In 1851 James Russell junior was recorded as an apprentice cabinet maker, living and working with his father James, (a master cabinet maker), in Chichester. James Russell senior's cabinet making business failed in 1854 and the extensive premises were sold. According to later advertising, Russell senior took up photography around that time.
In 1858 James Russell junior was working as a photographer at 68 High Street, Lewes, Sussex. In the same year James Russell senior first advertised as a photographer in Chichester. In the 1861 census photographer James Russell (junior) was recorded at 180 High St, Southampton, with his wife and 2 young children, born in Southampton in 1860 and 1861. In 1847 John Goddard's Photographic Institution was based at 180, followed by George Marks in 1849, Professor Leslie in 1851, and James Smythe in 1859. James Need had a studio at 180 in 1865 after the departure of James Russell.
By 1868 James Russell and his family had emigrated to America. A third child was born in New York in 1868, and a fourth in Ohio in 1870. For the 1880 Federal census James Russell gave his occupation as Painter.
Photohistory-sussex.co.uk. (2017). Sussex PhotoHistory. [online] Available at: http://www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/