James moved from Chicago to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory, where he received an MFA in Cinematography. For the past 15 years, he
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. His most recent feature film, EASY LIVING premiered at SXSW.
As an educator, James has mentored cinematographers at the AFI Conservatory, directors in the AFI Directing Workshop for Women, and students at FIDM, where he won the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2020.