Austin History Center

James M. Innes Photographs

An Inventory to the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Innes, James M., 1949-
Title: James M. Innes Photographs
Abstract: James "Jim" Martin Innes is a professional photographer based in Austin, Texas specializing in aerial photography and cityscapes. 592 photographs by Innes document Austin from 1990-2013. 280 photographs are 35mm slides and 120 format transparencies, and 3 photographs are 4x6-inch prints. These span 1990-2003. 309 photographs are born digital photographs dating from 2006 to 2013.
Identification: AR.2012.001
Quantity: .2 linear feet (592 photographs)
Location: Outer Vault, Reading Room Digital Collections
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library
810 Guadalupe, , PO BOX 2287, , Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

James "Jim" Martin Innes is a professional photographer based in Austin, Texas specializing in aerial photography and cityscapes. He was born on June 15, 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to William and Ruth Martin Innes. During his youth he was involved in Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, receiving the God and Country Award and becoming a member of The Order of the Arrow.

Innes graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas in 1972 with a BBA in Management. In 1978 he joined the Bill Clements for Governor campaign. After Governor Clements' victory, Innes moved to Austin to serve on the Governor's staff. He worked in the Governor's Budget and Planning office and served on the Governor's speakers bureau.

In 1982 Innes became a real estate broker and joined Nieman, Hanks and Puryear Real Estate Company. In 1988 he joined Charter Management Company. Innes has also been involved with the following organizations over the years: Miracle Foundation (helping orphans in India), Leadership Austin, Mobile Loaves and Fishes (feeding the homeless in Austin), Bridges for Peace (the largest food bank in Jerusalem), Lone Star Paralysis Foundation, Austin History Center, Commercial Leasing Brokers Association, Hill Country Conservancy, Waller Creek Conservancy, Real Estate Council of Austin, Urban Land Institute, American Society of Media Photographers, Rotary, and Ministry of Challenge.

After the real estate bust in 1989 Innes followed his passion and heart to become a professional photographer in 1990 specializing in aerial, architectural, travel and stock photography. He has been published in books such as Austin: Celebrating the Lone Star Millennium, Austin: Lone Star Rising, Austin a Historical Portrait and Austin's Waller Creek; magazines including Tribeza, Texas Monthly, Forbes, and Boating Life; and newspapers including the Austin American-Statesman and Austin Business Journal.

Innes' professional portfolio consists of more than 250,000 images, including aerial and ground-level architectural, landscape, and cityscape images of Austin from 1990 to the present. He has documented hundreds of zoning cases from the Domain shopping center to the W Hotel and has photographed other shopping centers, office towers, and mixed-use developments before and after construction. He has also taken particular interest in the development of the F1 Circuit of the Americas racetrack.

Scope and Contents

592 photographs by Jim Innes document Austin from 1990-2013. 280 photographs are 35mm slides and 120 format transparencies, and 3 photographs are 4x6-inch prints. These span 1990-2003. 309 photographs are born digital photographs dating from 2006 to 2013.The vast majority of images are color, but there are a few black-and-white images in the collection.

The bulk of the collection consists of aerial views and skylines of downtown Austin showing the many highrise buildings and illustrating the rapid changes in the city. The aerial photographs are primarily of downtown but also document the highways, interchanges, and major roads such as IH-35, Riverside Drive, and RM 2222; bridges; University of Texas campus and buildings; Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake); dams; shopping centers including Northcross Mall, the Domain, and Hancock Center; the State Capitol building; and other geographical features such as Decker Lake. The cityscape views depict the changing shape of the downtown skyline. They include images taken during the day, evening, and at night, and are from many different perspectives. In addition to the aerial photographs and cityscapes are photographs documenting well-known parts of town and events such as the Seaholm Power Plant (image number 146); boaters on Town Lake and Lake Travis (images 189, 192, 219, 225, 251, 253, 259, 273-274, 278-283, 293, 317, 352); the Stevie Ray Vaughan Statue at Auditorium Shores (images 205, 209-210, 222); Barton Springs (images 218, 246); the Capital 10K race (images 236-237); assorted painted outdoor murals (images 261, 264, 266, 268-271, 275); and a Formula One race downtown (images 338-339). A few local business are documented including the deck at Oyster's Landing (image 217), Flipnotics Coffeespace (image 235), the Whole Foods lot on Lamar Blvd. before the current building was built (image 239), Eckerd Pharmacy grand opening (image 267), the Omlettry (image 271), and Strait Music Company (image 273). There are also 240 photographs taken in April 2013 that document the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Club.


The collection is arranged into two series, slides and transparencies (including the three prints) and digital originals. The slides and transparencies were numbered in the order they were received, which was not in an organized manner. The digital originals are arranged chronologically by year. Some years are organized into subseries by date or event.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish or publicly display duplications of these materials for non-commercial use only may be granted on the condition that the photographer and the Austin History Center are credited. Commercial use is expressly forbidden.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Subjects (Persons)
Innes, James M., 1949- .
Subjects (Organizations)
Rotary Club (Austin, Tex.).
Aerial photographs.
Austin (Tex.)--Pictorial works.
Document Types
Color slides.
Color transparencies.
Digital images.

Related Material

AF Subject Files:

  • AF - Austin - Pictures, Illustrations, Etc. 1990-1999 A8709
  • AF - Austin - Pictures, Illustrations, Etc. 2000-2009 A8710

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

James M. Innes Photographs (AR.2012.001). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2011/060

Donation Date: Multiple donations starting 2011 October 9

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Nicole Davis, April 2013. Preliminary processing by Grace McEvoy.

Alternative Form Available

Digital reference copies of all images are available in the Digital Collections Box in the Reading Room.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Photographs, 1990-2013

Slides and transparencies, 1990-2003
Location ArchivesCollection
Outer Vault Color Negatives drawer Slides and transparencies, includes skylines, aerials, and prominent locations (#001-283), 1990-2003
Reference scans are available in the Digital Collections box in the Reading Room.
Digital Originals, 2006-2013
Location Box
Reading Room Digital Photo Collections Downtown aerials (#284-293), 2006
Digital Photo Collections Decker Lake at 290 and 130 (Wildhorse aerial) (#294), 2007
Digital Photo Collections Skylines and aerials (#295-298), 2007
Digital Photo Collections State Capitol (aerial views) (#299-301), 2007
Digital Photo Collections Downtown skylines (#302-303), 2008
Digital Photo Collections Downtown skylines (#304-310), 2009
Digital Photo Collections Downtown skylines and aerials (includes UT) (#311-337), 2010
Digital Photo Collections Formula One Red Bull (#338-339), 2011
Digital Photo Collections Views from the Spring condos, (#340-345), 2011
Digital Photo Collections Downtown skylines and aerials (#346-352), 2012
Digital Photo Collections Rotary Club 100th Anniversary (#353-592), 2013