James was taking medium-format portraits in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, on a university-loaned Hasselblad when he landed his first international shoot for American Vogue.
He further refined his artistic sensitivity while working commercially in New York, Paris, London, and Sydney, moving freely between photographic modes—a fluency in style that became characteristic of his practice. In his work, a balance of technical finesse and artistic rigour, in particular, lighting arrangement and composition, is used to expose hidden interior forms. Such an empathetic approach, whether directed at commercial objects or portrait subjects, has remained constant throughout his career.
James’ client base includes Hermés, Valentino, Zara, Adidas, Nike, Mercedes, Ikea, COS, Barneys New York, Carven, Joseph, Dion Lee, David Jones, Wallpaper*, M Le Monde, Buffalo Zine and SSAW Magazine.