Meet James Harbaugh: Student Photographer

Posted by: nancym 4 years ago

Meet James Harbaugh: Student Photographer

This article is reprinted in its entirety from the Islander Times, October 2014 edition. Written by Grace LeMoyne, Musical Theater and Drama junior:

James Harbaugh is widely known on campus as a jack of all trades. He juggles his position as Senior Class president with multiple AP courses and participates in CoSA's Musical Theatre & Drama department. The ASB leader recently started his own photography business, Fading Light Photography.

Harbaugh pursued photography as a hobby before attempting to make a profit from his passion. He spent most of his junior year snapping headshots of his friends. "People always complimented my work and asked me why I wasn't charging for my photos," Haraugh said. "Finally, I just decided to make it a full time thing."

Harbaugh traveled to Peru last summer with his father Jim Harbaugh, who coaches the San Francisco 49ers. A camera crew from NBC Universal accompanied the Harbaughs to create a documentary titled Peruball about the family's mission trip. They traveled to Piura, a city in northwestern Peru where 60 percent of the population lives in poverty, to build group homes, visit the sick, ad deliver food to orphanages.

Harbaugh used his camera to chronicle his adventures. "The head of Comcast Sports saw my pictures and really liked them," he said. NBC Universal asked Harbaugh to create a photo essay documenting the trip. The 35 snapshots, available on, mainly focus on Harbaugh's father.  To see the complete slide show, click here:

The public's positive response to the photo essay gave Harbaugh the confidence he needed to start his own company. In the mission statement of Fading Light Photography, Harbaugh vows to take photos of his clients that actually look realistic. He believes that shooting portraits in natural light is the only way to go. "You don't have camera flashes and fancy lights following you around all day, so why should you photos be any different?" he asked.

Harbaugh hopes to expand his business this year and plans to pursue a degree in photography upon graduating from CHS in June 2015.