If you’ve looked at a cover of Vogue, Sports Illustrated, GQ, Elle, or watched the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, then you’re familiar with the astonishing work Russell James.
Born in the city of Perth on the West coast of Australia, Russell James’s path to world-famous photographer is as unconventional as they come. After leaving school at the age of 14, he started working at a sheet metal factory assembling trash cans. Eventually, Russell would follow in the footsteps of his father and join the local police force in Perth. After several years working as an officer in Australia, he moved to Japan to begin a career as a professional model. Russell’s modeling career took him then took him to Sweden and New York. While assisting a photographer friend in his dark room, his curiosity was peaked and it drove him to focus on pursuing a new career behind the camera.
Russell struggled to find work as a photographer. Outside of a single job for a car magazine in Denmark, James was at the point of packing it in and giving up on his dream when W Magazine contacted him and requested a 10-page editorial. This was followed shortly by another offer from Sports Illustrated to fly down to the Bahamas to shoot two of the most famous super models at the time: Eva Herzigová and Tyra Banks.
Russell James the model had officially become Russell James the photographer.
In his decades-long career, Russell has produced a stunning body of work. From his collaboration with aboriginal artist Clifton Bieundurry on Nomad Two Worlds to his work as the main photographer for Victoria’s Secret. Russell’s work with Victoria’s Secret was first memorialized in the book “Angels”, released in 2014. If you thought over a decade of photographing the world’s premiere lingerie brand would produce enough work for more than one book, you’d be right. This Fall, following in the footsteps of Angels, Russell will release his second book chronicling his years photographing the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Backstage Secrets tells the story of what it takes to make the most watched fashion even in the world happen.