He sneaks out at dawn to create his art – and he is so secretive that his fans don’t know his real name.
There’s no wonder that northerner ‘Villager Jim’ has been nicknamed “the Banksy of the photography world”.
His stunning images of farm animals, labradors and the lush Peak District scenery have captured the imagination of thousands of fans – and now the elusive Jim is releasing a book full of his favourites.
Jim, 49, worked as a web designer until just over a year ago – but when he fell ill with a diabetes-related condition that left him bed-bound for months, he decided he wanted to do something else with his life.
He said: “I’m sure a lot of people say when they are poorly, they start to realise how precious life is. I really wanted to go for what I loved doing. I set up a Facebook page, Villager Jim, and it just went crazy.”
One of his first pictures, an adorable image of his labrador, Dilly, asleep in an armchair went viral on the internet.
Since then, he has devoted his time to capturing the wildlife and beauty on his Derbyshire doorstep by driving up and down the country lanes near his home searching for the perfect shot.
Now the book, Villager Jim’s Peak District, will grace coffee tables up and down the country.
Jim, who lives in Foolow with his wife and two teenage children, said: “People have told me that my photographs actually bring them joy, which is a wonderful feeling for me.”
But he is still determined to keep his anonymity a secret. He said: “The whole thing started as a bit of joke when I told my lovely landlord that I was going to make up a name to stop him pointing me out in the pub. It’s just a bit of fun, but I do like to let the images do the talking!”
Pictures in the book include an incredible shot of stately home Chatsworth House surrounded by mist and a stag just about to attempt a leap.
Signed copies can be bought at Chatsworth Christmas Market until November 29.