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Fortune 500 pro marks 5 years in Farragut

It might be odd to think a photographer who’s worked with Fortune 500 companies and governmental agencies would open a studio in Farragut, but that’s exactly what Jimmy Chiarella has done.

Chiarella, owner of JC Studios, works out of Renaissance | Farragut, sharing a space with Studio 102 and its owner, friend Randy Frank. While Frank specializes in fashion photography and portraiture, Chiarella’s specialty is architectural and commercial photography.

“I try to add a little bit of flair,” Chiarella said.

“I think my shots are unique because I’m looking for something to set them apart ... you bring out the personality and who they are, as opposed to what they look like,” he added.

Chiarella also shoots food and product photos, automotive photos and corporate and environmental photos. He specializes in taking photographs of highly reflective surfaces.

But Chiarella said what makes him unique is his readiness to shoot anywhere.

“I can have someone come to me and say, ‘I need you to be someplace to do any kind of photography,’ and I could do it. I don’t need a lot of guidance; I do need a little information,” he said with a laugh.

“You don’t know if you’re shooting direct outside or in a dungeon. ... It’s not about your equipment. It’s about your experience, your technique and it’s a lot about light and the image you’re trying to portray,” he added.

What’s most important for Chiarella is forming relationships with the people he photographs or takes photos for.

“I really want to know what they want out of it. Before you just run in and take a photograph of something, what is the aim of the photograph? What are they trying to convey?” he said.

Chiarella spent 35 years in Los Angeles, Calif., before selling his portion of a photography studio there and then looking for an early “semi-retirement.” He decided to open a studio with Frank, a Maryville native, who was returning to the Knoxville area.

Eventually, the pair decided to share space for their respective photography studios.

“Wherever we can be of help to each other, we are,” Chiarella said.

In addition to working for Nestle and NASA, Chiarella has taken photos for local businesses and even churches, including St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Puleo’s Grille and Seasons Café.

Chiarella also loves to travel, and shoots landscape, nature and wildlife photography as a personal interest and hobby.

“I do travel; I’ll travel anywhere ... I work all over the United States,” Chiarella said.

“If I had the opportunity to go to the moon and shoot that, I’d do it,” he added.

For more information about JC Studios, 12744 Kingston Pike, Suite 102, visit or call 865-671-3999.


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