An architect by training, James read architectural design at The University of Edinburgh, graduating with a first class M.A.(hons) in Architectural Design in 2004 and an M.Arch. in 2006, with his final M.A. project being shortlisted for the RIBA Bronze Medal.
After graduating James went on to work for two and a half years at Heatherwick Studio as a designer in London and
In 2009 James turned full-time to photography, concentrating on portraiture and the built environment. His first major personal work "After Redundancy - Living In and Out of Architecture" exhibited at the Royal Institute of British Architects in February 2010. Recieving international attention the project was featured on BBC’s The Culture Show , The Independent, Blueprint Magazine and Architecture New Zealand. It has subsequently been shown as part of several group shows.