Emerging Los Angeles photographer Alexander James is making a career out of his newfound passion.
Los Angeles is a mecca of opportunity. Artists, creators, and entrepreneurs flock to the iconic west coast city with big aspirations. Amongst those who are bringing their dreams to fruition is Alexander James. Hailing from the United Kingdom, James found his way to Los Angeles only to discover a love for photography along the way. While his career is still in its infancy, his gorgeous imagery proves that he is a powerful artistic force determined to stake his claim amongst the artistic history of the city.
A Portrait of a Photographer
While James has become known in the photographic circles of Los Angeles, his career is still in its early days. He was introduced to photography upon inheriting a camera in 2019 from his late stepfather. Intrigued by the medium, he took the new contraption on a trip to Thailand only to tragically have it break along his travels. Returning to Los Angeles, he felt inspired. He purchased a new camera to replace the one he had lost only to find himself in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. He returned to his home in the United Kingdom with a new camera in hand to wait out the chaos.
For two months, he honed his skills documenting the seaside town of Cromer on the eastern shore of England. Self taught and determined to bring his vision for his photographic practice to life he began to evolve a signature style for himself. By May of 2020 James returned to Los Angeles only to see the city erupted in retaliation to the mounting issues of social injustice. He began to engage his camera to document the world in its current state embodying the action and emotion it encompassed. He went on to produce his first professional exhibition and sold his first work of art in September of 2020, only seven months after purchasing his camera.
Forging His Own Path
The exhibition featured the work that cemented his artistic career. Documentation of the 2020 protests in Los Angeles. Not only had James never photographed anything of this magnitude, he himself had never attended a protest of this stature. Nonetheless, he was drawn to witness it for himself. He wanted to document, with a sense of authenticity, the events that were transpiring in front of him, history in the making. Stories of pain, frustration, and injustice revealed before his eyes complemented by the unity and compassion of a community drawn together by their collective experiences. The work contrasted the masses, thousands of individuals marching in unison, to the individual faces and actions of the participants. His distinctive approach to photography emanates from the series.
The work explores street photography, not in a capturing of the everyday, but embracing the action and intensity of the moment. The vibrancy and energy of life radiate from through the saturated colors and explorations of light and shadow. The cinematic nature of these photographs extends into his other works. His portraiture, for instance, continues the same intensity. Through an array of works, he complements images with vibrant color with those in black and white exploring the mysterious depths of each person. A contemporary photographic chiaroscuro reveals an inherent sultry and provocative nature of his subjects. He is a storyteller, drawing us into the lives of those in front of his lens.
Alexander James has made a name for himself in the short time since he founded his photographic practice. His devotion, his drive, and his growing mastery of the medium have propelled his career to new heights. His achievements prove to the world not only his place amongst the fine art photographers of today but that with the right motivation and desire anyone can transform their dreams into a reality.
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