The photographic seed was planted in photographer Jim Curnyn at age twelve. While watching “The Bob Cummings Show” (the TV story of a photographer) in 1957 he was so impressed when during the opening credits to the show a blank sheet of photographic paper was placed into a tray of developer and an image appeared. He turned to his father and said “I have to do that”. The next Christmas he received a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera, contact printer, film tank, and chemicals and was taught to develop film and contact print.
Photography interest soon went dormant due to all the activities of life unfolding: education, military duty, career, raising a family. However, deeply buried in him was the seed of photography which sprouted later in life. At age 48 he started his formal education of photography at Fresno City College and joined Spectrum Art Gallery. He involved himself with board of director duties and organized group photographic exhibitions in a traveling show venue. Taking the art works of Spectrum Art Gallery members out into the public to promote photography as an art form, exhibits included Fresno City Hall, Fresno Art Museum, Merced Multicultural Museum, Tulare Art Museum, Saroyan Theater, Borders Bookstore, Barns & Noble Bookstore, Bank of America, and an ongoing exhibition space at the Fresno County Fair.