Born and raised in Chicago, James was given the gift of a Brownie camera while just a boy. He took to photography immediately. In the years that followed, he took formal photographic and darkroom training, first in high school and then in college, with extensive courses and darkroom time in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His photographic education paralleled his architectural training. James also completed his Bachelor's and Master of Architecture degrees at the University of Illinois. Moving west to San Diego, California, he finished his architectural apprenticeship and pursued a career in architecture and urban design. James has maintained his parallel interest in photography throughout his career. Now, splitting his time between California and the Midwest, he continues pursuing his architectural and photographic interests.
James' focus in photography is to explore his unique knowledge of architecture to capture architecture and other subjects in context. The notion of how buildings, people, and other objects exist within our larger environment has been of long-standing interest to James. This larger perspective informs both his architectural and his photographic work.
Capturing and sharing this view of our place within a larger universe is the current focus of James' photographic work and is exemplified in his ongoing "Edgeless" series.