James grew up in Chicago, where he made a living as a professional photographer for almost a decade before dedicating himself to filmmaking. He moved to Los Angeles in 2003 to attend the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory, where he received an MFA in Cinematography in 2005.
For the past 15 years, James has been shooting independent features, short films, web series, interviews, documentaries, and commercials. His work has been featured at the MOCA, LACMA, the Hammer Museum of Art, the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), BFI London Film Festival, Festival de Cannes, Festival of Nations in Austria, and the Brooklyn International Film Festival. James shot one of the first commercials that won the Doritos’ “Crash the Superbowl” contest, airing for Superbowl XLI.
James' latest project is the feature film EASY LIVING, directed by Adam Keleman, which premiered at SXSW 2017