Jim Sugar began his career as a working photographer three days after graduating with Honors from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. National Geographic hired Jim as a summer intern following graduation.

During 22 years as a contract photographer for National Geographic, Jim illustrated 35 articles in National Geographic Magazine and 3 books for the National Geographic book division. He also shot 9 cover stories for Popular Mechanics Magazine, and six cover stories for Boy's Life.

His commercial clients include DuPont, AT&T, IBM, Pfizer, SAP, and VISA, among others.

As a videographer and filmmaker, Jim worked on a 1-hour documentary for Radio Television Ireland that received a 31% market share in December, 2009.

He also directed and produced a short documentary, Swimming in a Dream, which has been screened at four film festivals and won two awards. Jim has won the NPPA Magazine Photographer of the Year contest and finished as runner-up in the White House News Photographer Contest.

As a teacher and educator, he has produces videos for Lynda.com, taught a series of national workshops on photographic lighting, and taught at Photography at the Summit, Nikon Sports Photographer’s Workshop, and the NPPA Flying Short Course.

He is fluent in French, holds a Commercial pilot's license with instrument, multi-engine, and seaplane ratings, and scuba dives, when necessary, to make photos.