The artist's images combine the natural beauty of women with the elements of air, water, earth, and sun.
Russell James is a beauty and celebrity photographer who also directs television commercials, music videos, and art films for Victoria's Secret and Gillette. James's photography is influenced by Australia's extraordinary light and open landscapes. His images combine the natural elements of air, water, earth, and sun. James attributes the inspiration in his work to the photographer Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009), who was one of the pioneers of the Fashion Photography Movement.
Before taking up photography at the age of 30, James had experimented with various careers including that of a police officer, a tradesman, and, earlier on at the age of 15, a metal worker in Perth, Australia. James sees these experiences as pivotal to whom he is today and a contributor of valuable insights that influence how he sees life behind the camera lens. In collaboration with indigenous artists from Australia, James began the artistic project entitled Nomad Two Worlds in New York in January 2009. Nomad Two Worlds has a two-fold mission. The mission is to collaborate with indigenous artists and to promote the beauty and rich cultural history of indigenous people worldwide.
James has no formal education in photography, but his talent has attracted many clients including Hermès in association with Guggenheim, Rolex, Revlon, and Ralph Lauren. His earlier series of works is captured in the retroactive art book Russell James, which was launched in 2009 across seventy countries simultaneously. Nomad Two Worlds is now a global exhibition and festival after over eight years in development. The photographer is renowned for his love for dramatic architecture and the environment, a passion that has led him to shoot in locations such as the Caribbean, the Arctic Circle, and the Australian outback.
In 2007, James was one of the twelve recipients of the Hasselblad Masters Award. He was recently appointed to the Clinton Global Initiative as a member. James's work has appeared in Australia's Next Top Model and America's Next Top Model, where he has also appeared as a judge. James is a leading photographer of the Fashion Photography Movement, collaborating with many similar artists and celebrities such as Tyra Lynn Banks (American, b.1973), Naomi Campbell (British, b.1970), and Heidi Samuel Klum (German-American, b.1973). James currently lives in New York City.