and a FAA Remote (Drone) Pilot license to round things off.
In geologic mapping, Jimmy used pieces of data to create maps illustrating the geologic past history of an area for oil & gas potential. To be successful as an Oil & Gas Explorationist one must develop an eye for detail and pattern recognition. These skills are transferrable to fine art photography where an eye for detail and a recognition of patterns that artists have used for centuries in art creation is a must. Jimmy has now focused his efforts on wildlife and nature fine art photography where he uses his life experiences as a modern-day renaissance man to create photography that expresses his philosophy and views of life based on his love of the outdoors and wildlife. He has also established a framing and matting business in Decatur, Texas which displays his fine art photography in a professional gallery.