Jim Russi grew up on the beach in southern California and began surfing at the age of 6 years old. He graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography with a B.A. in Fashion & Advertising. In 1978 he moved to the north shore of Oahu after what was planned as only a week-long surf trip to the island.
Surf photography in the 70’s was an up and coming field with less than a dozen photographers in the water. Jim had the good fortune of becoming close friends with a few other young talented photographers at the time, who were influential as Jim began his career, namely Aaron Chang, Jeff Hornbaker and Dan Merkel.
He has traveled the world serving as Senior Staff Photographer for all the major U.S. surf magazines and has been a great influence in the womens surf and longboarding arena as well. Outside of the U.S. market, Jim’s work is extremely popular in Japan and Europe. In addition to his editorial work, Jim has collaborated closely on numerous advertising campaigns and continues to work primarily on Quiksilver’s Roxy ad campaign, producing images for them for over a decade now.
Light dances on water drops elegantly trailing behind a gliding wahine. This image beautifully depicts the feeling of playing in the ocean, sun kissed skin, and effortless Hawaiian days.
Jim Russi's book title image, Beneath the Clouds is a stunning portrait of professional surfer Kelia Moniz diving under a wave into the calm beneath the storm.