Our community lost one of its own

JR (left), holding his Guru Award, with KelbyOne Instructor Glyn Dewis (right)

I have some very sad news to share this morning. Our KelbyOne community lost one of our long-time members, a Guru Award-winning photographer, a father, husband, and an important part of the photography industry, JR Maddox who passed away unexpectedly, at an early age far, far too soon.

JR had so many friends in the KelbyOne community, and in the photography industry in general and his passing had been felt by so many.

JR’s passing left behind his wife and an 8-year-old son, so our own Dave Williams has created a GoFundMe page to help JR’s family, and I encourage you to make a donation if you can. Any amount you can give will help.

Dave wrote a beautiful tribute to JR on that GoFundMe page, and I thought I’d share it here for those of you who knew JR, and those who didn’t get a chance to meet him. Here’s what Dave wrote:

The photography community internationally has sadly lost a legend. JR Maddox, portrait and real estate photographer from Simi Valley, California, put in hard work to forge his hold of the real estate photography industry locally and led the way with revolutionary gear and techniques, and was also an accomplished and renowned portrait and headshot photographer. Part of the KelbyOne community, and a proud recipient of a coveted Guru Award, this man is loved both by instructors and fellow members, as well as those engaged in the social media forums JR was so active and encouraging a member of. 

Everyone who’s life JR touched will undoubtedly have nothing but incredible and inspiring stories of his kindness, humility, enthusiasm and, most of all, his incredibly warm heart. It’s with great sadness that I write this and I’m positive there are many more people feeling similarly to this right now.

JR is the father to James and husband to Karon, and the sheer grief of this wholly unfair situation must be unbearable, but the intent and purpose of this page, albeit unable to lift a burden, is to lighten it and to show James just how amazing his father really is and how revered he is amongst a global community of photographers and creatives who are willing to do what they can to try and assist in picking up where JR so unfortunately left off in planning for a future of success at least as great as his father’s. Anything we can do, little or large, will be gifted to Karon and James to show just how special a man the world has lost.

Again, if you can help, here’s the link to make a donation. I cannot imagine how hard it will be for JR’s Family during this Holiday, and our prayers, and hearts to go out to them.

-Scott, Dave, and all of us here at KelbyOne

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