Jim Dooley is one of Britain’s most respected aviation and wildlife photographers. For the past decade he has worked with the Royal Air Force to capture unique air-to-air images of the country’s most loved wartime aircraft, raising more than £500,000 for RAF charities in the process, through the sale of calendars, cards and prints.
During regular trips to Africa, Jim has also built up a portfolio of pictures of the continent’s most beautiful wildlife, in particular tigers, leopards and snow leopards. In addition, his travels have provided a chance to document Africa’s breathtaking landscapes.
Jim is best known for his former career as the lead singer of The Dooleys, the family pop group that enjoyed worldwide success in the 1970s and 80s. The band sold 17 million records worldwide, recorded 30 international hits and became the first ever British pop group to tour what was then the USSR. They also appeared on Top of the Pops 21 times and made over 500 British television appearances.
It was through charity performances with The Dooleys and regular appearances for a Showbusiness Football XI that Jim first started raising money for good causes – over £1 million in all.
The charitable aspect of Jim’s showbusiness career also alerted him to a shortage in the supply of disability equipment and occupational therapy services to military veterans, and in 1996 Jim formed a non-profit bureau to work with mainly military charities to supply mobility scooters and occupational therapy to veterans.
His work with military charities, and his lifelong passion for photography, led to his successful work as an aerial photographer.
In 2008 Jim embarked on yet another venture in his multi-faceted career, when he became involved in the £10 million project to build a long overdue memorial to the men of Bomber Command in London’s Green Park. As chairman of fundraising and media, and with the help of his long-time friend Robin Gibb, Jim helped make the idea a reality and in 2012 HM The Queen unveiled the Memorial to the 55,573 airmen who gave their lives serving with Bomber Command. Designed by the renowned architect Liam O’Connor and with a central bronze by Philip Jackson, one of Britain’s foremost sculptors, the Memorial has already become one of the capital’s most cherished monuments.
Jim has now agreed to take on a similar role for a second Bomber Command project, the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln, which will be home to a world class education centre telling the individual and collective stories of all those who served with Bomber Command. On a hill overlooking Lincoln Cathedral (the landmark that meant, for so many returning bomber crews, that they were finally safe), the project is already home to a memorial which will eventually list the names of every bomber airman who died, cast into metal screens around a central spire.
Jim Dooley Fine Art Photography Ltd is a proud Corporate Partner of the International Bomber Command Centre project and a donation from the sale of every aircraft picture sold will be made to this hugely worthwhile cause. Jim is also official photographer for the centre’s fundraising activities.
Coming full circle, Jim has returned to songwriting to release a CD and download titled If You Hadn’t Done What You Did, sung by the hugely talented Charlotte Mellor, to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Bomber Command Memorial Fund.
Jim lives in Berkshire with his wife of 47 years. They have two grown-up daughters and a grandson.
More information on the fascinating projects currently in progress click here.